After protest delays, Republicans lay out legislative goals

Photo Courtesy of St.Louis Post-Dispatch
Photo Courtesy of St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Protestors delayed the first day of the Missouri Legislature’s 2015 session on Wednesday, but that didn’t dampen the optimism of the General Assembly’s strengthened Republican majority about the ability to enact its agenda.

The protestors, demanding lawmakers pass Medicaid expansion and address issues of racial justice, caused a 30-minute delay in proceedings before police eventually cleared visitors’ galleries. No arrests were made, and protesters said they would to return to the statehouse regularly this year.

Republicans, who beefed up their majorities in the House and Senate and gained new budget powers through the passage of a November ballot initiative, said the state budget will be a top priority. With the November vote, lawmakers can now overturn Gov. Jay Nixon’s budget cuts, and Republicans said they plan to pass their budget early this year in order to have time to override Nixon.

Republican leadership also said Wednesday that Medicaid expansion in the state remains a nonstarter.

Read more from the Kansas City Star and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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