Legislative special session sets up another fight over cities’ ability to self-govern

During its second special session, which began Monday, the Missouri General Assembly is addressing a frequent target: local control.

On issues ranging from gun rights to anti-discrimination regulations, Republican leaders have made it clear that they believe there should be a consistent law across Missouri. That’s why, since 2007, they’ve approved bills to bar communities from enacting stricter gun laws, overturned Kansas City’s higher minimum wage and tossed out Columbia’s plastic bag ban.

At the behest of Gov. Eric Greitens, Missouri legislators will aim during the second special session of the year to block the St. Louis Board of Aldermen’s action to bar employers or landlords from discriminating against women who are pregnant, have had abortions or use birth control.

State officials and lawmakers often don’t understand, or don’t care, about the issues that local governments face, according to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.

But Republican Sen. Paul Wieland of Imperial said lawmakers take action only when it’s clear that local control has run amuck.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio

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