Capitol Connection: Beginning of Session 2013

Lawmakers Open 2013 Session

The First Regular Session of the 97th Missouri General Assembly convened at the State Capitol at noon Wednesday, kicking off a year in which policy rather than politics is likely to take center stage. After a combative election season that served to increase Republican control of the legislature, lawmakers are poised to settle in and get down to work. Common themes from both House and Senate leadership focused on legislation impacting economic development, energy, education, workers compensation, transportation funding and tax reform.

Opening day found the Republicans firmly in control of both the House and Senate. The GOP margin in the House is 109-52 with two vacancies, giving Republicans enough votes to override a gubernatorial veto. Republicans dominate the Senate 24-10, also allowing them to turn back a veto if they choose.

Rep. Tim Jones will serve as Speaker of the House. Senator Tom Dempsey was selected as President Pro Tem. Both lawmakers are from the greater St. Louis area. Committee chairs and committee members were also named this week. The House Utilities Committee will be led by Rep. Doug Funderburk, a St. Charles Republican. In the Senate, Senator Brad Lager from Maryville will continue to chair the Senate Commerce Committee. These committees are the primary gateways to the floor for most telecommunications legislation.

Lawmakers will turn their attention to inauguration events and festivities on Monday as Governor Jay Nixon is sworn in to his second and final term. The governor will reveal his policy and budget priorities to lawmakers on January 28.

The legislature will meet weekly through mid-May.

Weekly Coverage Online: For the latest on industry issues please visit our current Manager’s Memo.

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