Missouri House Pushing Medical Marijuana Measure
March 31, 2015

(AP) – Republican support for a medical marijuana law is moving a proposal forward to the full Missouri House.
A House panel Tuesday unanimously approved a Republican-sponsored measure that would allow some Missouri residents with specific illnesses to obtain and use marijuana legally.
Committee Chairman Republican Rep. Caleb Jones, of Columbia, says there are safeguards in the bill to prevent abuse. He says the House should decide on the issue.
Advocates for broader legalization of marijuana say the measure might be too restrictive. They cited concerns with tight limits on the amount patients can obtain, the exclusion of some illnesses and the lack of a home growing allowance for patients.
House Speaker John Diehl says there’s a chance the measure could move forward, but he wants to be sure it’s fully vetted.

Missouri House Members Work on Ethics Bill
February 2, 2015

(AP) – Members of a Missouri House committee say they support changes to the state’s ethics laws but further clarification is needed.
State representatives pointed out potential problems with some ethics bills at a committee hearing Monday.
Lawmakers say blanket limits on lobbyist gifts need to have a clear time frame or other parameters. They also say it may create problems for lobbyists married to lawmakers or staff members.
Government Oversight and Accountability Chairman Jay Barnes, of Jefferson City, says some of the bills may be amended to deal with issues pointed out by the committee.
Other bills discussed included a one-year cooling-off period before a lawmaker can start lobbying, faster disclosure requirements for campaign contributions larger than $500 and a ban on lawmakers serving as campaign consultants for others

Missouri House Changes Rules, Bills Must Clear 2 Committees
January 15, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Missouri House will require most bills to go through two committees before moving to the full chamber this year.

The House adopted rules Thursday requiring bills to pass through a regular committee and then a select committee before being sent to the floor.

House Majority Leader Todd Richardson, of Poplar Bluff, says the process will bring better vetting of legislation, more single-subject bills and improved transparency.

Democratic Rep. John Rizzo, of Kansas City, says the changes will improve the legislative process.

But Rizzo failed in an attempt to change the rules to allow lawmakers to draft amendments after a bill is brought up and introduce the amendment before it’s fully distributed.

Richardson says distributing amendments in advance keeps the process transparent.

2015 Missouri Legislature Committee Chairs Announcrd
January 13, 2015

Missouri House Speaker John Diehl and Senate President pro tem Tom Dempsey announced the 2015 Committee Chairmen assignments Monday:


Regular Standing Committee on Agriculture Policy- Rep. Jay Houghton, R-Martinsburg

Regular Standing Committee on Appropriations- Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources- Rep. Craig Redmon, R-Canton

Regular Standing Committee on Appropriations- Elementary and Secondary Education- Rep. Kurt Bahr, R-St. Charles

Regular Standing Committee on Appropriations- Health, Mental Health and Social Services- Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-St. Louis

Regular Standing Committee on Appropriations- Higher Education- Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, R-Jackson

Regular Standing Committee Appropriations- General Administration- Rep. Robert Ross, R-Yukon

Regular Standing Committee on Appropriations- Public Safety and Corrections- Rep. Kathie Conway, R-St. Charles

Regular Standing Committee on Appropriations- Revenue, Transportation, and Economic Development- Rep. Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield

Regular Standing Committee on Banking- Rep. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo

Regular Standing Committee on Children and Families- Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton

Regular Standing Committee on Civil and Criminal Proceedings- Rep. Robert Cornejo, R-St. Peters

Regular Standing Committee on Conservation and Natural Resources- Rep. Sonya Murray-Anderson, R-Springfield

Regular Standing Committee on Consumer Affairs- Rep. Mark Parkinson, R-St. Charles

Regular Standing Committee on Corrections- Rep. Paul Fitzwater, R-Potosi

Regular Standing Committee on Economic Development and Business Attraction and Retention- Rep. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia

Regular Standing Committee on Elections- Rep. Sue Entlicher, R-Bolivar

Regular Standing Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education- Rep. Kathy Swan, R-Cape Girardeau

Regular Standing Committee on Emerging Issues- Rep. Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield

Regular Standing Committee on Emerging Issues in Education- Rep. Lyle Rowland, R-Cedarcreek

Regular Standing Committee on Employment Security- Rep. Wanda Brown, R-Cole Camp

Regular Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment- Rep. Rocky Miller, R-Lake Ozark

Regular Standing Committee on Ethics- Rep. Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff

Regular Standing Committee on Fiscal Review- Rep. Sue Allen, R-Town and Country

Regular Standing Committee on Government Efficiency- Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Union

Regular Standing Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability- Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City

Regular Standing Committee on Health and Mental Health Policy- Rep. Keith Frederick, R-Rolla

Regular Standing Committee on Health Insurance- Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Frankford

Regular Standing Committee on Higher Education- Rep. Steve Cookson, R-Poplar Bluff

