Lawmakers and the governor agree on the problems the state faces—lack of money, the need for ethics reform, stronger economic development programs, and funding for education among others. And although the parties are talking of working together, there is evidence of flashpoints.
Republicans control both houses of the legislature. The Governor is a Democrat. Senate Republican leaders say they had a good relationship with the Governor last year. But Senate Floor Leader Kevin Engler of Farmington admits he’s a little irritated that the governor is announcing programs without telling lawmakers first. “It’s going to be more difficult (to get along this year),” he says. Senate President pro Tem Charlie Shields of St. Joseph, however, does not see the problem Engler sees and forecasts relations between Governor Nixon and Majority Republicans will continue to be good.
Democrats say they’ll work with the Governor and with the majortiy Republicans–when possible. Victor Callahan of Independence, who leads Senate Democrats, says, “We will work together where w can but we will fight for those who need our help.”
Small shots across various bows are not unusual early in legislative sessions, particularly in election years.
Sit in on news conference with Senators Shields and Engler 23:55 mp3 1open6
Join news conference with Senate Democratic Leaders Victor Callahan, Rita Heard Days, Joan Bray, Frank Barnitz, and new Senator Joseph Keaveny (who replaces Jeff Smith, who was serving his first full day in prison yesterday). 28:11 mp3 1open7