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Mary Elizabeth Coleman On The 2020 Special Session And Her Opposition To Medicaid Expansion

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Tim Bommel
State Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman speaks on the House floor earlier in 2020. This photo was taken before the Legislature effectively shut down due to concerns over COVID-19.

State Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, on which the Arnold Republican talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Driscoll about the 2020 special session on violent crime.

Coleman was first elected in 2018 in a hotly contested race for the 97th District, which encompasses parts of Jefferson and St. Louis counties. She is unopposed for reelection in 2020.

Here’s what Coleman talked about during the program:

  • Why she supported Gov. Mike Parson’s calling of a special session of the Legislature in response to a surge of violent crime around the state. Items include programs protecting witnesses and removing the residency requirement for St. Louis police officers.
  • Her response to some Democratic lawmakers who contend that overhauling policing practices should be a part of the special session. Both Coleman and Parson say those issues, such as banning no-knock warrants and expanding civilian review boards, should be debated in regular session.
  • Her opposition to Medicaid expansion. She also discussed whether the opposition campaign to that Aug. 4 ballot item will be able to topple supporters’ well-funded campaign.
  • Her take on the Democratic primary for St. Louis County executive, as well as her breakdown of the gubernatorial campaign pitting Parson against state Auditor Nicole Galloway. That contest could be one of the more competitive governor’s races in the nation.

Coleman is an attorney who previously served on the Arnold City Council. In 2018, she prevailed in one of the most-watched House contests of the year against Democrat Mike Revis. He had flipped a seat that had previously been held by a Republican.

Her win guaranteed that every state legislative seat that covers Jefferson County will be represented by a Republican. Jefferson County residents have historically preferred Democratic candidates.

Since entering the House in 2019, Coleman has served on a number of key committees, including ones that oversee the judiciary and elementary and secondary education. She also serves on the House General Laws Committee, whose members hear a number of high-profile bills each year.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jaclyn Driscoll on Twitter: @DriscollNPR

Follow Mary Elizabeth Coleman: @meaccoleman

Music: “Levels” by Avicii

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

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