Regular Standing Committee on Local Government- Rep. Dave Hinson, R-St. Clair

Regular Standing Committee on Pensions- Rep. Nate Walker, R-Kirksville

Regular Standing Committee on Professional Registration- Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield

Regular Standing Committee on Property, Casualty Insurance, and Life Insurance- Rep. Noel Shull, R-Kansas City

Regular Standing Committee on Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness- Rep. Shawn Rhoads, R-West Plains

Regular Standing Committee on Small Business- Rep. John McCaherty, R-High Ridge

Regular Standing Committee on Telecommunications- Rep. Bart Korman, R-High Hill

Regular Standing Committee on Trade and Tourism- Rep. Don Phillips, R-Kimberling City

Regular Standing Committee on Transportation- Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer, R-Odessa

Regular Standing Committee on Utility Infrastructure- Rep. Lyndall Fraker, R-Marshfield

Regular Standing Committee on Veterans- Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City

Regular Standing Committee on Ways and Means- Rep. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester

Regular Standing Committee on Workforce Standards and Development- Rep. Bill Lant, R-Pineville

Select Standing Committee on Agriculture- Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho

Select Standing Committee on Budget- Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage

Select Standing Committee on Commerce- Rep. Anne Zerr, R-St. Charles

Select Standing Committee on Education- Rep. Mike Lair, R-Chillicothe

Select Standing Committee on Financial Institutions and Taxation- Rep. Tony Dugger, R-Hartville

Select Standing Committee on General Laws- Rep. Caleb Jones, R-Columbia

Select Standing Committee on Insurance- Rep. Don Gosen, R-Ballwin

Select Standing Committee on Judiciary- Rep. Kevin Austin, R-Springfield

Select Standing Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations- Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston

Select Standing Committee on Rules- Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington

Select Standing Committee on Social Services- Rep. Sue Allen, R-Town and Country

Select Standing Committee on State and Local Governments- Rep. Sheila Solon, R-Blue Springs

Select Standing Committee on Utilities- Rep. T.J. Berry, R-Kearney


Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources, Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown

Appropriations, Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia

Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment, Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City

Education, Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg

Financial and Government Organizations and Elections, Sen. Jay Wasson, R-Nixa

General Laws and Pensions, Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph

Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight, Sen. Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville

Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government, Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale

Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence, Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield

Progress and Development, Sen. Joe Keaveny, D-St. Louis

Seniors, Families and Children, Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville

Small Business, Insurance and Industry, Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar

Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety, Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff

Veterans’ Affairs and Health, Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla

Ways and Means, Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit

Missouri Senate Plans to Look at Ferguson During 2015 Session
November 7, 2014

(AP) – Missouri senators said Thursday they hope to pursue legislation next session to address issues that have arisen from a fatal police shooting of an 18-year-old in Ferguson that sparked sometimes-violent protests.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey said Republicans still are hashing out the details of what those proposals might look like.

Sen. Joe Keaveny, who was chosen to be the next Senate minority leader on Thursday, said Democrats aim to discuss topics such as school funding, job creation and other underlying issues that surfaced after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown in August.

The shooting of Brown, who was unarmed and black, by a white officer stoked underlying racial tensions in the predominantly black St. Louis suburb that is patrolled by a mostly white police force. It also has brought attention to a variety of social and legal issues, including the fact that some cities in the lower-income parts of St. Louis County draw a substantial portion of their revenues from court costs and fines.

“We need to address some of the inequities up there, and there’s a myriad,” said Keaveny, of St. Louis. “And it’s not just Ferguson.”

But Senate efforts to pass legislation related to issues that have come from Ferguson could face resistance in the House.

Newly nominated House Speaker John Diehl said Wednesday that Republican House members are reluctant to pass legislation involving the shooting.

“The temptation is to run out and say, ‘Let’s pass a law to fix this,'” said Diehl who’s from the St. Louis suburb of Town and Country. He added that he doubts statutory changes are the best way to help.

The potential division between Republicans in the House and Senate over how to address Ferguson shows that even though the GOP won commanding supermajorities in Tuesday’s elections, its members may not always agree on priorities.

But the two chambers may align more closely on budget and job issues.

Diehl and Dempsey both said helping the economy – whether through job creation or support for small businesses – was among their top priorities for next session. Republicans also could use new voter-approved powers to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s decision to freeze about $700 million in spending for state programs.

Dempsey, of St. Charles, was nominated to serve another term as president pro tem, but must be confirmed by the full Senate when it convenes in January. Diehl also must be confirmed by the House.

Democrats in the Missouri House have voted to retain their current leadership in next year’s legislative session.

The caucus on Thursday elected Jacob Hummel of St. Louis as minority leader and Gail McCann Beatty of Kansas City as assistant minority leader.

Tuesday’s elections and the decision by a Democratic incumbent to join the Republican Party widened the partisan gap in the 163-member House. Republicans gained eight seats this week and head into 2015 with 118 House members to the Democrats’ 45.