Speaker of the House Announces Plan for 2013
Rep. Tim Jones Says “Veto-Proof” Republican Majority Should Bring Governor Nixon to the Negotiating Table
(St. Charles, MO) – Voters returned Democrats to almost all executive offices in Missouri, but gave Republicans a record majority in the Legislature in the 2012 election.
That, Speaker Tim Jones says, should drive Governor Jay Nixon to the bargaining table early and often. “I think the numbers show him where the majority of the Missouri electorate is and that’s something he needs to take into consideration.”
“…He’s supposed to come to the Legislature first, in the State of the State address, and lay all that vision out and his goals. For things we can agree with him on, we’ll work with him. For things we disagree, we’ll try and find common ground.”
Jones faults the approach Nixon has taken to legislation and vetoing bills over the past couple of years.
“…he should work with us throughout the session versus not making any comments on specific legislation, so we never know where his position is, and then vetoing bills after we work hard for them all session long but then say ‘well, if you change this sentence or that sentence then I could sign them.’”
The bottom line, Jones says in the interview, is a need for Nixon to be more proactive.
“I’m looking for a little more partnership, a little more negotiation, a little more buy in from the Governor on issues that are important to Missourians, putting the politics aside.”
On those issues, the Speaker says the Legislature is unlikely to establish a health care exchange, as directed by the national health care law recently upheld by the US Supreme Court and unlikely to consider the Medicaid expansion Nixon is calling for.
One key conservative effort, though, is also likely to go nowhere this session: a “Right To Work” bill. While the Republican majorities in both chambers assure an easy passage of the bill, Jones believes he’ll lose “ten to fifteen” Republican votes needed to override the expected Nixon veto, so the bill won’t be pushed in 2013.
Representative Jones also addresses the effort to reform the tax incentive process in Missouri, the competition from surrounding states for economic development and the trend of states – including Missouri – pushing back against what some believe are intrusive federal mandates in health care.
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