Punks is the word of the day
From Missouri Digital News: https://mdn.org
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Lobbyist Money Help  

Punks is the word of the day

Date: May 18, 2007
By: Sarah D. Wire
State Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - The passage of the governor's Medicaid proposal was overshadowed Thursday when the Senate Minority Leader called the Republican senators "punks."

"I don't think the Senate Republicans got played by the House, I think the Senate Republicans are a bunch of punks," Senate Minority Leader Maida Coleman, D- St. Louis.

Coleman charged the House Speaker  was holding the HealthNet bill  in the House until the Senate passed an abortion restriction bill and English language bill that were important to him.

"How do you let the House of Representatives tell you as a Senator what you can and can not do?" Coleman asked.

Republican leaders denied the allegations after the session ended. Even the governor came to the Senate Republican's defense. 

"They're friends, the House leadership and Senate leadership, but they're also very tough minded leaders and I can assure you that no one body rules the other," Gov. Matt Blunt said at a joint press conference with Republican legislators.

Senate Republicans used a parliamentary procedure to force a vote on the abortion bill and English language bill, both of which were sent to the governor. Friday marked the first time in decades the 'previous question' motion had been used to force a vote on more than one issue during a legislative session.

The senate passed the HealthNet bill with a vote of 26 to seven, five hours before the end of the session and the House followed shortly thereafter with a vote of 92-67.

Both chambers also approved an emergency clause that grants state paid medical insurance to foster children until their 21 birthday. The clause will go in effect immediately after the bill is signed by the governor.

 The new 146 page bill is a compromise between the two chambers after the Senate refused to accept changes made by the House.

The bill restores dental, vision and hospice care programs that were removed during Medicaid cuts in 2005, extends Medicaid coverage to foster children until their 21 birthday, as well as providing more oversight and long-term care.

Members from the two chambers met several times over the course of the week in attempts to reach a compromise on the bill.

"It was a fairly lengthy process and it's the last day of the Senate," Shield's said Friday. "But I can tell you we didn't rush it through."

Some House members disagreed with Shield's assessment and said the program is still not good enough.

" It doesn't matter how nice our new Medicaid home is, if I don't have a key I'm Medicaid home-less," Rep. Margaret Donnelly, D-St. Louis County, said.

Donnelly called the passage of the bill the 'death of hope' referring to the attempt to reinstate Missourians removed from Medicaid by cuts in 2005.