Legislative staffers join #moleg podcast to speak on upcoming special session
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -As legislators assemble to prepare for the special session that was announced, two legislative staffers join the #MoLeg Podcast crew to talk about the upcoming special session on abortion. Hannah Beers of Sen. Ryan Silvey’s staff and Ryan Clearwater from the offices of Reps. Jay Barnes and Paul Curtman join the conversation to discuss their understanding of the session as well as what opinions constituents have over it.
Gov. Eric Greitens called for a special session regarding the issue of sanctuary cities for abortion practices within Missouri.
The session will primarily deal with an ordinance to make St. Louis one of these cities and whether it should be struck down. It is also possible by the end of the session more regulations will be imposed on abortion practices and practitioners.
Both Republicans and Democrats are notably divided on the issue. While the Missouri Democratic Party states that the government is intruding on women’s health decisions, the Missouri Republican Party has praised Greitens’ decision to call for another session.
When asked if they had heard any feedback from constituents and if they were calling for the session, Clearwater responded by explaining what he has experienced in work for Barnes.
“Generally speaking from what I have seen, especially from Representative Barnes’ district, people will call,” Clearwater said. “They’ll start to call once it starts to hit the media more and then once the session actually begins.”
Clearwater went on to describe the media’s part when informing and influencing constituents.
“I think the responsibility of the legislature to communicate to media sources and to their constituents in order to make sure their points of view are heard and also how their government’s doing,” Clearwater said.
Beers added on to Clearwater’s statement as the lack of communication from Greitens’ that a special session had been announced was lacking.
“The legislature wasn’t even aware. It came out on social media beforehand,” Beers said. “I think they’re making the process for themselves harder rather than easier. They have a legislative team, communicate to the legislature.”
Throughout the podcast, the staffers elaborated on the culture within Missouri government and how a supermajority can affect the attitudes and outcomes of legislation, especially now, during a time of session.
“You saw a shift in the Senate to really go back to the body of individuals this session,” Beers said. “It’s a group of individuals over party, so seeing the shift back to that this session was enlightening.”
The podcast came to an end with co-host, Becky Lohmann’s game of “Five Questions” where she and the audience learns Clearwater and Beers greatest fears.
The podcast is taped weekly and up online at themissouritimes.com/podcast and can be subscribed to in the iTunes Store.