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Missouri House, Senate leaders sign off on bills while helping Parson transition to governor

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications
House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, signs bills before sending them to the governor's office.

Today was the actual last day of Missouri’s 2018 legislative session, as the heads of the House and Senate each placed their signatures on every bill that’s headed to the governor’s office.

But it’s unknown which governor will be signing them.

Soon-to-be-departed Eric Greitens will still be in office when many of those bills arrive, and there’s speculation he may choose to veto those sponsored by lawmakers who called for his resignation. House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, said he’s not worried about it.

“The [state] Constitution says we’ve got to sign them by the end of this month,” he told reporters Wednesday. “You guys [have] got a calendar, you know when that calendar expires – the president pro-tem and I will sign those bills, and they will be transmitted to the governor’s office.”

Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson in his office on Wednesday, May 30, 2018; on Friday, he'll become the state's next governor.
Credit Harrison Sweazea | Missouri Senate Communications
Lt. Gov. Mike Parson inside his Capitol office. He's set to become Missouri's 57th governor.

If there are any so-called 9th-inning vetoes, lawmakers have the option of overriding them in September, although each override requires a two-thirds vote.

A spokesman for Greitens has not yet responded on whether he’ll sign or veto any bills before leaving office on Friday.

Meanwhile, Richardson, along with Senate President Pro-tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, and Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, met privately with Lt. Gov. Mike Parson as part of a joint effort to help with the transition of power. They also discussed plans to invite Parson to deliver a joint address to the legislature in the next week or two.

“The [lieutenant] governor and I have served a number of years together and we share the same beliefs on job creation and training,” Richard said. “It’s not a happy time – it’s a time that we just need to move on, and we’re gonna try to help make that as easy as we can.”

Neither Richard, Kehoe, nor Richardson gave a tentative date while talking to reporters Wednesday morning. But later in the day following a caucus meeting of House Republicans, Speaker Pro-tem Elijah Haahr of Springfield said it’ll likely occur on June 11.

“We will probably vote on that day to [adjourn] sine die the special session,” he said.

Rep. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, a member of the House committee that’s investigating Greitens, has the following advice for Parson:

“Be open, be available, be partners with the legislative branch, which I think he will be, having served in this building for so long,” he told reporters Wednesday. “Be partners with the press – you all aren’t the enemy, you’re part of how this republic works – I hope that he’ll live up to those standards, and I have no reason to believe he won’t.”

Parson’s spokeswoman, Kelli Jones, said details of the swearing-in ceremony will be finalized Thursday during a meeting with the State Emergency Management Agency.

Follow Marshall on Twitter: @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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