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Politically Speaking: Sen. Onder on Parson’s first months — and his take on November ballot items

Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis

Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann to talk about Gov. Mike Parson’s transition in the state’s chief executive office — and what the legislature could deal with in 2019.

The Lake Saint Louis Republican represents a portion of St. Charles County. He’s running for re-election against Democrat Patrice Billings.

Because Mike Kehoe became lieutenant governor in June, Onder will serve as the floor leader during next week’s special session. Parson wants the legislature to revamp two bills he vetoed dealing with STEM education and expanding drug courts.

If Onder wins re-election, he expects to play a major role in shaping policy during the 2019 legislative session. Some of the issues he expects to face include overhauling the low-income housing tax credit and instituting a statewide prescription drug monitoring program.

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

  • He and Parson served together in both the Missouri House and Senate. He expects the 2019 session to be a high point of collaboration between the executive and legislative branches. “The House and the Senate and the governor’s mansion are all occupied by people of the same party,” he said. “I think the change with Gov. Parson will be a change for the better.”
  • Onder supports a right-to-work law, which would bar unions and employers from requiring workers to pay dues as a condition of employment. Missouri voters overwhelmingly repealed that law this summer. Asked if lawmakers would revisit that issue, Onder replied: “That will be something that will be a topic of discussion amongst our caucus and the House caucus.”
  • He’s opposed to November ballot items that would raise Missouri’s gas tax and boost the state’s minimum wage. And he’s also opposed to Clean Missouri, mainly because of part of the plan that overhauls how state legislative district are drawn.
  • Onder, who is a medical doctor, also opposes three ballot initiatives that would legalize medical marijuana. “I really believe there’s a lot of money for the pot entrepreneurs to be made,” he said. “And I really think patients are being exploited to get their ultimate goal — which is to full legalization and to make money.”

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Follow Bob Onder on Twitter: @BobOnderMO

Music: “Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse” by Of Montreal      

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.