The historic 100th Missouri General Assembly convened Wednesday afternoon in Jefferson City.

Missouri House Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee on March 5, 2018 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

Republicans control the Missouri House 116-47 and control the Senate 24-10. The GOP has a supermajority-plus in both chambers.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a Republican, helped convene the House session at noon, invoking scripture and telling House members they’ve been given great authority.

The House formally elected State Rep. Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, as Speaker today. Assistant House Minority Leader DaRon McGee, D-Kansas City, formally nominated House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, as Speaker.

Quade declined the nomination, noting that Missourians elected 116 House Republicans. But Quade also noted that Missourians rejected right-to-work and approved a minimum wage increase and medical marijuana.

While Speaker Haahr emphasized conservative philosophies such as tax relief during his opening day address, he reached out to Quade and to the House’s 47 Democrats.

“Minority Leader Quade and my Democrat colleagues, I will always value the ideas that you bring to the table. We won’t always agree on policies. But, we will always agree on the goals of safer neighborhoods to raise a family in, ensuring a better education for our children, and building a stronger economy for Missourians,” Haahr tells the House.

Speaker Haahr also emphasizes the importance of combating Missouri’s opioid epidemic. He says “hope must also extend to the Missourians trapped in the hold of opioid addictions.”

State Rep. John Wiemann, R-O’Fallon, has been formally elected as House Speaker Pro Tem.

Opening day is largely ceremonial. The House and Senate will convene later today for a joint session to take a photograph of the 100th General Assembly.

Haahr and Quade plan separate press conferences later today.

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