2019 General Assembly | St. Louis Public Radio

2019 General Assembly

Republican Lee Ann Pitman, left, and Democrat Trish Gunby, right, are running to represent Missouri's 99th House District.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In the special state House elections, Missouri’s political watchers are focused on a west St. Louis County race between Republican Lee Ann Pitman and Democrat Trish Gunby.

While the outcome of the Pitman-Gunby race won’t make much of a difference in how the Missouri House operates, it could provide a glimpse into St. Louis County’s political future — and how the area may respond to the Republican and Democratic statewide contenders.

Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, is a member of the six-person Conservative Caucus.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Sen. Bill Eigel is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where he talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Julie O’Donoghue and Jaclyn Driscoll about the future of the Conservative Caucus in the Missouri legislature.

The St. Charles County Republican is a member of a six-person Senate faction that has questioned GOP proposals involving transportation spending and economic development.

State Rep. Hannah Kelly, R-Mountain Grove
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Hannah Kelly is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The Mountain Grove Republican talked to St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Julie O’Donoghue about some of the important issues for her rural Missouri district.

Kelly represents portions of Wright and Webster counties. She has served in the Missouri House since 2017.

State Rep. Bruce Franks answers reporter questions outside City Hall on Sept. 29, 2017.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 4:20 p.m., July 30, with audio of "St. Louis on the Air" host Sarah Fenske’s full interview with State Rep. Bruce Franks Jr.State Rep. Bruce Franks is planning to leave office at the end of the month, capping off an unlikely political tenure that placed the Ferguson activist and rapper firmly into the political spotlight.

Once he departs from the General Assembly, Franks will also leave Missouri. He said it’s a necessary move to deal with anxiety and depression exacerbated by a string of tragedies surrounding his friends and family.

Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester, speaks on July 25, 2017, during the Missouri General Assembly's special session. Koenig is the sponsor of legislation to restrict abortion.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

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.

State Rep. LaKeySha Bosley, D-St. Louis
Tim Bommel I House Communications

State Rep. LaKeySha Bosley is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The St. Louis Democrat spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about her first year as a member of the Missouri House.

Bosley represents the 79th District, which takes in portions of north, central and south St. Louis. She was first elected to her seat in 2018.

Missouri House of Representatives members speak on the house floor on the last day of the legislative session.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On a special edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio links up with KCUR’s Statehouse Blend to review the ins and outs of the 2019 session of the Missouri General Assembly.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann joined KCUR’s Samuel King and Brian Ellison to talk about the final week of the legislative session. That’s when the Legislature sent abortion restrictions to Gov. Mike Parson.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson speaks to news reporters on the last day of the legislative session in Jefferson City.
File | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Mike Parson just finished up his first legislative session as governor. And by any objective measure, it was a good one for the GOP chief executive.

He wanted the Republican-controlled Legislature to approve his ideas around workforce development and transportation spending, and those lawmakers followed through. He was also able to deal with warring factions within his party, most notably six conservative senators that at times held up his priorities.

Members of the Missouri House throw paper in the air on May 17, 2019, to celebrate the end of the legislative session.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers sent legislation banning abortion after eight weeks to Gov. Mike Parson, the culmination of an emotional and contentious week that ended with many of the GOP governor’s priorities accomplished.

And while legislators Friday also finished a bridge-repair bonding plan and proposal to institute term limits for statewide officials, they fell short on overhauling the state low-income housing tax-credit program and another measure undoing a new state legislative redistricting system.

Sen. Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, speaks on the Senate floor Tuesday about his economic development legislation. The Senate passed Hough's bill after a 28 hour filibuster.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A nearly 28-hour filibuster of what is usually a simple procedural step ended Tuesday night with a big win for Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.

Over the objection of a group of six Republicans, the state Senate approved a major economic development package that extended a tax credit for General Motors, which is considering a $750 million expansion of its plant in Wentzville. Also included is a program to fund training for adults in “high-need” jobs, and a deal-closing fund that allows for up-front tax breaks to companies considering expansion.

