May 22, 2015    11th Edition
Town Hall Meetings

Thank you all so much for coming to our Town Hall meeting April 30th. We had some good conversations and all got to know each other a little bit better.

We are planning another meeting sometime in late July, as it has been requested that we meet again to discuss the conditions of our roads and bridges and finding solutions for better maintenance. I will invite our area's MoDOT representative to answer specific concerns. She know the overall conditions as well as the status of current and future projects. We will also discuss various ideas as to how to finance these projects.

Watch your email for the notice.

End of Session Report.

Keep an eye on your mailbox as I will be sending you an End of Session report on some of the more major bills that passed or did not pass, as well as how I voted. This mailing will be going to about 10,000 households as I feel this is important information for everyone; and I only have about 600 email addresses.

The Bizzare End of the Legislative Session

Admittedly, we all have some curiosity about gossip; sometimes it is true – sometimes not.

For the last 3 weeks of session, rumors were floating around the Capitol regarding Missouri Southern State University's decision to abruptly call their student interns back to campus. As we all know now, House Speaker Representative Diehl was involved with an intern. As a caucus the Democrats were asking him to step down as speaker, with no comment in regard to whether he should be removed from his seat as well. Ultimately he resigned both his speakership and his House seat and is no longer a member of the Missouri House of Representatives.

The day before the last day of session, Thursday (May 14) a procedural dispute in the Senate disrupted work progress. In reaction to a premature cutoff of debate regarding the so-called Right to Work bill, a substantial group of Senators decided they would block any and all legislation coming through the Senate. However, that bill did pass, but not with enough votes to override a threatened gubernatorial veto.

All of this chaos put the House in a state of now what; with the Senate not sending bills to the House for final approval. Normally the second to last day of session is a particularly busy one, running late into the night. On this specific Thursday, the House was in session for 15 minutes in the morning and 20-30 minutes in the afternoon, then adjourned for the day.

This brought us to Friday (May 15), by law the last day of session.
  • The House Minority Chair was collecting signatures on the petition to remove Diehl from the Speaker's office (before the 1:00 resignation)
  • Mr. Diehl resigned prior to the House session. Representative Todd Richardson was elected Speaker.
  • We proceeded to address bills that had passed the Senate.
  • Meanwhile news crews were circling the Speakers office waiting for him to appear, while stalking the hallways talking to anyone willing to go on record.
  • Right to Work opponents were marching and chanting in the hallways circling the House creating quite the stir with lots of noise. A couple of times it became so loud that the side doors had to be locked, as with people going in and out we could not hear the discussions in the House Chamber… even with the microphones. The press was complaining about being locked out but there is a press gallery overlooking the House they could have used. The doors were unlocked for all but about 15 minutes total.
Meanwhile we were in the House passing bills... moving very, very slowly… and accomplishing little. Then things started getting strange:
  • Proceedings were interrupted when Rep. Shelley Keeney, of Marble Hill was presiding, by prearrangement her boyfriend was secretly allowed in and he surprised her with a marriage proposal (which she promptly accepted).
  • There was a guy wearing a salt costume, I still know not why.
  • Then there was a group giving away banana splits with all the toppings.
All of this drama, and still we did nothing in regard to expanding Medicaid (saying no to another billion dollars of Federal money that would have financed it), numerous ethics reform bills were given little more than lip service, and Ferguson was ignored. Many have proclaimed this as probably the worst, least productive session of the Legislature ever.
As always

Thank you for your support, and for giving me the opportunity to represent you in Jefferson City.
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Paid for by Friends of Sue Meredith, Pam Crowley — Treasurer