Missouri lawmakers select leaders for next session

Posted November 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm

by Jordan Shapiro

With a veto-proof majority, House Republicans elected their chamber leaders during a closed-door meeting Wednesday, Nov. 7.

Current House Speaker Tim Jones, R-St. Louis County, was tapped to run the House in the next legislative session. Jones became Speaker in September when former Speaker Steve Tilley resigned to become a lobbyist.

The House Republicans also elected Rep. John Diehl, R-St. Louis County, as their majority leader. Diehl will control the flow of legislation on the House floor next session.

Another St. Louis County lawmaker, Rep. Rick Stream, was tapped to head the powerful House Budget Committee.

This is the first time since 1930 the Republicans have controlled a two-thirds majority in the state House.

Senate Republicans selected their leadership Thursday, Nov. 8, to run the veto-proof GOP majority in a closed-door caucus meeting.

A former state House Speaker, Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, was elected the Senate’s Republican floor leader after serving only two years in the chamber.

Before being elected to the Missouri Senate in 2010, Richard served eight years in the state House. He was chosen as House speaker after the 2008 elections.

Senate Republicans also picked Sen. Tom Dempsey, R-St. Louis County, to serve as president pro tem. Dempsey was previously the Senate’s floor leader.

Democrats in both the House and Senate also Thursday, Nov. 8, to select their leaders. The Senate chose Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, to be their minority floor leader and the House chose Rep. Jacob Hummel, D-St. Louis City, to lead its caucus.

Justus is the first openly gay lawmaker to win a leadership post.