Legislative Session Begins with Election Year Warnings - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jefferson City, MO

Legislative Session Begins with Election Year Warnings

JANUARY 4, 2006 - Posted at 3:10 p.m. CST


JEFFERSON CITY, MO - Republican legislative leaders are encouraging colleagues to set aside election-year motives and enact new health care programs and property protections in the 2006 session.

The Missouri House and Senate convened around noon today on a largely ceremonial day reserved for laying out their legislative priorities.  They will hear Republican Governor Matt Blunt's budget and policy proposals January 11 and then will work about four days a week until the session ends May 12.

Republicans hold a 96-to-64 House majority over Democrats and 22-to-11 majority in the Senate.  All of the House seats and half of the Senate seats are up for election this year.

Having accomplished nearly their entire agenda in 2005, the Republican lawmakers and governor have less of a natural rallying point this year.

But Blunt, House Speaker Rod Jetton and Senate President Pro Tem Michael Gibbons share some common goals for the session:

-more money for public schools;

-new restrictions on the use of eminent domain to take private property;

-longer sentences for sex offenses against children;

-state aid to poor people struggling with high winter heating bills.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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