Kip Kendrick holds town hall meeting

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COLUMBIA - State Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, held a town hall meeting Wednesday with his constituents. 

The meeting comes almost three weeks after the formal end of the legislative session, and days after the legislature was called back into session to work on bills permitting potential manufacturing facilities.

The session was the first under Republican Governor Eric Greitens.

The Republican-controlled legislature passed a number of controversial bills during the session, including right-to-work legislation, which keeps businesses from requiring potential employees to join a union.

Other measures included workers compensation reform, which raised the standard for grounds to sue an employer, and changes to the state's workers' compensation database.

By the end of the session, Republicans were applauding progress, while top Democrats were hitting them on what they said was an inability to govern. 

"This was also a year where there were fewer bills passed than any general assembly, at least in recent history," Kendrick said. "And there was a lot of, uh, there was a lot of good things that died, that didn't make it across the finish line: things that need to get done, things that should have been done years ago."

Kendrick, the House of Representatives' minority whip, heard questions about taxes, jobs, and healthcare. People at the meeting spoke passionately about healthcare, many expressing concern that medicare rates could go up.

"I would like to see single-payer healthcare for all," said Kaye Mallory, who attended the meeting. "I think that's the only way to go."

The meeting lasted until shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday at the ARC in Columbia.

Editor's note: this story has been updated with the latest information from the meeting.

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