Dempsey Expects RTW Senate Vote
February 20, 2015

(AP) – Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey says he has doubts about whether right-to-work can become law this year.

Dempsey said Tuesday he hasn’t decided whether he would vote for right-to-work. But he says he still will allow it to come to a vote in the Senate after the measure passed the House last week.

The Missouri House’s passage came on a 91-64 vote, putting the measure short of the 109 votes needed to override an anticipated veto by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

Dempsey says he has many relationships with union members and that there were good reasons for the formation of unions. But he says he does believe the state has lost out on some business opportunities because it’s not a right-to-work state.

State Official Pay Raise Plan Blocked After Intense Moves in Senate
January 30, 2015

next fiscal year after state senators successfully blocked a proposed pay increase Thursday.

The House had voted overwhelmingly against the pay raises last week, but some Senate Democrats had filibustered Wednesday as a means of allowing the increase to take effect.

State Sen. Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph said Wednesday that he didn’t want to waste more time because Democrats had promised another filibuster. But on Thursday, minority Senate Democrats backed down after Schaaf threatened a rare legislative procedure that would have clamped down another attempt at preventing a vote, and the raises died in a 31-3 vote.

The Republicans’ show of power comes weeks into a legislative session marked by some of the party’s largest majorities, which could make it easier for the GOP to push legislation through the chambers without needing concessions.

Republican Sen. Mike Kehoe, who was one of four Republicans and one Democrat who joined Schaaf in threatening to end a filibuster, said it’s early in the session to be pulling a move more commonly used when compromise seems unlikely. But the Jefferson City lawmaker also criticized Democrats for attempting to prevent a vote, an effort typically used as leverage by the minority party.

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:

House:

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

Senate:

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.

Mo. Senate Votes to Extend Abortion Waiting Period
May 13, 2014

(AP) – Missouri senators have endorsed legislation that would require a woman wait 72 hours after first seeing a doctor before having an abortion.

Senators approved the legislation 22-9 early Tuesday morning, sending it back to the House. Lawmakers have until 6 p.m. on Friday to pass new legislation.

The measure would triple Missouri’s current one-day waiting period. Utah and South Dakota also require a three-day wait.

Supporters of the legislation say the longer waiting period would offer women more time to think about the possible consequences of having an abortion.

Critics say it would push a woman further into pregnancy before the procedure, which can increase risk.