Some fireworks at the end of the legislative session might appear to be mere firecrackers in comparsion to the shots exchanged a year ago. A year ago, it was the legislative session that wouldn’t end. Democrat Governor Holden and the Republican legislative majority were locked in a budget standoff that saw parts of the budget vetoed, twice, only to be sent back to the Governor in the same form. It didn’t end until just before the fiscal year began. Though the legislative session began with heckling during the State of the State address in January, this year’s budget seems to be on its way to being signed. Why? Well, many would point to the consensus revenue estimate both sides agreed to going into the process, something they could not agree on a year ago. But Holden says some lawmakers might have had their minds on their next jobs. House Speaker Catherine Hanaway (R-Warson Woods) is a candidate for Secretary of State while Senate President Peter Kinder (R-Cape Girardeau) is vying for the Lieutenant Governor’s office, a post the top Democrat in the Senate, Ken Jacob of Columbia, is always running for.Holden seems set on avoiding any praise of Hanaway or Kinder directly, instead he praised their staffs for working with his office during remarks delivered after the session ended. Holden dismisses criticism that he wasn’t available to meet with lawmakers this past session. Though Holden claims he met with legislators throughout the session, legislative leaders complained throughout the session about his absence from the Capitol.
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