The leaders of the two major parties in the House have opposite assessments of the 2013 legislative session.
Missouri’s Speaker of the House, Tim Jones (R-Eureka), calls the legislative session “historic,” and a success.
“We wanted to do more for the people so they would have more freedom and opportunity for themselves, and the more government you have the less freedom and opportunity the people have. This session, from beginning to end and everywhere in between, was about doing more for the people of Missouri.”
Jones highlights the passage proposals to cut individual and corporate income taxes and a fix to the state’s insolvent Second Injury Fund as key accomplishments. He also points to the House’s passage of tax credit reform legislation as a breakthrough, even though that bill didn’t reach the Governor.
“Remember, to this point the House was very adverse to doing major cuts to programs. I think we finally realized … if we have to be the body that has the stiff upper lip and is willing to sacrifice in order for the greater good, then we’ll do that.”
Jones has since before the session start touted a “Triple E” agenda that stressed economic development, energy policy and education. He says several key issues were passed falling under each of those categories.
House Minority Leader Jake Hummel (D-St. Louis) says he thinks those three “E’s” stood for “extremism,” and criticizes Republicans for passing legislation barring drone aircraft, the implementation of foreign laws in Missouri and making it a crime to enforce federal gun laws in Missouri.
He says the session was an “abject failure” because the legislature rejected Medicaid expansion.
“We failed to create 24,000 jobs under Medicaid, we failed to let billions of dollars of our taxpayer dollars come back from Washington to our state and we failed to put 300,000 Missourians back on healthcare … I considered it a failure three weeks ago.”
The session closed on Friday.
See the end-of-session media conferences from the House Republicans (top) and Democrats (bottom) below: