Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh had nothing but praise for two members of her party for their work on the controversial abortion bill, but maintained the overall legislation was still “pretty scary.”
Walsh lauded Sens. Lauren Arthur and Jill Schupp in particular for the policy work they did behind the scenes on HB 126, which Gov. Mike Parson signed into law last month. She said they “really tried to get this bill somewhere where it was more palatable” — although ultimately none of the bill was acceptable for Democrats.
The bill bans abortions after eight weeks and includes many “nestled” components to include restrictions at 14, 18, and 20 weeks should a court overturn a portion of the law.
While the bill was still being debated in the Senate, Arthur and Schupp also kicked off an hours-long filibuster, decrying the lack of exemptions for victims of rape or incest.
“There’s some bad, bad things in there,” Walsh said during a Sunday appearance on This Week in Missouri Politics. “It’s the first time I’ve seen a bill like that [where] folks in the hospitals weighed in. So that’s pretty scary.”
However, Walsh also praised Republican Sen. Andrew Koenig for doing “a yeoman’s job” when it came to his work on the bill.
Walsh, who represents SD-13, was happy to see the infrastructure bonding bill, expediting the repairs of bridges and roads in Missouri, make it through the General Assembly. She also said she’s formed a great working relationship and friendship with Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, a Republican.
2020 gubernatorial election
Making up the panel this week were: Rep. Raychel Proudie, consultant David Barklage, and political operatives Angela Bingaman and Willis Jones.
The panel discussed State Auditor Nicole Galloway’s potential gubernatorial plans. Proudie said both Galloway and Parson are likable and nice people. But progressive Democrats, Proudie said, are looking for a candidate who has a strong record with criminal justice reform.
“Nicole comes in as a watchdog of all of Missourians,” Bingaman said. “She hasn’t been partisan until the last couple of months as we’ve seen her gear up for a potential run for governor.”
Earlier, Walsh said she hopes to see a “clean” gubernatorial race, with issues at the forefront of the campaigns.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in March 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City. Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S. and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa. She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. Contact Kaitlyn at email@example.com.