A Frantic Finish for MO Legislature

9 years 5 months 1 week ago April 18, 2007 Apr 18, 2007 Wednesday, April 18 2007 Wednesday, April 18, 2007 11:46:40 PM CDT in News

The May 18th end-of-session deadline is drawing near.  With a little more than four weeks remaining in session, the Missouri legislature is gearing up for a frantic finish. 

There are three pieces of legislation yet to be decided.  Senate Bill 389, which authorizes the sale of MoHELA assets for higher education funding, is among the undecided legislation.  Senate Bill 577, the Missouri Health Improvement Act, which overhauls the state's health care plan, is also undecided.  Both houses have yet to debate Missouri's operating budget for fiscal year 2008.

Republican leadership in the house and senate are confident they can finish the session strong.

"We're pretty well closing in on the Senate Bills that we need to finish, and we've got the better part of four weeks to deal with House Bills that have come over," said Senator Michael Gibbons of Kirkwood. "And I feel like were in good shape."

"The Senate right now, the ball's in their court," said Representative Carl Bearden of St. Charles. "They have almost every one of these proposals over there. We have HealthNet over here but the rest of the proposals are over there. So if they can pick it up and get it going I'm confident that we'll be able to accomplish some pretty significant objectives this year."

However some Democrats disagree with the optimism of Republicans.

"A lot of the Governor's agenda is not going to get passed, and I think that shows that he is a pretty weak leader right now," said Representative Jeff Harris of Columbia. "He's done a good job raising campaign finance money, but he has not done a very good job leading the state."

A frantic finish or not, the next couple of weeks will be anything but slow in the Missouri legislature.  The senate plans to re-open debate on the MoHELA bill tomorrow.

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