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White: Veto session procedure should be set in rules

In the wake of Senate Republicans’ battle over rules and tradition during veto session, Sen. Bill White said he would take the lead on drawing a clear process in case of future issues. 

“You can’t put everything in writing for how you run an organization. I will be at caucus discussing that we need to put that into the rules,” White, the assistant majority floor leader, said. “It’s just inappropriate, and the fact that it’s not written in the rules I agree with.”

Some conservative members decried Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe’s refusal to recognize the motion to take up another senator’s bill as an example of executive overreach, an argument White said was a “red herring.” White said he would have made the same move as Kehoe had he been presiding over the chamber on the dais. 

White appeared on Sunday’s episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics” to discuss the veto session drama, the fallout of the federal reimbursement allowance (FRA) debate, and his Interim Committee on Medicaid Accountability and Taxpayer Protection

The committee reviewed its first report containing proposed legislative and regulatory changes to Medicaid funding for abortion providers last week.  

“I’m very sensitive to what we do — that it’s constitutional and not just constitutional to what the Supreme Court says but actually what’s written in our state constitution,” White said. “We want to deal with all future abortion providers and their affiliates, so that’s one of the things we’ve taken an approach to this. Planned Parenthood was mentioned because they were used as an example, but we are working within the guidelines of the federal government.” 

Critical race theory 

Sen. Mike Cierpiot, Rep. David Tyson Smith, and The Missouri Times editor Kaitlyn Schallhorn joined this week’s panel to discuss battles over abortion law taking place across the country, mask mandates, and education. 

Smith addressed the outcry over critical race theory (CRT), an ongoing debate across the nation and in the Missouri Legislature.

“At the lower level, it’s not really being taught, but there’s been a big issue about it so now pretty much anything about African American history or slavery or racism is now coupled together as critical race theory and people are in outrage,” Smith said. “There’s nothing horrible being taught in school right now; that’s history.”

Cierpiot said the General Assembly would likely take action on the issue next session, pointing to complaints from constituents alleging that proponents of CRT were “after equality and outcomes rather than equal opportunity.” 

Watch the full episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics” below or listen to the podcast version here