On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome back state Sen. Paul Wieland to the program.
The Republican from Imperial was previously a guest on the show when he was running against Democrat Jeff Roorda for the 22nd District Senate seat. Wieland won the so-called “Battle For JeffCo” by a sizable margin, a victory that expanded the Republican Senate majority.
Wieland and the rest of his Senate colleagues will be headed back to the Missouri Capitol next month for veto session. Among other things, lawmakers will consider overriding a multi-faceted firearms bill and legislation that would implement a photo identification requirement for voting. The latter measure will only become effective if voters approve a constitutional amendment authorizing a photo identification voting requirement.
Depending on who wins the governor’s race later this year, labor issues could dominate the 2017 legislative session. Wieland has previously been critical of proposals such as “right to work” and “paycheck protection.” But he ended up voting to override “paycheck protection,” which would have required some public-worker labor unions to get annual written permission from their employees before withholding union dues.
Wieland is part of a group of primarily Catholic Republicans that oppose the death penalty. His bill to eliminate the practice received debate last year, but didn’t make it through either chamber.
Here’s what Wieland had to say during the show:
- He’s hearing overwhelming support to override a bill that allows Missourians to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. “Criminals are going to be criminals no matter what,” he said. “It’s the guy that’s not the bad guy that we’re saying, ‘OK. Now you have to get a permit, you got to go through classes, you’ve got to get your sheriff to bless it.’ Why do we put that guy through everything?’”
- Wieland expects the legislature to override the photo identification implementation legislation. He also said he wouldn’t be surprised if the legislature altered absentee ballot requirements, especially after the controversy over the 78th House District Democratic primary.
- For several years, Wieland has been involved in a lawsuit to end the automatic birth control coverage that’s included in Missouri’s health insurance for state employees. A federal judge recently ruled in favor of Wieland, and it’s unknown if the federal government will appeal the ruling. “If we just roll over and say ‘We don’t care about this issue, we’re just going to go with the flow, we’re setting a horrible example to our children that what we believe in our faith doesn’t really matter',” he said.
- Wieland feels GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is resonating with voters in Jefferson County. He says that people are drawn to his speaking style – and his willingness to say what’s on his mind.
Follow Jason Rosenbaum: @jrosenbaum
Follow Jo Mannies: @jmannies
Follow Paul Wieland: @WielandNow
Music: “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” by Marvin Gaye