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Government, Politics & Issues

Politically Speaking: Rep. Smith Details Opposition To Transfer Bill

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

This week, St. Louis Public Radio's state Capitol reporter Marshall Griffin joins Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk with state Rep. Clem Smith.

The Velda Village Hills Democrat represents a number of small municipalities in St. Louis County, including most of the cities within the embattled Normandy School District. 

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Smith has been particularly outspoken against the legislation, now on Gov. Jay Nixon's desk, to change state’s school transfer policies. He’s been especially critical of the so-called “private option” allowing children in unaccredited districts to transfer to non-sectarian private schools, saying that that amounts to a voucher program.

During the show, Smith also said:

  • The “private option” would not help lower-income children because the amount of money that a child would get wouldn’t cover tuition at a private school.
  • Nixon should veto the bill and call a special session to address the issue.
  • Some Republicans decided not to vote for the bill in the House because they believed “public money should not be used for private education.”
  • He expects to see more legislation hostile to organized labor in the next legislative session. Smith works as a machinist at the Boeing Corp.
  • He’ll be supporting St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley in his re-election bid. Smith said the primary battle between Dooley and St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, “didn’t have to happen.”

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter@jrosenbaum

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReports

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