On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann welcome state Rep. Kathie Conway to the program.
The St. Charles Republican is in her third term in the Missouri House. She recorded Thursday’s show a little more than 24 hours after participating in the Missouri General Assembly’s veto session.
Conway first won election to the Missouri House in 2010, replacing term-limited state Rep. Joe Smith. Before she jumped into legislative politics, Conway worked as a criminal and civil investigator. She is the chairman of an appropriations committee that provides funding to the state’s public safety and corrections departments.
During Wednesday’s gathering, the large Republican majority overrode Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s objections on a host of issues. The bills getting the most attention included a measure implementing a photo identification requirement to vote and another making it easier to conceal and carry a firearm. Conway joined her Republican colleagues in voting to override most of Nixon’s vetoes.
Conway was part of a group of Republicans that voted against right to work. Those issues could become major priorities next year, depending on the outcome of the governor's race.
Here’s what Conway had to say during the show:
- While Conway voted for the gun bill, she said it may have been better if the legislation was broken up into separate bills so each idea could be refined. “I think we needed to examine the permit and the training little bit more in depth,” she said. “I don’t think it’s going to be the catastrophe that a lot of people think it might be. Ten other states have already done it. We haven’t heard of too much fallout from that.”
- Conway contends that Nixon has been largely disengaged when dealing with the legislature. And that’s led to a lot of veto session showdowns. “I’m chair of an appropriations committee. I spend three-quarters of a billion dollars,” she said. “He has never, other than his recommendations, told me what’s truly important to him and what he’d like to see changed.”
- She says she expects an improvement in the executive-legislative relationship when either Democrat Chris Koster or Republican Eric Greitens becomes governor next year. “I think they both understand what the state’s hungry for – and they’re hungry for leadership,” she said.
- Conway wondered why proponents of right to work spent so much money trying to defeat individual legislators, as opposed to focusing on electing a GOP governor who supports that policy. At least two of Conway’s GOP colleagues who oppose right to work lost GOP primaries this year.
Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum
Follow Rachel Lippmann: @rlippmann
Follow Kathie Conway: @KathieConway
Music: “Goodbye Jeremiah” by State Rep. Kirk Matthews