2019 Missouri Legislature | St. Louis Public Radio

2019 Missouri Legislature

Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Chuck Basye is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The Rocheport Republican talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about some of his accomplishments during the 2019 session — and some agenda items that remain unfinished.

Basye represents portions of Boone, Howard, Cooper and Randolph counties in the Missouri House. He was first elected to the General Assembly’s lower chamber in 2014.

Missouri Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh speaks to reporters on the last day of the legislative session in Jefferson City on Friday.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh returns to Politically Speaking to talk with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about Gov. Mike Parson’s first year in office, as well as the lay of the land for organized labor.

The Bellefontaine Neighbors Democrat represents Missouri’s 13th Senatorial District, which takes in a portion of north St. Louis County. Walsh will leave the Senate after 2020 because of term limits, completing a 16-year legislative tenure that began in the early 2000s.

Sen. Karla May, D-St. Louis, reacts to the annual Vehicle Stops Report at Second Presbyterian Church on June 3, 2019.  She wants Missouri law enforcement officers to be held accountable for discriminatory practices during traffic stops against blacks.
File photo I Andrea Henderson | St. Louis Public Radio

Sen. Karla May is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast, where the St. Louis Democrat talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about a bipartisan push to overhaul the criminal justice system.

May represents parts of St. Louis and St. Louis County. She was elected to the Senate in 2018 after spending eight years in the House.

State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where he talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about his first few months in the statewide office.

Fitzpatrick is a Republican who served three full terms in the Missouri House, including two years as the chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee. Gov. Mike Parson appointed the Barry County Republican to be treasurer after Eric Schmitt was picked to be attorney general.

Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Sen. Jill Schupp returns to Politically Speaking to talk about the aftermath of the 2019 legislation session, which included passage of a ban on abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy and other aspects of Gov. Mike Parson’s workforce development agenda.

The Creve Coeur Democrat is serving her second term in the Missouri Senate. Her senate district includes St. Louis County cities like Creve Coeur, Town and Country, Maryland Heights, Olivette and Ladue.

Maia Hayes joined dozens of abortion rights advocates downtown in protesting the potential shuttering of Missouri's last abortion provider. May 30, 2019
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 4 p.m. on Thursday with the filing of the ACLU's lawsuit:

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft rejected bids to place a newly signed abortion ban up for a statewide vote in 2020, citing the fact that a provision in the measure goes into effect right away.

At least one group seeking to overturn the eight-week ban has gone to court against the GOP statewide official’s action.

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.

State Rep. Doug Richey, R-Excelsior Springs, listens in the House chambers Friday afternoon. May 17, 2019
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The 2019 regular session of the Missouri General Assembly wraps up today in Jefferson City. Many legislative priorities for Gov. Mike Parson, including new abortion restrictions, bridge repair and the low-income housing tax-credit program remain on the to-do list.

Here’s how this is going to work: we’ll update from Jefferson City with the latest news and insights. The most recent news will be on top, meaning you can get a whole recap of the day starting at the bottom.

Members of the senate walk onto the floor of the House chambers ahead of this year's State of the State address.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

After a week that featured titanic battles over high-profile legislation, Missouri lawmakers are heading into the final day with a lot on their plate.

The unfinished business set for Friday includes final passage of abortion legislation that’s made national headlines, as well as a bill to overhaul the low-income housing tax-credit program.

Members of the Missouri House listen on May 16, 2019, as state Rep. Bruce Franks, D-St. Louis, announces his resignation.
Rachel Lippmann I St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Bruce Franks will step down from his St. Louis-based seat, citing a need to deal with his anxiety and depression.

The Democrat said he still wants to make his mark on St. Louis’ politics, even though he’ll no longer be in elected office. He’s also hoping his spotlight on mental health will resonate.

Sens. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City, and Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, speak on the Missouri Senate floor on May 15, 2019. Both senators are against legislation that would substantially restrict abortion.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 6 a.m. May 16 with Senate passage — Missouri is a step closer to having some of the strictest limits on abortion in the country.

The measure approved by the state Senate early Thursday bans abortion after a heartbeat can be detected, usually around six to eight weeks. There is no exception for rape or incest and there are also complete bans on abortion if a fetus is diagnosed with Down syndrome, or based on race or gender.

State Sen. Cindy O'Laughlin, R-Shelbina, helps delay action in the Senate on May 13, 2019 as part of a dispute over incentives for General Motors.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 12 p.m. Tuesday with comments from Gov. Parson:

A state incentive package aimed at getting General Motors to expand in Missouri is running into a major roadblock in the state Senate, threatening to derail some of Gov. Mike Parson’s priorities with less than a week left in the legislative session.

Six Republican senators who object to the expansion of job-training aid and a fund that would help finance the closing of economic development deals led a filibuster Monday on what is generally a quick procedural step to begin the day. That prevented any other work from getting done, as the filibuster, which began around 2:30 p.m., stretched into the night and early Tuesday morning.

