The Missouri Senate’s top two outgoing leaders are sounding a tone of unity amidst repeated friction in the upper chamber this year. The attitude follows the completion of the state legislature’s 2024 regular session.

Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence, said that compromise and teamwork are the keys to successfully getting bills across the finish line.

“Truthfully, in a super red state, Democrats can come together, and Republicans can come together and pass a budget, pass an FRA (federal reimbursement allowance), stand up to bullies, and actually get some stuff done,” he said. “I’ve been telling these guys for years, if they’re willing to work with us, you know, unfortunately, in today’s world, compromise is a terrible thing, but work through the process together, we can get some stuff done and we can really do some things.”

Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, agreed with Rizzo’s sentiment, saying that the Capitol should be where Democrats and Republicans work together to reach a compromise.

“You can have relationships, you can disagree respectfully, and you can understand that on most days, you’re not going to get 100% of what you want,” he said.

Because of the Senate Republican squabbling led by the Freedom Caucus, most of whom are running for higher office, plenty of legislative bills did not cross the finish line this year. That caucus is led by Sen. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, who vowed to block bills so that their own priorities were accomplished before anyone else’s, which led to plenty of unfinished business for other lawmakers this session.

Brattin called out the Senate Republican leadership for being “spineless” by working with Democrats, labeling it the “uniparty.”

“The Missouri voters are pissed,” he said. “They’re mad and they’re fed up. I think that shows. A lot of people, we just heard that there’s a frustration and people calling their offices angry. Yes, when you’re not doing what you said you were going to do when you were elected, people are going to be angry and mad at you for not doing what you said you were going to do.”

© 2024, Missourinet.