Sen. Gary Romine’s Capitol Update – Sept. 24, 2018

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Sept. 24, 2018

General Assembly Convenes for Veto and Extraordinary Session


Every September we are required to hold a veto session to consider any legislation vetoed by the governor. This year we also met for an extraordinary session that ran concurrently with the veto session to reduce the cost of the session while efficiently using taxpayer dollars.

During veto session, the House of Representatives overrode the governor’s veto of four line items in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget. I believe this was an unnecessary action by the House of Representatives considering the governor’s office has stated funding for these programs will be provided through the current state budget, federal programs or a supplemental budget in January. The Missouri Senate took no action on these four items, which means the budget will go into effect as-is, with the governor’s vetoes upheld. There are plans in place to fund the four programs in question, and I fully support the governor’s plans moving forward into the next fiscal year.

During the course of the extraordinary session, we considered two pieces of legislation, one of which establishes a statewide STEM career awareness program and creates new provisions of law related to computer science.

House Bill 3 allows the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to create the “STEM Career Awareness Program” to increase STEM career awareness among students. Additionally, the bill encourages professional development by allowing funds to go toward training computer science teachers. Finally, HB 3 will facilitate the creation of a new state-wide graduation policy that allows students to fulfill one unit of academic credit with a district-approved computer science course in substitution of any required math, science or practical arts credit.

STEM careers are growing at a rapid rate, and we have thousands of unfilled computer science jobs throughout Missouri. I supported the original version of this legislation during regular session and believe, once it goes into effect in 90 days, it will allow schools throughout our state to offer new opportunities for students and teachers alike beginning in the 2019/2020 academic year.The extraordinary session also allowed the Missouri Senate to approve numerous gubernatorial appointments made by the governor during his first few months in office. I am happy to report three highly qualified individuals were nominated by the governor and approved by the Senate for placement on the State Board of Education. The appointment of Kimberly Bailey, Donald Claycomb and Carol Hallquis brings the State Board of Education within just a few members of being fully staffed. These three appointees are joining a great team, and I have complete confidence in their ability to choose a worthy candidate to be Missouri’s next commissioner of education.

I am very satisfied by the work done by the General Assembly this week and I look forward to returning home to the 3rd Senatorial District for a few months before the regular legislative session begins in January. I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4008. You may write me at Gary Romine, Missouri Senate, State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO 65101; or email me at; or