The Missouri General Assembly beat the Friday evening deadline to pass the $29.7 billion state budget, but took the long way there, with the Senate’s final vote coming at just after 2 a.m.

In a day dominated by tensions between the chambers, the House also made quick work of legislation that came up just Thursday that offers $50 million in tax incentives to General Motors. The automaker is considering a major expansion at its plant in suburban St. Louis.

The Missouri House and Senate have approved their versions of the $29 billion budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year. But there’s still work to be done ahead of the May 10 deadline to get it to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk, namely by the conference committee that’ll figure out how to square everyone’s desires.

Rep. Dean Plocher
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Rep. Dean Plocher is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where the Des Peres Republican primarily talked about a potential merger between St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Plocher represents the 89th House District, which includes parts of Town & Country, Huntleigh, Des Peres and Country Life Acres. Plocher, an attorney by trade, is the chairman of the influential House General Laws Committee.

Missouri lawmakers are trying to come up with a plan to fix Missouri's bridges.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on Thursday, April 11 at 3 p.m. with information about the new bonding plan passing:

Missouri lawmakers are close to accepting a plan that would finance the repair of the state's bridges.

The Senate approved a proposal that would have the state issue $300 million in bonds for bridge repair if Missouri receives matching federal funds. It would also spend $50 million directly on bridge projects.

The Kirkwood Call newsroom at Kirkwood High School.
Mitch Eden

The Missouri Senate is expected to consider a bill to prevent public university and high school administrators from censoring articles from student journalists.

State senators have failed to call up the Walter Cronkite New Voices Act for a vote every year since 2016. The Missouri House of Representatives endorsed the bill last month for the fourth time. A hearing has yet to be scheduled in the Senate.

State Rep. Wiley Price, D-St. Louis
Tim Bommel I House Communications

State Rep. Wiley Price is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The St. Louis Democrat talked extensively about his first few months in the Missouri House as well as a slew of bills he’s sponsored to overhaul the state’s elections.

Price was first elected last year to represent Missouri’s 84th House District, which takes in portions of the western part of St. Louis. It includes largely African American neighborhoods in north St. Louis as well as primarily white parts of south St. Louis.

State Rep. Nick Schroer, R-St. Charles County, is the sponsor of wide-ranging abortion legislation that the House passed this week.
Tim Bommel I House Communications

State Rep. Nick Schroer joins Politically Speaking for the second time to talk about the Missouri House’s passage of an expansive abortion-restriction bill.

Members of the House easily approved the St. Charles County Republican’s legislation this week, which now heads to the Senate. It’s expected to face a Democratic filibuster once it hits the floor of the General Assembly’s upper chamber.

Missouri House Approves Sweeping Anti-Abortion Bill

Feb 28, 2019

The Missouri House of Representatives voted 117-39 Wednesday to approve a bill that would effectively ban abortions in Missouri except for medical emergencies. 

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Nick Schroer, R-O’Fallon, would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy.

State Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Charles County
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Phil Christofanelli joins Politically Speaking for the first time to talk about some of his key priorities for the 2019 legislative session.

The second-term Republican lawmaker represents Missouri’s 105th House District, which takes in portions of St. Charles County.

Gov. Mike Parson talks with an official from the Missouri Department of Transportation on Feb. 14, 2019. Parson stopped in Jefferson County to promote a bonding plan to repair bridges.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Mike Parson swung through Jefferson and Franklin counties Thursday to promote his bonding plan aimed at repairing 250 bridges across the state.

It comes as the proposal appears to be gaining traction in the Legislature — and buy in from key GOP leaders.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson delivers his first State of the State address at the Missouri State Capitol building Wednesday afternoon. Jan. 16, 2019
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson delivered his first State of the State address Wednesday, giving the GOP chief executive a chance to detail an ambitious agenda for state government.

Parson took the opportunity to flesh out his main priorities of bolstering workforce-development programs and improving roads and bridges. He told lawmakers that he wants to reorient economic-development programs to train people for local jobs — and fight opioid abuse and boost money for drug courts.

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.

Judge Jack Goodman, left, swears in Elijah Haahr as speaker of the Missouri House on Jan. 9, 2019.
Tim Bommel I House Communications

Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where he talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about what to expect during the 2019 legislative session.

The Springfield Republican was elected as House speaker on Wednesday. Republicans will have a chance to accomplish a lot since the GOP holds commanding supermajorities in both of the General Assembly’s legislative chambers.

Senators take their oath of office on Jan. 9, 2019, at the beginning of the 2019 legislative session.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers gaveled themselves into session on Wednesday, marking what could be a legislative session full of complex policy with the usual politics thrown in the mix.

As was the case in the past two years, Republicans hold commanding majorities in the House and Senate. And the leaders of both chambers have similar priorities, including paring down business and lawsuit regulations.