By Ashley Jost
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — In an email to a few senators and House leadership this morning, Rep. Jeff Grisamore, R-Lee’s Summit, threatened to resign from the remaining year of his final House term.
Grisamore’s email indicated that if House bills 717 and 727, or “at least SCS HCS HB 727” were not passed out of the Senate today and sent back to the House to be truly agreed, he would be resigning.
“If these bills — 717 & 727 — die in the Senate after the Disabilities Omnibus was vetoed last year, I see no reason to remain in office as I am unnecessarily being blocked from making a difference for our most vulnerable citizens, with my disabilities legislation being vetoed last year and unnecessarily being left to die in the Senate this year,” Grisamore said in the email.
HB717 is the omnibus package for children and family, and HB727 is the omnibus package for persons with disabilities. Grisamore is the chair of the Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities committee.
“My highest legislative priority is to advocate for Missouri’s neediest citizens-vulnerable seniors, at-risk women and children and especially individuals with physical, developmental and mental health disabilities,” Grisamore told The Missouri Times Friday.
The email came after the there was no action taken and the Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee meeting cancelled Friday morning on the two bills.
Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar, the Chair for Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight — the committee the bills would have been heard from this morning — said he was one of the multiple senators to receive the email.
“He expressed that this issue was of the utmost importance to him personally and professionally,” Parson said. He added that as far as the threat to resign, he’d “let the email speak for itself.”
Grisamore said his passion to fight for individuals with disabilities is driven by the death of his daughter, Rebekah, who died 10 years ago at 18 days old because of complications from Prader-Willi Syndrome.
“To have passed [House Bill] 555 — the first Disabilities Omnibus in Missouri State History — in 2011 at 5:55 p.m. on the last day of session was a historic advancement for individuals with disabilities,” Grisamore said. “Last year’s veto in [House Bill] 1900 was disappointing. We have an opportunity to still get [House Bill] 727 across the finish line. The House is ready to truly agree and finally pass it as soon as the Senate sends it to us.”
If Grisamore resigns and Rep. Jason Smith were to be elected to Congress, the Republicans could lose their historic supermajority and would be unable to override the governor’s vetoes without vote from the Democratic caucus.
To contact Ashley Jost, email email@example.com, or via Twitter at @ajost.
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.