House Speaker Tim Jones and Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey will outline their priorities during speeches kicking off the 2014 General Assembly this afternoon. Jones, R-Eureka, signaled Tuesday that passing legislation to lessen the power of labor unions would be among his top priorities. The speaker said it would be easier to attract industry, such as Boeing Co.’s massive aircraft plant, if Missouri became the 25th state to allow “total worker freedom and choice.”
Budgeting will be an area of early conflict. The governor and the appropriations chairmen can’t agree on how much revenue the state is likely to take in during the fiscal year that begins July 1. Legislators will base their budget on 4.2 percent growth. Nixon has not released his figure but wants to use a higher estimate. He will deliver his “State of the State” speech and budget proposals on Jan. 21.
Republicans control both the House and Senate, but because of resignations, they fall one short in the House of the two-thirds majority needed to override a gubernatorial veto.