Minority Democrats in the Senate think the priorities of majority Republicans are not the priorities of the broad number of Missourians.

The first major bills to be debated in the senate this year are ones rolling back discrimination laws, and limiting public employee unions’ ability to get money from their members and spend them as the union wants.

Democrats, outnumbered more than three-to-one in the senate, see that other Republican bills allow paying less than the prevailing wage in disaster areas, deal with right to work, and call for reviewing state rules that might be bothersome to small business.

Democrat leader Victor Callahan thinks Republicans are too cozy with business and ignoring broad public policy issues.

Other democrats complain those bills are Republican priorities instead of education funding, transportation problems, nuclear power plant siting, and other broader issues.  One Senator has asked, “who is setting the agenda?”

Republican leader Tom Dempsey responds, “It’s our agenda. We believe these are broad-based issues that affect the cost of doing business.”

The senate is likely to work on employment discrimination all day today.

AUDIO: Callahan/Green 28:46