Saint Louis — Senate Pro Tem Tom Dempsey joined This Week In Missouri Politics to discuss the coming budget fight and his decision to put Right-to-Work legislation on the Senate calendar for debate.
Dempsey opened by reiterating that he would not support the lump-sum approach that Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, is employing in his version of the state’s $26 billion budget.
“I appreciate what Senator Schaefer is trying to do,” Dempsey said. “He’s trying to reign in spending in welfare and social services…but I just felt that if you don’t have someone in the governor’s office who is going to be a partner in that, what you’re likely to see is harmful cuts to the people we care about and do want to serve instead of trimming some of the agency spending.”
Dempsey also told host Scott Faughn that he would be placing the controversial Right-to-Work legislation that passed the House earlier this year on the Senate calendar for debate, setting a likely collision course for the bill sometime late this week or early next week.
Dempsey said he felt that it was his responsibility to allow open debate on the issue this year after RTW passed in the House for the first time in Missouri history. Any move to vote on the legislation will likely require a Senate PQ — a rarely used procedural method to end debate or filibusters that requires the signature of 5 members and 18 votes on the floor — something Dempsey said was “strong probability.”
Faughn was joined on the Opinion Maker Panel by Mark Dalton, assistant political director for Missouri’s Carpenter’s Union, Rep. Robert Cornejo, a Republican, Megan Schackelford, a Democratic strategist with the Kelley Group, and Scott Dieckhaus, Executive Director of the HRCC.
Some highlights from the panel:
“Like Senator Dempsey said, [RTW] will blow up the senate if they do PQ. It tends to bring things to a screeching halt. To PQ something that many people see not becoming a law in the end, what is the necessity to PQ and slow everything down?” – Mark Dalton on RTW
“She’s going to be a great state auditor, anybody who has paid attention to Boone County knows she’s had a lot of success as treasurer there, she has a great background outside of politics auditing and being very budget-minded.” – Megan Shackelford on the new State Auditor Nicole Galloway.
“Peter Kinder has proven he can win any type of race, head-to-head with a Democrat or in a primary. He’s very, very savvy politician and I think he’s well respected. If Peter gets into the race, it changes quite a bit. You’re looking at a field of 5 or 6 candidates potentially right now. I think that number could shrink before we’re casting our vote for primary.” – Scott Dieckhaus on Republicans looking at the 2016 governor’s race.
“With all these St. Louis-area folks, an out-state person like Senator Parson out in the southwest area is going to have a legitimate shot.” – Rep. Robert Cornejo on Sen. Parson and the 2016 race.
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 email@example.com or via Twitter at @CMReischman