One week remains in the legislative session with a few issues high on the priority list of legislative leaders and many issues fading into the background.
Property tax reform, immigration reform and campaign finance reform top the priority list of House Majority Floor Leader Steven Tilley (R-Perryville). As floor leader, Tilley decides what bills and resolutions come to the House floor for debate. A couple of high-profile bills seem destine to die this session: Governor Blunt’s Insure Missouri and an increase in the teacher minimum pay.
Insure Missouri would help uninsured Missourians access health insurance. Tilley doesn’t give it much of a chance.
“I tell you what, I think that’s slim and none on Insure Missouri this year,” Tilley told reporters when asked about the chances that Insure Missouri would come to the floor for debate during the final five days.
Teacher pay came to the floor, but Tilley pulled it when a scholarship program for special needs children was stripped from the bill during House debate. He doesn’t believe it will return, but says a Senate bill might revive the measure.
Governor Blunt’s decision not to run for re-election shook the Capitol and has had an effect on the session, but Tilley dismisses suggestions that the governor’s lame duck status has weakened Blunt’s ability to use the power of the governor to push legislation through to completion.
“I really haven’t noticed a difference,” Tilley said of the governor’s effectiveness since announcing his intentions not to run, “I think he’s trying to finish strong. I think that’s what the citizens elected him to do and I think that it what his intent is.”
Still, it has been a relatively quiet session, with little time left to make some noise.