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Lawmakers looking to next legislative session

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Missouri house adjourned ahead of Friday's deadline.

The house was able to pass several bills before finishing for the year but house leaders talked about the things they didn't get done.

Speaker Rob Vescovo (R - Arnold) mentioned reforms Republicans wanted to make to the initiative petition process. Vescovo said the caucus was also upset did not pass a so-called "Parents' Bill of Rights," which would have placed more rules on public school boards.

VIDEO: Republican House leaders hold news conference after adjournment

"We of course have several bill sponsors on that, and upset that that didn't get achieved. Again this caucus is going to have to move forward this year and try again," Vescovo said.

Democrats see this November as an opportunity, though, to get more democrats in with all the problems republicans seem to have working together.

House Minority Floor Leader Rep. Crystal Quade (D - Springfield) says, "When we go back to looking at what we're going to be campaigning this year, it is again, the dysfunction that continues to happen in this building. And I think voters a frustrated and eager to get new leadership."

VIDEO: Democratic House leaders hold news conference after adjournment

The senate was not in session as they adjourned last night after they passed a congressional map.

A new map for state House districts could also bring more Democrats to Jefferson City from Boone County. Dave's Redistricting estimates that four of the five House districts in Boone County lean Democratic based on prior election results. The county currently sends three Republicans and two Democrats in districts that stretch into other counties. Boone County now has four districts wholly within its boundaries.

Rep. David Tyson Smith (D-Columbia) is optimistic Democrats could pick up seats being vacated by Reps. Chuck Basye (R-Rocheport) and Sara Walsh (R-Ashland). He called the Democratic representation of Columbia "long overdue" in the state House.

"It's going to be great for public schools, it's going to be great to protect voters' rights," Smith said.

Basye told ABC 17 News that Republicans will have a challenge holding onto his 47th District seat in November. Columbia resident John Martin is the only GOP contender seeking the seat alongside Democrats Chimene Schwach and Adrian Plank. Basye said he would work to help get Martin elected.

Rep. Cheri Toalson-Reisch (R-Hallsville) is seeking a fourth and final term in the House. The 44th District, which now comprises north, east and south Boone County, is now the only one Dave's Redistricting lists as a Republican district.

Smith is now running for the 46th District, which will Rep. Martha Stevens (D-Columbia) is leaving at the end of this year. Retired CPS teacher and Democrat Kathy Steinhoff is seeking Smith's old 45th District seat. Douglas Mann and Renee Hoagenson will run in the Democratic primary for House District 50, facing GOP candidate James Musgraves.

Article Topic Follows: Missouri Politics

Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors the 5 p.m. show for ABC 17 News and reports on the latest news around mid-Missouri at 9 and 10 p.m.

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