In the final weeks of the legislative session, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has made a last-ditch effort to resurrect a push to expand Missouri’s Medicaid program and accept roughly $2 billion a year in federal money.
The governor, a Democrat, unveiled his “Missouri Health Works’’ program before business leaders Monday in Cape Girardeau. By coincidence or design, state House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka and an opponent of Medicaid expansion, was also in Cape on Monday with conservative low-tax icon Grover Norquist to highlight a different issue.
After two weeks of vigorous lobbying, Republican leaders in the Missouri House acknowledge that they have yet to obtain the extra four votes needed to send to the state Senate a measure to put a "right-to-work" proposal on the August ballot.
“I’m not in the habit of bringing up votes unless the votes are secured,’’ said House Majority Leader John Diehl, R-Town and Country, in an interview late last week.
Despite opposition from a coalition of Missouri school groups, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers said Friday that to win passage, school transfer legislation needs to include the option of non-sectarian private schools.
State Sens. John Lamping, R-Ladue, and Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, along with House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, discussed the issue at a forum on tax-credit scholarships. With three weeks left in the legislative session, a transfer bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate is now moving through the House.
In the midst of his second term, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has continued to travel the state to promote his agenda for the state. He has heightened his profile even more in recent days, as he has blasted a tax-cut proposal that the General Assembly has landed on his desk.
But Nixon has effectively dropped one activity that used to take up a lot of his time: campaign fundraising.
The second half of Missouri's 2014 regular session is underway. Leaders in both chambers and from both parties remain focused on crafting a state budget and on easing the burden of the state's student transfer law — but they remain divided on expanding Medicaid.