Kevin Windham | St. Louis Public Radio

Kevin Windham

The Missouri General Assembly's 2020 session was shortened considerably due to concerns over COVID-19.
Illustration by David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio, Photos by J. Stephen Conn, Phillip Wong, Reading Tom, David Kovaluk, and Giveawayboy| Flickr

Sen. Paul Wieland has seen a lot of startling events during his 12 Missouri legislative sessions.

The Imperial Republican has witnessed resignations of House speakers, deaths of statewide officials and implosions of gubernatorial administrations. But Wieland says he’s never gone through anything like 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic massively altered the Legislature’s workload and focus.

State Rep. Steven Roberts at the Legislative Black Caucus' press conference kicking off Black History Month on Feb. 3, 2020.
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

Missouri’s Legislative Black Caucus on Monday highlighted legislation they’ve filed to honor and remember the work done by African American Missourians. 

State Rep. Steven Roberts, D-St. Louis, spoke about the “perseverance and triumphs” of African Americans to begin the celebrations of Black History Month at a press conference at the Capitol. 

“When I think about black history in this country and in this state, ‘celebrate’ is not the first word that comes to mind,” he said. 

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

Updated at 3 p.m. on Thursday to detail Senate action on nonbinding merger resolution.

In a Capitol building often defined by division, state Rep. Peter Merideth believes Better Together’s city-county merger proposal is unifying the disparate St. Louis delegation.

But the St. Louis Democrat said it’s not the kind of unity that proponents probably wanted or expected.

“One thing that we’ve seen in this building is a remarkable amount of regional and bipartisan unity in the idea that this is the wrong way to go about a merger in St. Louis,” Merideth said. “I think the thing that we all agree on is that it should not be happening with a statewide vote that doesn’t allow any real, true local control over our own fate.”

State Rep. Kevin Windham, D-Hillsdale
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Kevin Windham is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast, where the Hillsdale Democrat talked about his first few months as a member of the Missouri House.

Windham represents the 85th District, which takes in roughly 20 municipalities in central and north St. Louis County. When he won his seat in 2018 at age 25, he became the youngest African-American man ever to get elected to the General Assembly’s lower chamber.