“That’s exactly what happened with Senate Bill 493,” says Barnes. “You saw a bill that the Senate passed 29-3, the House passed it with a bipartisan majority of 89 votes – obviously a little bit closer – but this is a bill which required a lot of work, a lot of compromises all around.”
See Barnes’ and Torpey’s letter to Gov. Nixon
Torpey says the bill isn’t perfect, but he wants to work with Nixon in the interim and next session to address the problems the governor has with the bill rather than see it vetoed.
“Education is such a complicated issue like Medicaid. I think it’s important to work together and to go forward,” says Torpey, “but to simply just blow a bill up, I don’t think that’s the right approach.”
Nixon says he can’t support a bill that would allow tax dollars to go to private schools. Barnes says that would make him like “legislative absolutists,” who make progress on key issues impossible.
The pair write, “Instead of insisting on a bill which is “perfect” to you, we ask that you read the bill as a whole. If you do, we believe you will find that the private option is only a small portion of the bill – a portion we believe is vital and necessary, but a small one nonetheless.”
Barnes says Medicaid and the transfer bill are similar in that both will require compromise, but he and Torpey both say their letter is not to suggest that they won’t work with Nixon on Medicaid if he doesn’t do what they want on the student transfer bill.
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