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Politically Speaking: Rep. Alferman on a possible special session to restore in-home care cuts

Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, is sponsoring legislation that would implement a photo ID requirement for voting.
File photo I Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications
Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome state Rep. Justin Alferman back to the program.

The Hermann Republican represents Missouri's the 61st House District, which takes in portions of Gasconade, Franklin and Osage counties. Alferman is vice chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee, which is in charge of shaping the state’s spending priorities every year.

Lawmakers faced an especially tight budget this year, which required substantial cuts to higher education institutions and programs. But arguably the most contentious budgetary fight was over cuts to in-home care for low-income residents. Gov. Eric Greitens ended up vetoing a plan shifting unused money from state boards and commissions to allow roughly 8,000 people to retain their care.

Ultimately, lawmakers declined to override Greitens’ veto of the in-home care cuts. But lawmakers including House Budget Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, promised to come up with an alternative plan.

Here's what Alferman had to say during the show:

  • He said any proposal to restore in-home care cuts would likely require paring down a property tax credit known as the circuit breaker. House Republicans unsuccessfully sought to bar renters from taking advantage of the tax break.

  • Alferman said that there may be a decision on whether to call a special session for in-home care cuts in the next several days. “I don’t believe the governor wants to call a special session unless we already have the legwork done and a general agreement of what we’re going to be settling on whenever we go back into special session,” he said.

  • He said he understands why people around St. Louis are upset over the acquittal of former police officer Jason Stockley on a charge of first-degree murder in the shooting death of suspect Anthony Lamar Smith. But Alferman said that protesters need to be more clear about what lawmakers should do from a public policy standpoint. “I don’t know what it is that they want,” he said. “And if that is not being communicated to someone in an adjacent county, it’s certainly going to fall on deaf ears to somebody from Lawrence County or southwest Missouri.”

  • Alferman said that Republicans may take a look at placing donation limits on municipal and county candidates. A recently-passed constitutional amendment only placed curbs on statewide, state legislative and judicial offices, which allows people like St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger to get donations of unlimited size.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Justin Alferman on Twitter: @justinalf

Music: “I Won’t Let You Down” by OK GO

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.

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