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House Rules Compromise

January 12, 1999
By: Melissa Miller
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - House Republicans and Democrats struck a compromise Tuesday morning that representatives of both parties said will set the tone for the legislative session.

Currently in the House, the minority floor leader appoints Republican committee members, with the Speaker of the House retaining veto power over appointments.

"There was an effort in the Democratic caucus to revert to the days of Bob Griffin, where the speaker would be the person who appointed all committee members of both parties in the House," said House Minority Floor Leader Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City.

Tuesday's meeting resulted in a compromise leaving the rule that allowed Republican floor leader to fill the party's committee positions intact.

"The Democratic caucus wanted to be assured the Republican agenda wasn't partisanship first," said House Speaker Steve Gaw, D-Moberly. "This morning's meeting was an effort to assure we have the people's business as our first priority and partisanship doesn't trump that."

Members from both parties expressed satisfaction with the compromise.

"I'm really pleased we've got over this hurdle which threatened the atmosphere of this session," Scott said.

The Minority Floor Leader said he doesn't feel threatened by the Speaker's veto power.

"Speaker Gaw has accepted our recommendations in the past," Scott said. "He says he's going to work with us and I believe that."