Republican leaders in the Missouri House claim they want to get down to work right away this session; and they want everyone on board.
House Majority Floor Leader Steven Tilley (R-Perryville) is encouraged by the debate over rules. That might not seem like much to the average Missourian, but Tilley says the give-and-take by Republicans and Democrats on the rules governing debate in the House was significant. He hopes it continues.
Tilley says much work lies ahead as the legislature attempts to help Missouri recover from the economic downturn. He says Republicans and Democrats need to work together to create jobs and cope with a sagging state budget.
House Speaker Ron Richard (R-Joplin) says Republicans have no interest in shutting Democrats out, but do understand they are in charge. Richard says Democrats will get their say until it becomes nonsensical or personal, debate will end according to the rules.
Democrats gained some ground in the House during the November elections, but not much. There are 89 Republicans and 74 Democrats in the House. 17 Democrats voted with Republicans to approve the rules for committee membership and debate this session.