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Democrats Will Push Gun Violence, Medicaid Issues During Special Legislative Session

Rep. Crystal Quade was a supporter of a plan to fund in-home care for low-income elderly Missourians.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Rep. Crystal Quade, seen here on the Missouri House floor during a previous legislative session, said Democrats plan to file gun control legislation during the 2019 special sesion.

Legislators are headed back to Jefferson City on Monday to fix a car sales tax technicality raised by a Missouri Supreme Court decision in June, but Democrats will be working to put more items on the agenda. 

The recent spike in gun violence, particularly in St. Louis and Kansas City, needs immediate attention, said state Rep. Crystal Quade, D-Springfield. As the minority party’s leader, she said Democrats plan to bring up the issue on the floor as well as try to file stricter gun control legislation. 

“Every day we’re seeing more and more people die in Missouri, and the conversation has to start. We can’t just wait because it’s too hard,” she said. “Missourian's lives are more important than something just being too hard.”

Gov. Mike Parson said dealing with gun control will not happen during the special session. He said the topic is too complicated to get anything accomplished in the limited time available. 

Despite her party filing bills, Quade said she is not hopeful they will see any action. 

“It’s up to the speaker what he refers,” she said. “I imagine only (the car sales tax) bill will be referred.” 

Several Democrats say they would also like to address why more than 100,000 people have been kicked off Medicaid. They’ve criticized Parson’s call for what many consider a minor issue. 

“This is a Supreme Court decision that we have every obligation to fix,” Parson said at a recent press conference about a different issue. “It’s just part of what you’re supposed to do as a legislator; it’s part of what I’m supposed to do as a governor whether you like the issues or not.”

Lawmakers will be in town for most of the week, with the special session running concurrently with the annual veto session. The special session is expected to cost around $16,000. 

Lawmakers are not expected to override any of Parson’s vetoes.

Follow Jaclyn on Twitter: @DriscollNPR

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Jaclyn is the Jefferson City statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.