JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Just hours after Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, was left off the Senate’s list of budget conferees, he released a letter he penned to the Senate President Pro Tem, Ron Richard, saying that he could not, in good conscience, follow the chairman in defending some of the Senate positions on the state’s budget.
In the letter to Richard, whom Silvey referred to as “Senator Ronnie” after crossing out the original text of “Senator Richard,” he “thanked” the President Pro Tem for giving him a week off. However, he noted Richard’s decision to leave him off of the conference committee “transparently epitomizes the worst of petty political and flies in the face of 196 years of Senate tradition, it is a load off my mind not to be tasked with cleaning up the mess you have created.”
Silvey, the former House Budget chair and current vice-chairman of the Senate’s appropriations committee, was noticeably not included in the Senate leadership’s five picks to represent the chamber.
“My exclusion from the conference committee was purely political and unprecedented,” Sen. Silvey said in a release. “It seems that personal grudges and vendettas determine how leadership runs the Senate.”
In an exclusive story from the Missouri Times, Silvey said he believed he was left off because he had voted in favor of fully funding the K-12 education foundation formula in the budget passed by the Senate last week.
“Perhaps Senate leadership is retailing [sic] against me because I voted to give our children and school the funding that we annually promise to give them but never do,” Silvey said in the release.
The conference committee is expected to meet during this week to agree on a budget proposal to send to the House and Senate for approval before it can be presented to the governor for his signature.
Silvey’s letter can be read below in its entirety.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.