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Missouri's 2017 Legislative Session Opens

04 Jan 2017 5:45 PM | Anonymous

What's at the top of the GOP-controlled House's agenda?

Right to work.  Governor Greitens campaigned on a promise to pass a bill that prohibits Unions from mandating dues, legislators pre-filed bills and today, in his Opening Day address, House Speaker Todd Richardson said he would refer a bill to the Economic Development Committee tomorrow (1/5/17) and asked that the Committee get the bill to the House floor ASAP.

Ethics Reform.  Speaker Richardson said: "A gift ban will be the first bill out of this House."  Now whether this bill will have any teeth and actually have a reforming effect is anyone's guess, but the GOP, starting at the top with President Trump, is at least attempting to get reform soundbites.

Charter Schools.  Speaker Richardson today spoke about the need to expand access to charter schools.  A review of the currently filed bills suggests that this is an idea without a plan, but time will tell.  Keep an eye on HB189, offered by Kathryn Swan, which would establish a savings plan for K-12 educational expense and fits hand-in-glove with expanding charter schools.  Charter schools are likely to be the subject of renewed discussion in light of Trump's selection of Betsy DeVos, an advocate for charter school expansion, to be the Department of Education Secretary.

Tim West, LAKC MO Legislative Monitor
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