by Mike Ferguson
(St. Charles, MO) – 2015 has, obviously, been a difficult year in Missouri’s state government.
The tragic loss of State Auditor Tom Schweich was followed by two resignations of lawmakers (one Republican, one Democrat) who were accused of personal misconduct. In related problems, the state’s intern program was also the center of high profile controversies.
Our current Speaker of the House, Representative Todd Richardson (R), assumed that role when one of the aforementioned resignations removed then-Speaker John Diehl from office. Richardson inherited the leadership role where his party has overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the State Legislature.
He says there are still changes that need to be made to improve what happens at the State Capitol.
Among the goals the Speaker discusses this week are his plans to overhaul the internship program and institute new House rules regarding sexual harassment. He also talks about legislative goals, including another push for a “right to work” law in 2016. That proposal made it through the Legislature this year and vetoed by Governor Nixon. The effort to override that veto failed.
Also, this week’s episode includes Secretary of State Jason Kander (D), whose campaign to unseat US Senator Roy Blunt next year is drawing national attention already.
Kander explains his outlook on rebuilding our economy by focusing on the middle class. He’s proposing an income tax cut for middle class Americans and says he wants to increase taxes and end some tax incentives for large corporations. Kander says those incentives are rewarding companies for moving their workforce outside the US.
On matters impacting our relationships with countries in the Middle East, Kander reaffirms his opposition to the recent nuclear deal with Iran.
He also discusses why he feels Planned parenthood should continue to receive federal funding.
On the web:
Rep. Todd Richardson (below, left)
Sec. Jason Kander (below, right)