JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Here is what we can expect in the upcoming session in Jefferson City.
Finding a way to fund bridge and road repairs is already sparking debate. Voters rejected a proposed gasoline tax increase in 2018. But some lawmakers believe the state needs more money for repairs and maintenance.
Lawmakers are also at odds over gun laws. Some want the ability to pass more restrictions in high crime communities, while other lawmakers say any effort to restrict access to guns will be dead on arrival.
A big issue expected to be debated from the start of the session involves redistricting. Voters approved “Clean Missouri” in 2018 which re-vamped the way legislative districts are created.
The new process is an effort to make districts more competitive. Some lawmakers feel the process will dilute representation in African American communities. Other lawmakers feel the voters should not be overturned.
Sports wagering is an issue that’s already been discussed in committee hearings here at the capitol. Professional sports betting could be made legal in this session.
We will also be hearing from lawmakers about expanding Medicaid. Republican leaders have been opposed to expansion citing the cost of the program but a ballot initiative could make its way to voters this year.
“Our promise is to fight to uphold the will of the people,” Said Representative Crystal Quade, Democrat minority leader. “I am tired of hearing that voters are not smart enough to understand what they vote for. And I think that that is disrespectful to Missouri citizens. And my promise is that I’m going to fight for their voices to be heard.”
“The last 2 years have been the 2 most successful policy years that I’ve ever been a part of,” said Elijah Haahr, speaker of the House. “I’ve managed to reach a lot of the goals that we set early on.”
2020 is an election year so this is expected to be another busy legislative session and we’ll be here every step of the way to make sure you’re informed.