A new legislative session begins next month with a new Speaker of the House.
House Majority Floor Leader Steven Tilley, a Republican from Perryville, will become the next Speaker of the House.
“Clearly, the most pressing issue is putting people back to work,” Tilley said during a news conference at the State Capitol. “And it will be the focus of my Speakership. It’s the focus of the citizens of this state.”
Tilley says he’s open to any suggestions to spur job growth, from the possible expansion of Quality Jobs to new incentives for Life Sciences and help to get new innovations off the ground. Two House committees, Economic Development and International Trade & Job Creation, will handle economic development bills. Rep. Anne Zerr (R-St. Charles) will chair the House Economic Development Committee. Rep. Jerry Nolte (R-Gladstone), who handled the legislation for Ford’s Claycomo plant during the special session, will chair the International Trade & Job Creation Committee.
Tilley has appointed committee chairmen a full month prior to the beginning of the new session. He says that will give them plenty of time to prepare. House committees have been trimmed from 53 to 42. Tilley vows to not appoint very many special committees, which the Speaker appoints without input from the Minority Leader. Republicans will hold a commanding 106-to-57 majority over Democrats in the upcoming session.
Tilley assumes control of the House as the Senate prepares to begin its work under new President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, a Republican from Dexter. Tilley has met with Mayer to discuss what issues might be the most pressing in the upcoming legislative session.
“I’m very optimistic that the House will have a great relationship with the Missouri Senate this year,” Tilley said.
Tilley is perhaps a bit less optimistic about his relationship with Governor Nixon, a Democrat and former state senator. Tilley only gave a curt reply to questions about whether he has talked with Nixon about the session.
“No, I still haven’t heard from the governor,” Tilley replied.
“He has not contacted you at all?”
“No, he has not,” Tilley stated.
“Have you made any efforts to contact his office?”
The new legislative session begins January 5th.