After a Thanksgiving hiatus, the Politically Speaking podcast team is back in the saddle. And this week, we welcome state Sen. Joe Keaveny, D-St. Louis, who will be the new Senate minority leader when the General Assembly goes back into session in January.
Keaveny – a lawyer and the 28th Ward Democratic committeeman -- also chairs the Senate’s Democratic campaign arm. He has been in the Missouri Senate since late 2009, when he won a special election to fill an unexpired term. He won re-election on Nov. 4.
The November elections were very good for Republicans in the state Senate. Come January, when the new legislative session opens, Republicans will hold 25 seats in the 34-member body. So it shouldn't be too surprising that Senate Republicans are sticking with the leaders they have.
On Thursday, senators met at the capitol and re-elected Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, as president pro-tem, and re-elected Ron Richard, R-Joplin, as majority floor leader.
The Missouri Senate had seven new members after the smoke cleared from the 2006 election cycle. Only two served for the maximum time allowed under term limits – Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, and state Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah.
The two lawmakers are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. Justus entered the General Assembly as a combative fighter who fought tooth-and-nail against the Republican majority. Lager, who was arguably more conservative than his Republican counterparts, seemed on a course for higher office.
The Missouri Senate declined to vote on an ethics bill, including a proposal to reinstate campaign contribution limits.
The Senate on Wednesday debated the measure that also would have imposed a 10-year period before lawmakers could become lobbyists. The bill also would've required lawmakers to electronically report contributions of more than $25 during legislative sessions.
Budget writers in the Missouri Senate turned their attention today Thursday to the Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety as they continue to question why the state’s list of conceal-carry weapons holders was given to the federal government.
Colonel Ron Replogle testified that the Patrol received a request for the list in November of 2011 from the Social Security Administration, which was conducting a fraud investigation.
The Missouri Senate has given first round approval to a scaled-backed version of the so-called Paycheck Protection bill.
The original bill would have barred unions from automatically withholding dues from the paychecks of public employees, but Senate Democrats spent nearly ten hours Monday night and Tuesday morning blocking the bill. The filibuster ended when the bill was changed to allow annual consent for withholding union dues from paychecks.