As one might expect, Republicans and Democrats in the House see the 2012 legislative session two very different ways.
Republican Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R-Eureka) says the House kept the promises it made and had a successful session. “We are very proud of our session, we are very proud of our caucus. We were very proud to welcome our members across the aisle … along with our colleagues in the Senate.”
Jones touts accomplishments including a charter schools reform and accountability bill, a co-employee liability fix and narrowing the difference in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine-related offenses.
Democrats backed all of those proposals, but Minority Floor Leader Mike Talboy (D-Kansas City) says the two top priorities going into the session, a foundation formula fix and job creation, went undone.
“Regardless of whether it’s the House’s fault or it’s the Senate’s fault, when you have the majorities that were discussed at the beginning of this cycle, one of those two things should get done.”
One fundamental difference between the two parties’ positions going forward regards new revenue.
Democrats, like outgoing representative Sara Lampe (D-Springfield) say in order to keep meeting the state’s obligations to education, transportation and public safety, more money will be needed. “We’ve had them before this legislature. They’re out there. (Increasing) cigarette tax sales collection, internet sales collection and tax amnesty. All three of those could have gone through this year but didn’t.
Jones disagrees. “‘Raising revenue’ is simply code for raising taxes. Across this nation, across this great state that is not what the voters want. They spoke loud and clear on that in 2010 and I believe they will again this fall.”
View the House Republicans’ and Democrats’ end-of-session media conferences below, courtesy of Missouri House Communications: