Power Profile: State Rep T.J. Berry
Missouri Representative pushed for passage of the energy policy bill
For T.J. Berry, faith and service to others have been two constants in his life. The state legislator (R-38, Kearney), who represents a portion of Clay County, built a successful and promising career. He would be the first to tell you it took a great deal of hard work, a driven entrepreneurial spirit and enduring support from his family.
“From the beginning, I have been guided by one purpose – the calling to help people,” said Berry. “I enjoy being able to help my constituents, to work hard at work worth doing, to be a voice for those whom I represent, to make a difference.”
Berry has a strong business background with years of experience in running his own printing service. He credits his experience there (running a successful business) as a tremendous help to him when serving on House committees and debating on bills affecting Missouri businesses.
“I thrive on the ability to solve complex issues and make things happen,” said Berry. “Missouri’s location and available resources make it a unique and opportune environment to own and operate a business. If we team that with a progressive energy policy and upgraded utility infrastructure, great things will happen for Missouri businesses – large and small.”
Throughout his term, Berry has served on numerous committees including Economic Development and Small Business. He has chaired the House Utilities Committee and currently chairs the House Committee on Innovation and Technology. He notes that Missouri businesses [large and small] need “forecastability” to remain sustainable and profitable in the state. Whether dealing with utilities, taxes, economic development, or other issues, he notes that businesses must be able to create a roadmap for their future.
Berry is keenly aware of the state’s utility infrastructure and how it affects state business growth and development, not to mention consumers. Critical to him is the concept of sustainable and reliable energy, as he played a large role in the development of the just passed SB 564, the energy policy bill.
“Senate Bill 564 is a cumulation of all my experiences ‘married’ together –- entrepreneurism, technologies and utilities,” said Berry. “Today’s renewable energy resources –- solar, wind, biomass –- are very competitive. To remain relevant and competitive in the future, it is essential that our utility infrastructure and energy policy is brought up to par.”
Berry noted Missouri is currently not “leading the pack” in reliability and cyber security, both issues of concern that should not be taken lightly.
“SB 564 calls for the implementation of smart grid technology,” said Berry. “This new law will allow Ameren Missouri to run smart meters throughout their territory, meaning the lights may still go out, but we will have the ability to find and correct the disturbance much sooner.”
Berry believes the passing of SB 564 will improve the quality of life for both consumers and businesses, alike.
“To remain relevant in a competitive playing field, Missouri needs to adopt and setup for growth moving forward,” said Berry. “Constituents will benefit tremendously from an energy supply that is secure, reliable and dependable.”
Throughout his career as a representative, it remains clear that Berry’s commitment to public service and helping others has remained a top priority.
When asked about his accomplishments he said, “There is nothing more rewarding than having the daily opportunity to serve others. I have reflected many times on the Capitol wall showcasing the photos of representatives who have served before me. Soon enough, I too will be ‘another face on the wall,’ and with that, I am thankful. Thankful for the opportunity to join those who also have made Missouri a better place to call home.”