Legal wrangling from last November's election has not prevented a southeastern Missouri Republican lawmaker from being sworn in to office.
Kent Hampton narrowly defeated Democrat Tom Todd in the 150th House District. Todd is challenging the election's outcome in court because some voters who live in a neighboring district were given the wrong ballots and vice versa.
Hampton, of Malden, participated when the newly elected legislators were sworn-in Wednesday for the start of the 2013 legislative session.
The new 47th Missouri House district, which includes part of Boone County, may finally have a Republican nominee. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Mitch Richards was nominated by the Republican committee last night. He is the fourth nominee in less than one month. Richards is treasurer of the group Keep Columbia Free, and serves on the Citizens Police Review Board.
A Republican member of the Missouri House announced today that he is gay during a press conference on a bill that would limit public schools from discussing sexual orientation in the classroom. Zachary Wyatt of Kirksville told reporters he has deep regrets for not taking stands earlier against school bullying, and called for lawmakers to shelve the so-called “don’t say gay” bill.
With his disclosure today, Wyatt becomes the only current openly gay Republican state legislator in the nation.
St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin talked with Wyatt about the bill and his decision to come out.
The Missouri House has passed all 13 bills that make up the state’s budget and sent them to the Senate. The process took longer than expected, because of the large number of Democrats who took issue with cutting funding to blind pensions and for not spending enough on K-through-12 schools.