Senate postpones confirming gubernatorial appointments over Greitens’ executive order

Gov. Eric Greitens in the Missouri Senate.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri’s legislators managed to pass through a number of items during the final week of session before spring break, but one thing that went unnoticed by many was the Senate’s decision to postpone the confirmation of any gubernatorial appointments.

It may sound like an innocuous event, given that the postponement was agreed to last until March 30th, but it takes a different tone when it’s mentioned that several of the picks by Gov. Eric Greitens were present on Thursday when the Senate voted to delay the appointments.

Multiple sources within the Capitol tells the Missouri Times that some members of the Senate are unhappy over Greitens’ latest executive order, giving paid family leave to all state employees working under the executive branch.

As the appointees sat in attendance on Thursday, the Senate pulled out a rarely used procedure, a privileged motion to postpone to a certain date, sending the appointees home until the March 30 deadline.

The Committee of Gubernatorial Appointments submitted its report, consenting to the appointment of Darryl M. Chatman, Jamie L. Farmer, and Jeffrey L. Layman as members of the University of Missouri Board of Curators; as well as Craig D. Frazier and Carol Silvey as members of the Missouri State University Board of Governors. They also recommended James Timothy Bean as State Fire Marshall.

Sen. Richard requested unanimous consent from the Senate to vote on the reports. That’s when Sen. Mike Kehoe moved that the adoption of the committee appointments be postponed until March 30, 2017, which prevailed with Senate consent.

The decision was made by the Senate Majority Caucus to use the procedure that morning. Some members have issues with the executive order’s policy, while most are concerned about the fact that the governor chose to use an executive order without consulting with them. In the past, that type of issue has been handled using legislation.

Senators also argue that the governor has no power to appropriate money, and according to the Office of Administration, the new policy is expected to cost the state about $1.1 million annually and can be taken from each department’s budget.

The delaying of the appointments serves as a message from the Senate, a subtle hint to the governor to not overreach.

If the Senate chooses, they can then appoint the governor’s nomination, or they could once again postpone if they feel their concerns have not been recognized or a solution has not reached the table.

It’s not the first time the Senate and the governor got into a scuffle, the first major one coming when the governor attempted to whip votes during the Senate’s vote on pay raises earlier this session.

The Missouri Times reached out to Gov. Greitens’ press secretary on Monday for a statement but has not received any as of the time this story was published on the website.

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