JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Lawmakers and opinion makers gathered on Easter Sunday to discuss the first half of the Missouri legislative session.
House Speaker John Diehl joined the program to discuss this year’s early budget passage and the likely passage of a sweeping municipal court reform bill.
The House advanced the budget to the Senate 3 weeks ahead of schedule and the senate is approaching completion on their own version. Diehl said there were some “good faith” differences between the two documents, but that those differences could be reconciled before sending the budget to Gov. Jay Nixon’ desk.
“You have to be held accountable for what you’ve been charged with,” Diehl said. “But government is always looking for new sources of revenue. You don’t ever hear government voluntarily say ‘I wanna get smaller.’”
The opinion maker panel included St. Louis attorney and Republican, Jack Spooner, House Rep. John Wiemann, R-St. Peters, Rep. Joe Adams, D-University City, and Braxton Payne, a strategist with Show-Me Victories.
The panel discussed municipal court reform at length before spending some time debating the relative merits of increasing pay for state employees and, finally, briefly touching on the future of the Missouri Republican Party in the wake of the suicides of Tom Schweich and Spence Jackson.
The full episodes can be streamed at twmp.tv.
Some highlights from the show:
“We need to pay the employees of this state a living wage and we’re not doing that,” — Rep. Joe Adams
“You have to look at the whole picture Government needs to become more efficient and more corporate minded.” – Jack Spooner
“You saw it in North County, you see a big backlash against government, and government can do a lot of good things, but traffic fines is not one of them,” — Braxton Payne
“Having Spence Jackson pass away….. It’s going take time for the wounds to heal. Many people in the party are trying to mend fences and do their best,” Rep. John Wiemann
Collin Reischman is the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. To contact Collin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @CMReischman