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe speaks at an event last week at Blair Oaks High School in Wardsville.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe joins Politically Speaking to talk about his first few months in office — and some of the issues that his Republican legislative colleagues are dealing with during the 2019 session.

Kehoe spent nearly eight years as a state senator representing several mid-Missouri counties, including Cole. After he became chief executive last year, Gov. Mike Parson appointed Kehoe as lieutenant governor.

Gov. Mike Parson delivers his first State of the State address Jan. 16, 2019.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

As the Missouri General Assembly hits its week-long spring break, lawmakers are mulling over what they’ve accomplished so far — and bracing for an array of items that haven’t reached the legislative finish line.

While lawmakers in both the House and Senate have been able to tackle issues that have historically stalled, such as curtailing the low-income housing tax-credit program, priorities that Gov. Mike Parson holds near and dear have run into opposition from his own party.

House Republicans talk during the last day of the legislative session. May 17, 2017
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Members of the Missouri House have given initial approval to allowing school districts to offer an elective social-studies class on the Bible.

It’s a proposal that drew praise, for offering students context on how the religious work affects society, and criticism, from lawmakers who believe it will plunge the state into needless litigation.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt says he is referring 12 cases regarding Catholic clergy sexual misconduct allegations to local prosecutors.
File | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt wants more severe penalties for carjackers — especially when they use a deadly weapon.

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum as the latest guest on Politically Speaking.

The Springfield Democrat was elected as minority leader late last year, succeeding former Rep. Gail McCann Beatty of Kansas City. Quade was first elected to the House in 2016 to represent part of Springfield.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson speaks after being sworn into office. June 2018
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s rare that a Missouri governor gets their first opportunity to achieve some of their agenda in the third year of a four-year term. But that’s exactly where Gov. Mike Parson is going into the 2019 legislative session.

The Republican chief executive came into office last June after the scandal that knocked Eric Greitens from the governorship. With commanding GOP majorities returning to the Missouri House and Senate, Parson will get the chance to reshape state government that Greitens squandered.

Senate President Pro Tem-elect Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan
Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

Senate President Pro Tem-elect Dave Schatz joins Politically Speaking to talk about issues that may arise during the 2019 legislative session.

Schatz is a Sullivan Republican who represents all of Franklin County and most of western St. Louis County. He won a contested race for president pro tem in November, meaning he’ll appoint committee chairs and direct legislation to certain committees.

Gov. Mike Parson speaks to St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum during an interview on Dec. 13, 2018.
David Kovaluk I St. Louis Public Radio

After roughly six months as governor, Mike Parson is not only settling into the job — he’s charting out an ambitious policy agenda.

In a wide-ranging interview with St. Louis Public Radio, Parson laid out his priorities. Much of his agenda centers around developing jobs and finding more money for roads and bridges. But it also includes overhauling state programs that already require a lot of money — or have elicited controversy in the past.

Sen.-elect Eric Burlison records an episode of Politically Speaking at KSMU studios in Springfield.
Megan Burke I KSMU

Sen.-elect Eric Burlison, the latest guest on Politically Speaking, talked about the upcoming legislative session  — including his bill that would implement a right-to-work law in Missouri.

The Greene County Republican served for eight years in the Missouri House, before hitting his term limit. He successfully ran for a state Senate seat this year that includes part of Greene and all of Christian County.

State Rep.-elect Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep.-elect Mary Elizabeth Coleman joins Politically Speaking to talk about her big win in Missouri’s 97th District House seat — and her expectations about the upcoming legislative session.

Coleman is a Republican from Arnold who defeated Democratic state Rep. Mike Revis in this month’s election. She will represent parts of St. Louis and Jefferson counties when lawmakers return for the 2019 session in January.

Missouri NAACP President Nimrod Chapel signs a poster urging voters to repeal right to work on August 7, 2018.
File photo David Kovaluk I St. Louis Public Radio

Since the end of the 2018 election season, lawmakers from both parties have openly discussed trying to alter ballot items that voters approved this month — especially a constitutional amendment overhauling state legislative redistricting.

But legislators appear to have little appetite to revisit right to work, which voters overwhelmingly repealed during the August primary.