Recent historic flooding was on the minds of state lawmakers on the opening of the 2016 legislative session.

House Minority Leader Jake Hummel (D-St. Louis City) offered several amendments Tuesday attempting to plug Medicaid expansion back into the House's FY 2014 budget proposal.

House Minority Leader Jake Hummel (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) told his chamber’s members the session begins during a difficult time in Missouri.

“Many of you have worked countless hours coordinating flood relief efforts in your districts. Our hearts and, more importantly, our prayers go out to the families and the friends of those who were lost during the flooding, and to those who lost their homes,” Richardson said during his opening day address.

House Democrats say nothing is more important right now than flood response. Minority Leader Jake Hummel (D-St. Louis) said that must be an early session priority, “to make sure that those Missourians that have been devastated … have every resource available to them to rebuild their lives and to rebuild infrastructure in this state.”

State and local government agencies are assessing now the damage to infrastructure caused by that flooding. The Governor’s office says the worst was in the St. Louis region where flooding on the Meramec, Bourbeuse, and Mississippi Rivers impacted about 7,100 structures in four counties.