The two leaders in the Missouri House of Representatives have different viewpoints on how the 2017 legislative session went.

Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson speaks on the House floor on May 12, 2017 (photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at Missouri House Communications}

Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) is praising his colleagues for what he calls an extraordinary session.

“Among our accomplishments this session, we passed comprehensive tort and litigation reform to eliminate frivolous lawsuits and end Missouri’s status as a judicial hellhole,” Richardson says.

Richardson also praises the Legislature’s passage of right-to-work in January, and a bill establishing expert witness standards.

He praises his 116-member Missouri House Republican Caucus.

“I cannot tell you how proud I am of the talented men and women of our House Republican majority, and the conservative reforms and real results they delivered for the people of the state of Missouri,” Richardson told the Capitol Press Corps Friday night.

Richardson says the Missouri House’s main aim in 2017 was to create one of the most competitive economic climates in the nation. Richardson says wage growth has been flat for the past decade in Missouri, adding that a family of four has less buying power than they did a decade ago.

The GOP controls the House 116-46. Richardson also praises passage of legislation allowing Uber and Lyft to expand throughout Missouri.

House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty (D-Kansas City) criticizes the GOP majority in both chambers, saying they have hurt working families.

“Republicans voted to take pay away from hard-working people in St. Louis,” says Beatty. “The majority enacted several bills this year that did nothing less than tip the scales of justice in favor of the powerful and against the powerless.”

Beatty also complains the Republican-controlled General Assembly did not pass major transportation or ethics legislation.

Leader Beatty tells Missourinet there is “no reason” for Missouri Governor Eric Greitens to call a special session.

“All that is going to do is continue to drain our (tax) dollars,” Beatty says. “It’s very expensive to bring the Legislature back in, and anything that needs to get done at this point can be done when we come back (to Jefferson City) in January.”

Greitens spokesman Parker Briden says no decision has been made about a special session. Briden tells Missourinet all options are on the table.