On Ozarks Tonight. Governor Greitens. Talk of impeachment. His upcoming trial, and where things stand on the state budget.
Good evening. We're joined by News-Leader reporter Will Schmitt, who is in Jeff City for us tonight. Will, good evening. Let's get right down to it.
Talk of impeachment of Governor Greitens heating up in the House this week.
"Brian, the latest here in Jefferson City is that lawmakers have voted to call themselves into a special session to consider possible discipline, including impeachment proceedings for Governor Eric Greitens," Schmitt said. "Now, it's not definite, and in those thirty days you're going to have a lot we don't know which is really unprecedented territory here. But that certainly is a possibility at this point. There are significant numbers, certainly of Democrats, who are ready for the governor to be impeached and there's a growing, but still small, number of Republicans who think he should either resign or be impeached."
Now, Will what about the state budget process? It is getting late in this legislative session. Where do things stand?
"Negotiators in the House and Senate were scheduled to hash out budget differences on Wednesday," Schmitt said. "That was also the same day the House investigative committee released its second full report into its investigation of Gov. Greitens, and the budget negotiations have since been pushed back to Monday. But they're still optimistic they can get them done on time."
And just to clarify Will, the governor has the authority to withhold funds if it's deemed that state revenue ends up being below projections, is that right?
"Yet, actually, we saw last year he signed the budget for the current fiscal year in the immediately withheld money," Schmitt said.
Will, what is the latest on the governor's trial?
"So his trial is scheduled to begin May 14 in St Louis," Schmitt said. "And that is the first felony. That's the invasion of privacy felony. Of course, he has proclaimed his innocence there. He has several lawyers working on his behalf. That, you know, they tried to get the case dismissed. They tried to get the case to go before a judge. That was unsuccessful, so we're scheduled for a jury trial May 14th, and we may have a result of the trial before lawmakers begin on their special session. So depending on the outcome of the governor's first trial in a couple weeks, that will be a big factor in whether lawmakers decide to go ahead and beach or not."
All right. News Leader Reporter Will Schmitt joining us tonight. Will, as always, we appreciate it.
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