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Lawmakers Respond to Governor

Monday, lawmakers in the House and Senate both had some strong words for the returning governor.Jay Nixon holds the highest office in the state, but it can be argued Republicans hold the power. The party has enough votes to overturn any veto from the governor.Nixon started out addressing the bi-partisan nature of Missouri’s government saying, “progress is not partisan.” Still, it’s a factor other lawmakers say may play a big role in the next couple of years.Governor Nixon assured the audience legislators will put their shared principles ahead of small differences in terms of governing the state. One senator, John Lamping out of Ladue, responded by tweeting, “[A] say-nothing speech from a do-nothing Governor; business as usual in Jefferson City.”Republican House Speaker Tim Jones was also critical. “I hope that the actions match the rhetoric over the next few years,” Jones said.Jones says over the past four years Democrats and Republicans alike often wasted time not knowing where the governor stood on issues “until after the legislation was passed and he would sharpen his veto pen.”Vetoing won’t be so easy this time around for the governor with veto-proof chambers. Speaker Jones says he hopes that doesn’t become an issue while passing laws. “I’d rather accomplish things on the front end without even the necessity of talking about a veto override.”Both Governor Nixon and Speaker Jones stuck with the theme of moving past partisan lines and working toward a better Missouri.Jones recalled the governor’s speech drawing comparisons to more than 100 years ago, back to the Civil War, when stronger ties divided the state.”The governor’s point, I think, was we’ve done it in the past with divided government, and we can do it again,” Jones said. “And that’s where I would welcome him to the table.”Speaker Jones says the governor has already taken steps to work collaboratively. Top staffers for each men met over the holidays, and tomorrow Jones says he and Nixon are sitting down to talk.For now, Jones says he’s waiting for the governor’s State of the State address to know specifically the governor’s agenda for the upcoming year.

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