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Democrats Criticize Republican Leadership

March 17, 2004
Date: March 17, 2004
By: Darryl Franklin

State Capital Bureau

Missouri Democrats offered their critique today (Wednesday) on how the Senate majority has handled the first half of the legislative session. Darryl Franklin has more from the capitol.

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With the support of his fellow Senators, Matt Dougherty spoke about his dissapointment of how Republicans handled the first half of the legislative session.

Dougherty says he is particularly upset by the attacks the Republican leadership has made to Medicaid.

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"This is what leadership means by the Republican party and the house. Leadership means one thousand six hundred low income parents won't be eligible for Medicaid anymore. Leadership means that three thousand two hundred individuals who are temporarily disabled will not have health care anymore."

Dougherty was among five Democrats to speak at the press conference, saying his party was frustrated with the way the legislature was being run and that they would not stand for it anymore.

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Missouri Senate Minority Leader Ken Jacob condemned the Senate's Republican leadership today (Wednesday), saying they have dismantled every important issue Missourians have grown to cherish. Darryl Franklin reports on the Republican response from the capitol.
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When asked if the statements made by Senator Jacob were warranted, President Pro Tem Peter Kinder refuted the points of the Senate minority leader.

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"Was it warranted? I don't believe hysteria is ever warranted. I've read his statement it was a hysterical statement, it does not comport with the facts which can be demonstrated here of our accomplishments halfway through the legislative session."

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Kinder says the session has, in fact, been productive...pointing out a prescription drug plan he is cosponsoring with Jacob as an example.

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State Senator Ken Jacob says Republican leaders have mismanaged the legislature this session. Darryl Franklin has more on the accusations and the Republican response from the state capitol.
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Democrats say two areas hit hardest by Republican lawmakers in the first half of the legislative session include education and Medicaid.

President Pro Tem Peter Kinder responded to the Medicaid accusations...saying, in comparison to other states, Missouri has too many eligible candidates.

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"The national average for states is one out of ten residents on Medicaid. In Missouri it's one out of five. We are twice more generous than the majority, the average of other states. That simply is not sustainable."

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In his statement Jacob accused the Republican leadership of systematically dismantling what he labels "every important social institution that we have grown to cherish."

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