The 2006 session of the General Assembly was a little more contentious than was the 2005 session. And, the bickering extended beyond party lines as sharp differences arose between Republicans in the House and those in the Senate. Senate Leader Michael Gibbons of Kirkwood acknowledges Republicans in the two chambers didn’t always see eye to eye, but he attributes that to the fact there was so many new issues that hadn’t been in the hopper for years. One of the Republicans’ major accompishments of the 2005 session was passage of litigation reform. They had tried for a number of sessions to move this issue, but could not get it signed into law until a Republican Governor – Matt Blunt – was elected. Gibbons and other Senate Republicans express disappointment with the failure, this year, of the Legislature to push through the Governor’s plan to sell assets of MOHELA – the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority. House and Senate Republicans held separate end of session news conferences, while House and Senate Democrats held a joint event. That prompted Coleman to suggest she and House Democratic Leader Jeff Harris get along, while House Speaker Rod Jetton might not get along with some Senate Republicans.
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