Politically Speaking: State Sen. Koenig On Missouri’s Abortion Ban — And The 2019 Session | St. Louis Public Radio

Politically Speaking: State Sen. Koenig On Missouri’s Abortion Ban — And The 2019 Session

May 29, 2019

State Sen. Andrew Koenig is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. The Manchester Republican spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum on the end of the 2019 session, including passage of the state’s abortion ban.

Koenig represents Missouri’s 15th District, which takes in a portion of St. Louis County. He represents cities like Kirkwood, Wildwood, Manchester and Ballwin.

Koenig was first elected to the Missouri House in 2008 and served for four terms. He defeated former state Rep. Rick Stream in a highly competitive primary in 2016 for the 15th District seat, and easily defeated Democratic candidate Stephen Eagleton in the general election.

Among other things, Koenig has been critical of local incentives like tax increment financing. He got a bill passed through the Senate this past year that would have barred TIFs in flood plains. When he was in the House, he sponsored legislation that could make it more difficult for municipalities to use tax increment financing if a county TIF commission disapproves of a proposal.

More recently, Koenig was the Senate handler of legislation that bans abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy — and bars the procedure completely if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Gov. Mike Parson signed that bill last week, but it’s expected to face legal fights over the next few months.

Here’s what Koenig said during the show:

  • He addressed criticism of the abortion legislation about the lack of exceptions for women that become pregnant due to rape or incest. “First of all, rape and incest are horrific acts. You can’t go far enough on the punishment on the people that do these acts,” he said. “But we shouldn’t do another bad act because one bad act happened.”
  • He also said he believed the measure would withstand legal scrutiny. “And here we have legal findings that talk about a viable pregnancy that have never been argued before,” Koenig said. “We’re in the 8th Circuit. Ten of those judges have been appointed by Republicans. And so, I believe our law will be upheld.”
  • Koenig discussed how he helped filibuster legislation that provided incentives for General Motors to expand its Wentzville plant. The bill also had a slew of workforce development programs that Parson wanted.
  • Koenig’s talked about his re-election bid in 2020, which should be competitive. Democrat Mark Osmack has announced he’s running for the seat. While the 15th District has historically been represented by a Republican, some parts, like Kirkwood, have voted for Democrats in recent elections.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Andrew Koenig on Twitter: @Koenig4MO

Music: "Starseed" by Our Lady Peace