Intersection - A Conversation with District 44 Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch

Feb 21, 2017

This week on Intersection, we talk with Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch about her first session in the Missouri General Assembly. Republican Reisch represents District 44, which includes Northeast Columbia, Hallsville, Sturgeon and Centralia.The seat was formerly occupied by Caleb Rowden, who now occupies the 19th District seat in the Missouri Senate.

Listen to the full show here:


After this show ran, a listener wrote in asking how a family Rep. Reisch references in this interview could have a low income but not qualify for Medicaid, the number of insurers on the Affordable Care Act marketplace in Missouri, and high deductible healthcare plans. To help answer those questions, we spoke with KBIA health reporter Bram Sable Smith. 

After our interview in early February, we wanted to follow up with a few questions. This week, we talked with Rep. Reisch about how low-income families that don’t qualify for Medicaid can get health insurance. We also touched briefly on insurance for  Missouri House representatives . 

We also talked with Rep. Reisch about a Feb. 2 League of Women Voters forum in the Daniel Boone Regional Library. At that meeting, an attendee overheard Rep. Reisch say she had a gun in her bag.  Later, through her attorney, Reisch notified the library's board that she would take action if the library did not change signs banning weapons in the library.

When we spoke, Reisch said that she originally did not carry her gun into the library, but returned to her car when she saw that people associated with a Facebook event called “Let’s Swarm and Town Hall” were present, that the library was overcrowded and a police officer normally on duty at the library was not present. 

MacKenzie Everett-Kennedy is an English teacher who created the “Let’s Swarm and Town Hall”  Facebook event. "There were grumblings when people didn't agree, but I wouldn't describe the crowd as hostile," she said.  She added that a person who shouted at the speakers was not supported by other participants. Everett-Kennedy said she chose the word 'swarm' to draw attention to the event, and that 'swarm' does not signify violent. "That's not the definition," she said. 

The library changed its signage on February 17 to read "No person shall possess, on the library premises, a weapon of any kind, unless authorized by law.” The previous signs read: "Carrying or possession of firearms or weapons prohibited."

A video of the meeting has been posted to YouTube. 

Intersection's producers are Claire Banderas, Kelly Palecek and Abby Ivory-Ganja.