Jones had served as the chamber's majority leader for the past two years. His selection Wednesday fills the vacancy created when former Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) resigned from the House in August to work as a paid consultant. House members will decide in January whether to keep Jones for two more years as Speaker, assuming that he is re-elected in November and the GOP holds onto the Missouri House as expected. Jones said Wednesday he wants to encourage job creation by streamlining government, offering tax relief and paring back government regulations. He also wants to focus on energy independence and education policy.
A panel created by the Missouri House to review the state's transportation needs met Monday in Columbia.
Most of the testimony heard by the Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri's Transportation Needs centered on improving the state's highways, and whether those improvements should include a toll road -- be it I-70 or another major highway. Bob Gilbert with the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce told the panel that the state should also upgrade U.S. Highway 50.
The Interim Committee on Government Bidding and Contracting may also be used to recommend new legislation for next year’s regular session. State Representative Sue Allen (R, Town and Country) will chair the committee. She says last year’s controversy surrounding former Medicaid contractor SynCare LLC played a part in the committee’s creation.
The Missouri House has passed legislation that would bar local governments from interfering with the day-to-day operations of alternatives to abortion agencies.
The bill would forbid municipalities from regulating advertising and advice given out by crisis pregnancy centers run by pro-life groups. Supporters say they’re trying to protect the First Amendment free speech rights of volunteers and staff at the centers. The sponsor, State Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger (R, Lake St. Louis), admits it’s a preemptive move.