Lawmakers in both chambers were asked to sign a petition to call for a special session, and by law, three-fourths of the General Assembly must sign it in order for the session to occur.
I was among the group of 29 senators who signed the document calling for a special session, which is set to begin on May 18, following the close of the 2018 legislative session. But I want to emphasize, I signed this document to ensure the Special Investigative Committee on Oversight has the time they need to continue their investigation. It is still possible the special session may not be needed.
During the special session, neither body will actually convene every day of the 30 days allowed by the Missouri constitution. If the House moves forward with impeachment proceedings, then the full House will need to convene for as many days as they require to determine their decision. If articles of impeachment are decided on, then the full Senate will meet to select seven judges which will probably take one or two days. If the House committee decides impeachment is not warranted, then the special session will expire.
Currently, the Missouri Legislature is facing uncharted territory, having never called itself in for special session or adopted articles of impeachment against a governor. The Missouri impeachment process is very involved and deliberate; it places the burden of merit on the Missouri House of Representatives. In other words, the House in this aspect acts similar to a grand jury to determine if there are grounds to move forward.
The last time the state of Missouri impeached an elected official was 24 years ago when former Secretary of State Judith Moriaty was removed from office.
The Legislature is still fulfilling its legislative duties, reviewing and approving legislation intended to make our state a better place for all Missourians. As events unfold, I will continue to keep you informed.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573)751-1464. For information about committees or my sponsored legislation for the 2018 legislative session, please visit my official Missouri Senate webpage at senate.mo.gov/Cierpiot.