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Fri May 18, 2012
End of session will lack drama, but not fireworks
Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 6:34 am
It's the final day of the regular legislative session for the Missouri General Assembly.
Lawmakers have spent the past week clearing a backlog of bills that accumulated during a showdown over the state budget.
Last year at this time, the state House and Senate were deeply divided over tax credits, and a bill returning control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department back to the city of St. Louis had become a bargaining chip in the turf war.
This year, things have been more productive.
"We moved aggressively and early on worker's compensation, the employment discrimination bill," said Senate Republican floor leader Tom Dempsey. "We really did a much better job of planning and not leaving things until the last week. I like, as the Majority Leader, a boring week."
But a lack of drama won't mean a lack of fireworks, says House Republican leader Tim Jones. Both chambers will take up one of the year's most controversial measures.
"It's the pro-life bill for this year," Jones said. "Most folks are opposed to having insurance mandates of any kind on their health insurance plans, and this will allow folks to opt out for issues like contraception, sterilization, things like that."
Other issues that could see some floor time include the latest attempt to require photo ID at the polls and a public safety bill that includes a provision making it illegal to disrupt worship services.
The session ends at 6 pm tonight. Keep track of all of the day's action by following Marshall Griffin on Twitter - he's @MarshallGReport