Three Weeks to Go
We’re rapidly approaching the end of the 2022 legislative session. May 6 is the constitutional deadline for passing a balanced state operating budget, and May 13 is the final day of session. With time running out, and so many legislative priorities yet to get across the line, we’re finally seeing the process working much smoother. This week, floor activity clicked along nicely and we were able to move quite a few bills.
One thing we didn’t see this week was the long late-night sessions that have been so common this year. Committees are not allowed to meet while the Senate is in session, and the Appropriations Committee needed time to meet and markup the budget. I really appreciate the work that committee did, working late into the evening, reviewing the House budget bills and offering suggestions for changes. I anticipate we’ll be discussing the budget in the Senate chamber next week, and hopefully moving that onto the governor in time.
We’ve reached the point in the session when lawmakers look for opportunities to attach their legislative proposals onto bills that are farther along in the process. Typically, this results in a few omnibus legislative packages with multiple provisions all related to the same general topic. It appears my Senate Bill 690 may become one of these omnibus bills, with a number of House members expressing interest in adding amendments related to health care. The bill is working its way through the House now, and I look forward to seeing their changes when the revised bill comes back to the Senate for another look. Meanwhile, I’m working with some House members to get their suicide awareness and prevention language added to Senate bills.
While we’re starting to make progress moving some of these bills along, I am disappointed in what we have not accomplished. We have not passed a ban on critical race theory in public schools. We have not moved the issue of transgender students participating in school-sponsored sports programs. And we haven’t accomplished election reform. Those are three things that I believe we need to get done. I would like to see the legislation that addresses these issues make it through both chambers and onto the governor’s desk before we adjourn.
There’s three weeks left to go. We’ll see what happens but, typically, when we get down to the last few weeks, people stop messing around and everyone starts pushing in the same direction. Looking forward to that change!
I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-2459. You may write me at Holly Thompson Rehder, Missouri Senate, State Capitol, Rm 433, Jefferson City, MO 65101, send an email to Holly.Rehder@senate.mo.gov or visit www.senate.mo.gov/Rehder.