GOP majority in Missouri House at a record level
Nov 09, 2012 (St. Joseph News-Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The number of Republicans in the Missouri House reached record levels after Tuesday's election.
The House gained four more Republicans, pushing them to 110, two more than what's needed to override a veto from the governor.
But with more members, there are more personalities and differing needs from district to district. Bills might pass easily, but bringing 108 of the 110 to the same decision to override a veto is not as easily achieved.
One need look no further than the Senate, where Republicans have had a veto-proof majority for years and butt heads frequently. The Senate had 26 Republicans and eight Democrats in the last session. Republicans lost two seats and Democrats gained two in the general election, bringing the totals for 2013 to 24 and 10.
Sen. Dr. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, said being veto-proof "isn't as powerful as it sounds." The "right to work" legislation is an example of how a Republican-led bill can be held up by Republican senators who didn't think the bill was good for their districts.
"It's nice to have veto-proof majorities on some issues," he said, "but it doesn't mean we can run roughshod over the governor. We can't."
House Republicans had their caucus this week and established their leaders. Rep. Delus Johnson, R-St. Joseph, said they were enthusiastic, despite having only one victory in statewide races (Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder over Democrat Susan Montee). No specific bills will be discussed until December, but they did establish that job creation, a balanced budget and low taxation would be the focus.
Mr. Johnson said the biggest advantage to being veto-proof is that they could pass more economic development bills and fight future federal mandates.
"It's pretty exciting," he said. "We weren't expecting to gain seats."
Rep. Mike Thomson, R-Maryville, said he's confident they won't use their majority as a "bully pulpit." He said it's more likely that it will lead to better negotiations with the governor's office.
"I would hope that would bring people to the table earlier now," he said.
Republican House members meet again Dec. 19 at the Capitol, where they will decide which issues will get top billing when the 2013 session begins Jan. 9.
Jimmy Myers can be reached
Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPMyers.
___ (c)2012 the St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, Mo.) Visit the St. Joseph
News-Press (St. Joseph, Mo.) at www.newspressnow.com/index.html Distributed by
MCT Information Services
[ Back To Technology News's Homepage ]