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Missouri House Majority Leader Dean Plocher Details Ups And Downs Of 2021 Legislative Session

House Majority Leader Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, awaits to be recognized on May 14.
Tim Bommel
House Communications
House Majority Leader Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, awaits to be recognized on May 14.

House Majority Leader Dean Plocher joins the latest episode of Politically Speaking to talk about what ended up making it across the legislative finish line in 2021 — and what issues could be the subject of special sessions this year.

Plocher, R-Des Peres, represents Missouri’s 89th District. That takes in parts of Town & Country, Huntleigh, Des Peres and Country Life Acres. Plocher, an attorney, became House majority leader earlier this year and is responsible for bringing bills to the floor for debate.

Here’s what Plocher talked about during the program:

  • How the legislature completed work on some long-standing issues, including a prescription drug monitoring program, a law enforcement and criminal justice package and a gas tax hike for transportation.
  • Why the gas tax plan, which he supported, tended to split the GOP caucus — and whether there will end up being a statewide vote on a measure that would raise the fuel tax 12.5 cents per gallon over five years.
  • How House Republicans will handle special sessions to renew a medical provider tax that pays for Missouri’s Medicaid program and to draw the state’s congressional map.
  • Whether there will be other special sessions on election-related items, eminent domain regulations and efforts to prevent municipalities from lowering police department budgets.

Plocher had planned to run for the 89th District seat in 2016 with then-House Speaker John Diehl being forced to leave office due to term limits.

But Diehl resigned earlier than expected in 2015 amid scandal, and Plocher beat out two other candidates to secure the Republican nomination in a special election. He defeated Democrat Al Gerber by 20 percentage points and has subsequently won reelection with ease.

Plocher announced recently he’ll be running to be House speaker beginning in the 2023 legislative session. If he succeeds, he’ll be the third person this century from his district to take that post — as Diehl and Catherine Hanaway have represented the general area of the 89th District.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Dean Plocher on Twitter: @deanplocher

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