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Politics

Legislative Session Begins

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/legislativ_1776.mp3

Lawmakers began the legislative session today. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC HOUSE LEADERS HELD A JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER THE OPENING OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION. NEWLY-ELECTED HOUSE SPEAKER ROD JETTON A REPUBLICAN FROM RURAL SOUTHEAST MISSOURI SAYS HE WANTS ALL LAWMAKERS TO HAVE A VOICE.

HE SAYS HE REMEMBERS WHAT IT WAS LIKE IN HIS FIRST TERM WHEN REPUBLICANS WERE IN THE MINORITY.

THE DEMOCRATIC FLOOR LEADER JEFF HARRIS SAYS HE'S WILLING TO WORK WITH THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY.

HE SAYS HE WAS GLAD TO HAVE A JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE WITH REPUBLICANS.

THE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS CHAIR ROBIN WRIGHT JONES ALSO TALKED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF BI-PARTISANSHIP.

SHE URGED REPUBLICANS TO LOOK FOR WAYS TO WORK WITH DEMOCRATS.

TO HELP FOSTER BI-PARTISANSHIP, HOUSE SPEAKER ROD JETTON IS PROPOSING CHANGES TO THE HOUSE RULES THAT HE SAYS WILL GIVE MORE PROTECTIONS TO DEMOCRATS.

THERE WAS A SIMILAR ATTITUDE IN THE SENATE.

REPUBLICAN MICHAEL GIBBONS WAS ELECTED SENATE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.

AND THE SENATOR FROM THE FIFTH, THE DEMOCRATIC FLOOR LEADER STOOD TO SECOND HIS NOMINATION.

LATER, GIBBONS PRAISED HER.

BUT GIBBONS DID REMIND THE SENATE THAT MISSOURIANS ELECTED A REPUBLICAN MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE AND A REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR.

AS FOR THE ISSUES, REPUBLICAN LEADERS TALKED ABOUT THE NEED FOR LEGISLATION LIMITING LIABILITY LAWSUITS AND RESTRICTING WORKER'S COMPENSATION COVERAGE, ISSUES THAT CAUSED DEMOCRATIC FILLIBUSTERS IN PAST LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS.