The Missouri Legislature could be in store more than one special session this year. Governor Greitens, R, tells Missourinet the Constitution requires the governor to call a special session on one specific issue, not multiple issues.
“We’re looking at the possibility of special sessions for a number of different issues. What’s important for us is that we are attacking all of these problems in a way that can help us to solve them,” says Greitens. “We’re going to sit down with the team, continue to look at all of the issues that are in front of us in the state of Missouri and we’re going to keep fighting.”
In some previous years, the legislature has held a special session on multiple issues. The state constitution’s section on the powers of the governor (section 9) reads:
“On extraordinary occasions he may convene the general assembly by proclamation, wherein he shall state specifically each matter on which action is deemed necessary.”
Greitens says the General Assembly had some great accomplishments this year, but he says its work was incomplete.
Some GOP priorities that were left on the table during the regular session include
lobbyist gift restrictions to lawmakers, the creation of a statewide prescription drug monitoring program, a statewide expansion of charter schools and banning wage requirements on construction projects for things like schools and jails.
“I am absolutely in favor of a lobbyist gift ban,” says Greitens. “I think the House did the right thing the very first week. The House was able to get this done but again, we had some folks in the Senate who wanted to put their interests in front of what I believe is a strong desire of the people of the state of Missouri to ban all gifts from lobbyists.”
A special session beginning Monday is to consider a measure that would let the Public Service Commission set a lower utility rate for the former Noranda aluminum plant and a new steel mill in southeast Missouri.
Supporters of Portageville Republican state Rep. Don Rone’s bill hope it will create hundreds of higher-paying jobs in the Bootheel region of Missouri. Opponents say the legislation could lead to higher electric rates for Missouri businesses and families.
The governor will spend the weekend in the Bootheel to garner support for the bill.
Expenses involved in a special session include mileage, room and board for lawmakers and costs associated with legislative staff work. The Missouri Legislature’s special session expenses are paid for by state taxpayers.