Mo. House Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka) stands to the left of former Speaker Rod Jetton (R), co-chair of the Blue Ribbon transportation panel. Standing behind Jetton, wearing a beige jacket, is fellow co-chair, former State Sen. Bill McKenna (D).
A panel appointed by the Missouri House to study the state’s transportation needs released its final report today, one day before the start of the 2013 legislative session.
It states that Missouri needs an additional $600 million to $1 billion a year – for several years – to maintain roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure. The report lays out several options for meeting that gap, but doesn’t recommend any specific funding methods. Retired Democratic State Senator Bill McKenna co-chaired the Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri's Transportation Needs. He says some of the options won’t appeal to the Republican majority.
Missouri lawmakers return to Jefferson City this week for the start of the 2013 regular session. So far it appears that this year’s dominating issue will be the expansion of Medicaid, which Democratic Governor Jay Nixon has called for and which Republican leaders in both chambers say won’t happen. St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at that looming battle and other issues facing Missouri lawmakers this year.
At the St. Louis Business Journal's "State of St. Louis," one of the panelists remarked that, in the Missouri legislature, the divide is less between Republicans and Democrats and more between rural and urban representation.
But the upcoming legislative session is somewhat remarkable because both leaders in the legislative bodies are from the St. Louis area. House Speaker Tim Jones is from Eureka, and Senate Majority Leader Tom Dempsey from St. Charles will soon be the President Pro Tem.
After the tragedy in Connecticut, many are now looking to elected officials to enact legislation that will curb gun violence. But Missouri’s Senators and state representatives don’t agree on what that response should be.