The legislative week comes to a close with the State Senate again failing to vote on the confirmation of Linda Martinez to be Director of the Department of Economic Development. And, the Senator who held up a vote on Wednesday raised concerns again on Thursday.
Senator Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville) had raised concerns over legal work done by Martinez to overturn a Valley Park law cracking down on those hiring illegal aliens. Wednesday, he claimed he wanted time to talk to Martinez. He met with her on Thursday but failed to have her or Governor Jay Nixon’s Chief of Staff John Watson sign a document vowing to uphold the laws as they regard illegal immigration.
Rupp claims residents of his district have informed him they have been threatened, by the Governor’s Office, that unless Rupp gets out of the way and allows an up or down vote, St. Charles County will suffer economically.
"Unfortunately," said Rupp on the floor of the Senate, "It’s gotten to where now they’re threatening my county with, ‘this is going to hurt your county,’ and they’re trying to get everybody riled up."
The list of demands or requests Rupp wants Martinez or the Governor’s Office to agree to:
Do all in your power to protect Missouri jobs for legal residents authorized to work in the United States;
Support and uphold all directives and laws relating to illegal immigration in Missouri;
To the best of your ability, ensure tax credits, state grants, and other applicable state financing options will be directed only to individuals authorized to work in the United States and entities that do not hire unauthorized workers;
Support the continued use of a Federal Work Authorization (E-verify) as it currently applies to public entities and all entities doing any business with the state.
Rupp claims the Chief of Staff has refused to sign anything.
Asked to comment on whether there was any validity to Rupp’s claims that threats had been made, Nixon’s Communications Director Jack Cardetti’s response was direct and to the point: "Of course not!"
Senate Majority Floor Leader Kevin Engler (R-Farmington) has suggested Senators re-think their concerns over the weekend and return to the Senate, next week, to once again take up the nomination.