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Politically Speaking: Rep. Baringer on addressing St. Louis' concerns in Jeff City

Alderman Donna Baringer D-16th Ward (center) receives a resolution from her colleagues on Dec. 16, 2016, her last day at the Board of Aldermen.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio
Alderman Donna Baringer D-16th Ward (center) receives a resolution from her colleagues on Dec. 16, 2016, her last day at the Board of Aldermen. Baringer is now serving in the Missouri House.

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum welcomes state Rep. Donna Baringer to the program.

Baringer was recently elected to a Missouri House seat that takes in most of southwest St. Louis. She spent nearly 14 years as the alderman for the 16th Ward, which coincidentally is the place where Rosenbaum calls home.

A native of Jefferson City, Baringer has a master’s degree in corporate communications from Lindenwood University and a bachelor’s degree in business management from Maryville University. In addition to her legislative duties, Baringer is the president and executive director of the Lemay Development Corp.

Since the St. Louis Board of Aldermen consists entirely of Democrats, Baringer usually found success in passing legislation. That’s not the case in the Missouri House, where Republicans heavily outnumber the Democrats. Still, Democrats can still make a difference in the committee process. Baringer is a member of committees dealing with crime prevention, local government and government efficiency.

Here’s what Baringer had to say during the show:

  • Baringer voted for a Republican bill to curb lobbyist gifts. As an alderman, she said she never received the copious amount freebies that some lawmakers receive from lobbyists.
  • She plans to vote against “right to work,” which would bar unions and employers from requiring workers to pay dues. That bill could come to the floor of the Missouri House next week and may reach Gov. Eric Greitens’ desk in the next few weeks.
  • Baringer wonders how unions will be able to afford apprenticeship and safety programs if right to work is passed. If some people in a bargaining unit decide against paying dues, unions would have less money to spend.
  • She says she hasn’t spoken with Greitens yet. But she said she was heartened he attended and spoke at the Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration last week. Greitens is planning to make his first State of the State speech on Tuesday.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Donna Baringer on Twitter: @STLDonnaB

Music: “Undone: The Sweater Song” by Weezer

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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