House members adjourned early today, leaving to allow the House Budget Committee to keep working on the budget bills to be debated by the full House next week.
They didn’t leave before there was a partisan dust-up in the chamber. House Minority Leader Paul LeVota, a Democrat from Independence, sought recognition to address the chamber prior to adjournment. House Speaker Ron Richard (R-Joplin) refused to recognize LeVota and gaveled the House to adjournment without allowing LeVota to speak.
Afterward, LeVota walked from his seat at the back of the chamber to the Speaker’s dais up front and confronted Richard. LeVota told reporters he wasn’t seeking recognition to anything controversial or critical. He said he simply wanted House Speaker Pro Tem Bryan Pratt, a Republican from Blue Springs, to explain why the House will be in technical session tomorrow. Pratt told the Missourinet that he should have better explained the reason for the technical session. He called the incident a case of miscommunication.
Meanwhile, the House Budget Committee continues the lengthy process of working through the budget bills. The committee plans to meet tomorrow. The technical session will allow the committee to submit budget bills to go through the formal process without the full House being in session. The House plans to debate the budget next week and pass it along to the Senate.