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Politically Speaking: Rep. Caleb Jones Gives The Majority's View Of Veto Session

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

This week's edition of Politically Speaking is fully focused on Wednesday's veto session. St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcomed state Rep. Caleb Jones, R-Boone County, to our St. Louis studio to tell us what to expect. 

A Moniteau County native, Jones was immersed in politics at a young age. His father Kenny Jones was the longtime sheriff of Moniteau County and served as a state representative for four terms. Before he won election to the Missouri House in 2010, Jones worked for former U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Columbia, and in the Department of Agriculture. 

Jones is considered a rising star in the Missouri Republican Party. The University of Missouri-educated attorney is the chairman of the House General Laws Committee, which often handles high-profile legislation. He has also sponsored or passed a number of prominent bills himself, including a recent measure to allow a form of hemp oil to combat epilepsy.

During the show, Jones said:

  • Even though Jones' father was an elected sheriff for 20 years, "he never really had a race." He said his earliest memory of being in politics was throwing bubble gum out of a pick-up truck during a parade.
  • He worked on President George W. Bush's re-election effort in 2004. He recalled an animated conversation former Missouri Republican Party chairman Lloyd Smith had with Bush's political advisers about keeping the president's political operation in the state to help down-ballot candidates.
  • The success of veto session could depend on what happens in the Missouri Senate since many of the vetoed bills originated there. 
  • The unrest in Ferguson will have a big impact over the veto session. It's possible, he said, that Democrats may take time to talk about the issues related to Michael Brown's death -- which in turn could slow down efforts to override bills. 
  • He also expected the legislature to respond next year to the turmoil in Ferguson. One thing in particular is reconfiguring municipal courts, which came under intense scrutiny since Brown was shot and killed. "I think it's something the legislature is going to address," he said.  

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter@jrosenbaum

Follow Caleb Jones on Twitter: @CalebMJones

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.