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Politically Speaking: House Speaker Tim Jones Assesses Session And His Future

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

This week, the Politically Speaking podcast team – Chris McDaniel, Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies – host state House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, who is completing his final legislative session.

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Rosenbaum joined Jones in Jefferson City, while McDaniel and Mannies were in St. Louis.

Jones offered his assessment of the session’s final days, leading up to Friday’s adjournment.

Among his observations:

  • The speaker was concerned about an apparent late-night deal struck in the state Senate, which may have killed this year’s efforts to win approval of a “paycheck protection’’ bill to bar automatic deduction of union dues for public employees and a bill to place on this fall’s ballot a constitutional amendment to require all voters to show photo IDs. Both bills were among his key objectives this session.
  • Jones said he wonders whether the proposed transportation sales tax could win voter approval if the House and Senate resolve their differences by this week's end, and the issue goes before Missouri voters. He said there may be other ways, such as bonds, for the state to tackle its needed transportation improvements.
  • He remains committed to replacing Missouri’s income tax with a higher sales tax, citing the economic benefits in Tennessee, which has such a fiscal setup.
  • With about $1 million in his campaign bank account, Jones has yet to decide whether to run for statewide office in 2016 – and, if so, what office. He said he plans to discuss the matter with his family and fellow Republicans after the session is over.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter@jrosenbaum

Follow Tim Jones on Twitter: @SpeakerTimJones

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.
Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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