St. Louis Public Radio News
7:42 am
Mon November 16, 2009

Nixon bucks trend of special legislative sessions

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is bucking the trend by keeping lawmakers at home instead of at the Capitol for a special session.

Since 1965, only Republican Gov. John Ashcroft has not called a special session during his first year as governor. Nixon, a Democrat, had considered a special session for a construction bonding package. The governor's office instead is planning to seek support from lawmakers when the Legislature comes back in January.

Missouri governors have been able to call special sessions since the territorial constitution of 1812. It's a potent tool because the governor sets the agenda for
what can be discussed.

Successful special sessions can allow governors to claim credit for popular changes. But the chief executive risks getting blamed when the session doesn't go as planned.