The issues surrounding Gov. Eric Greitens have brought a halt to action in the Missouri House and Senate and are threatening to derail normal legislative activity over the final few weeks of lawmakers’ annual session.
That jeopardizes a number of bills, including some the Republican governor supports, like a repeal of the state’s prevailing wage law and business-friendly changes to the state’s civil litigation system.
Greitens faces felony invasion of privacy charges stemming from a nude photo he allegedly took of a woman during a 2015 affair. A special House committee’s report on the affair contains testimony that Greitens was physically abusive toward the woman and coerced sexual behavior from her.
That has prompted calls from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers for Greitens to resign. Some want to begin impeachment proceedings.
House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, has said the House plans to wait until the special committee completes its investigation of Greitens to make a recommendation on impeachment proceedings. Richardson has said those would likely take place in a special session in late May or June.
However, legislative Democrats oppose a special session. House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, said Friday that impeachment proceedings should begin “immediately.”
Some Senate Democrats are calling for a blockade on sending bills to Greitens’ desk. Republicans have a supermajority in the chamber, but Democrats could halt action in the chamber through filibusters.