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Politically Speaking: Previewing The Big Issues Of Missouri’s 2020 Legislative Session

Missouri House of Representatives members speak on the house floor on the last day of the legislative session.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri House of Representatives members speak on the floor on the last day of the 2019 legislative session.

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue, Jaclyn Driscoll and Jason Rosenbaum look at what lies ahead for Missouri legislators in 2020.

Lawmakers are returning Wednesday to Jefferson City, where they’ll spend more than five months piecing together Missouri’s budget and dealing with a host of contentious issues.

One big topic that is likely to come up early is legislative redistricting. Voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2018 that turned over much of the power to draw state House and Senate districts to a demographer. Many Republicans want to generally revert to the old system, in which a bipartisan commission or appellate judges drew the lines.

Democrats in particular want to debate gun restrictions — proposals that are unlikely to gain much traction in a GOP-controlled Legislature. Members of both parties agree that a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid will loom large over the session, even if it doesn’t lead to any legislative actions.

In addition to previewing some of the topics lawmakers may face, O’Donoghue, Driscoll and Rosenbaum pointed out some under-the-radar issues that they’ll be looking for until the Legislature adjourns in mid-May.

Follow Julie O’Donoghue on Twitter: @jsodonoghue

Follow Jaclyn Driscoll on Twitter: @DriscollNPR

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Music: “I2I” by Tevin Campbell

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

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