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Missouri Rep. Phil Christofanelli On Why 2021 Was The Year For The K-12 Scholarship Tax Credit

State Rep. Phil Christofanelli speaks on the last day of the Missouri General Assembly session on May 14, 2021.
Tim Bommel
House Communications
State Rep. Phil Christofanelli speaks on the last day of the Missouri General Assembly session on May 14.

State Rep. Phil Christofanelli is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where the St. Peters Republican talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about the passage of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts and two special sessions sending the Missouri General Assembly into overtime.

Christofanelli represents the 105th District, which takes in portions of St. Charles County. He was the sponsor of the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts bill, in which someone can make a contribution to an approved nonprofit education assistance organization and receive a tax credit of up to 50 percent of their state tax liability. That bill was one of the most significant, and controversial, of the 2021 session.

Here’s what Christofanelli talked about during the program:

  • Why his ESA bill managed to make it to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk this year, especially when prior versions consistently failed to find support even in overwhelming Republican legislatures. He responded to criticism of the program, including how the legislation largely exempts rural areas of the state.
  • The implementation of legislation allowing HIV prevention medication to be dispensed by pharmacists without a prescription. Parson signed that legislation into law earlier this month.
  • A special session to renew a critical tax that helps fund Missouri’s Medicaid program, as well as an upcoming session on congressional redistricting.

A graduate of Washington University, Christofanelli was elected as a Republican committeeman when he was 21. He later served on the Missouri Republican Party state executive committee. Before being elected to the House in 2016, Christofanelli was press secretary for U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Michigan.

Christofanelli recently completed work on his law degree at Washington University while serving in the House.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter:@jrosenbaum

Follow Phil Christofanelli on Twitter: @phlchristo

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