© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Politically Speaking: Rep. Richardson on leading state House's historic Republican majority

House Majority Leader Todd Richardson
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s Politically Speaking is a southeast Missouri affair as St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome House Majority Leader Todd Richardson to the show.

The Poplar Bluff Republican is a second-generation lawmaker. His father, Mark Richardson, served in the House GOP leadership in the 1990s, a time when Republicans had been in the minority for years. Now, Richardson is the second most powerful lawmaker in a chamber dominated by his party – and has the inside track to become the next speaker of the Missouri House once House Speaker John Diehl, R-Town and Country, departs due to term limits.

Even before he won his leadership post, Richardson was widely considered one of the House's most capable and influential lawmakers. He handled a comprehensive overhaul of the Second Injury Fund, bringing to the finish line a priority that had bedeviled lawmakers for years. He was also the sponsor of Amendment 10, which gave lawmakers veto power over gubernatorial withholds.

During the show, Richardson said:

  • He learned from his father not to treat the opposing party disrespectfully, especially since electoral fortunes can turn big legislative majorities into minorities.
  • This may be the earliest time in recent memory the House has approved the Missouri budget. It’s possible that lawmakers are hoping to time passage of the budget with being able to override any withhold Gov. Jay Nixon may make.
  • Litigation is possible, even likely, if Nixon tries to “extend” bonds paying for the Edward Jones Dome as a way to finance a new riverfront football stadium in St. Louis.
  • Sen. Eric Schmitt’s bill to limit the percentage of fine revenue a city can have in its budget is a major priority in the Missouri House. State Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific, is expected to handle the legislation that could be one of most significant legislative byproducts from the unrest in Ferguson.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Todd Richardson on Twitter: @Rep_TRichardson

Music: “Holland 1945” by Neutral Milk Hotel & “Untitled” by Neutral Milk Hotel

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.