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Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

Politically Speaking: Rep. Wiley Price Gives His Early Impressions Of Missouri House Service

State Rep. Wiley Price, D-St. Louis
State Rep. Wiley Price, D-St. Louis

State Rep. Wiley Price is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The St. Louis Democrat talked extensively about his first few months in the Missouri House as well as a slew of bills he’s sponsored to overhaul the state’s elections.

Price was first elected last year to represent Missouri’s 84th House District, which takes in portions of the western part of St. Louis. It includes largely African American neighborhoods in north St. Louis as well as primarily white parts of south St. Louis.

Price comes from a civically minded family. His father, Wiley Price III, is a photographer for the St. Louis American and a recent inductee into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame. His mother, Leata Price-Land, is a longtime community activist who recently ran for the 26th Ward aldermanic seat, losing narrowly to Shameem Hubbard.

When the 84th District House seat became open after state Rep. Karla May ran for the state Senate, Price ran against attorney Brad Bakker in the August 2018 Democratic primary. He emerged victorious by about 800 votes, a win that was tantamount to election in the heavily Democratic district.

Since being sworn into the House earlier this year, Price has served on committees dealing with criminal justice, career readiness and downsizing state government.

Here’s what Price had to say during the show:

  • Price said that Democrats, who are heavily outnumbered in the Missouri House, can make headway if they’re willing to work with the Republican majority on issues of common agreement.
  • He’s trying to get the GOP House to approve legislation that would create “no-excuse” absentee voting, allowing someone to cast a ballot early. Currently, voters must provide a specific reason for voting absentee.
  • Price is also seeking to implement an early voting system in the state, as well as automatically register people based off information provided by specified state agencies and institutions.
  • Price is opposed to legislation that would require voters to register by party and therefore create "closed" primaries in Missouri. Currently, a registered voter can request a primary ballot of their choosing.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter:@jrosenbaum

Follow Wiley Price on Twitter:@ImWithWiley

Music: “Big Empty” by Stone Temple Pilots

Copyright 2019 St. Louis Public Radio

Since entering the world of professional journalism in 2006, Jason Rosenbaum dove head first into the world of politics, policy and even rock and roll music. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Rosenbaum spent more than four years in the Missouri State Capitol writing for the Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri Lawyers Media and the St. Louis Beacon. Since moving to St. Louis in 2010, Rosenbaum's work appeared in Missouri Lawyers Media, the St. Louis Business Journal and the Riverfront Times' music section. He also served on staff at the St. Louis Beacon as a politics reporter. Rosenbaum lives in Richmond Heights with with his wife Lauren and their two sons.