This week, St. Louis Public Radio's state Capitol reporter Marshall Griffin joins Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk with state Rep. Clem Smith.
The Velda Village Hills Democrat represents a number of small municipalities in St. Louis County, including most of the cities within the embattled Normandy School District.
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Smith has been particularly outspoken against the legislation, now on Gov. Jay Nixon's desk, to change state’s school transfer policies. He’s been especially critical of the so-called “private option” allowing children in unaccredited districts to transfer to non-sectarian private schools, saying that that amounts to a voucher program.
During the show, Smith also said:
- The “private option” would not help lower-income children because the amount of money that a child would get wouldn’t cover tuition at a private school.
- Nixon should veto the bill and call a special session to address the issue.
- Some Republicans decided not to vote for the bill in the House because they believed “public money should not be used for private education.”
- He expects to see more legislation hostile to organized labor in the next legislative session. Smith works as a machinist at the Boeing Corp.
- He’ll be supporting St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley in his re-election bid. Smith said the primary battle between Dooley and St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, “didn’t have to happen.”
Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies
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Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReports