Special Session Begins Monday, Democrats Not Enthusiastic

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. (KMOX) – Ordered by the governor, the Missouri Legislature returns to Jefferson City this morning for another special session, its second in recent weeks, this one dealing with abortion. Greitens was asked about rumors he might call two or three more special session to get other items on his agenda through the legislature.

“We are keeping every option on the table. We let folks know at the end of the session, we said their work is incomplete, and we’re going to call them back. After we have success here, we’ll bring the team together and we’ll look at the next step in our agenda, but absolutely, we’re going to keep every option on the table,” he says.

On the agenda starting this morning: Greitens wants lawmakers to repeal a St. Louis city ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on the abortion issues. Also, he wants lawmakers to pass more regulations for abortion clinics, such as annual health inspections.

Greitens’ call to legislature includes eight new restrictions, including allowing the attorney general to prosecute the new violations. The discussion will likely prompt several democratic filibusters, leading to long nights ahead.

Mayor Lyda Krewson doesn’t like this trend of state lawmakers overturning or pre-empting local laws.

“I just wish the state would allow us to think about what makes sense for us in the city of St. Louis. That goes for guns, goes for cold medicine, goes for minimum wage, all of those kinds of things. It’s not a one-size fits all,” she says.

State Representative Bruce Franks of St. Louis city says Governor Greitens’ pro-life special session doesn’t meet the requirements for a special session.

“Our governor doesn’t understand that we have a legislative process for a reason, and I don’t think he truly understands the definition of ‘extraordinary’. The constitution doesn’t say ‘special’ session, it says ‘extraordinary circumstances’,” Franks says.

And State Senator Jamilah Nasheed says Greitens appears to be running for something.

“I see a man who’s, again, pandering to his base for the purpose of running on a national level, a national scale, and I also see a man who didn’t get a lot of his agenda done during the regular session because of the in-fighting with the republicans,” she says.

Both Nasheed and Franks are predicting Republicans in the state legislature might not be so cooperative with the governor during this special session.

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