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Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin On How The Missouri Senate’s Women Forged Compromise Over Medicaid Tax

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State Sen. Cindy O'Laughlin, R-Shelbina, speaks during the 2019 legislative session.
File photo / Jason Rosenbaum
St. Louis Public Radio
State Sen. Cindy O'Laughlin, R-Shelbina, speaks during the 2019 legislative session.

State Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jonathan Ahl on Politically Speaking to talk about the recently concluded special session on a critical tax that helps fund Medicaid.

The Shelbina Republican talked about how the Missouri Senate’s women played a pivotal role in passing a renewal of what’s known as the Federal Reimbursement Allowance. The legislation that Gov. Mike Parson signed into law Wednesday prevented seismic cuts in an array of key state services.

Here’s what O’Laughlin talked about on the show:

  • How some Republicans were torn between renewing the FRA and barring the state’s Medicaid program from reimbursing Planned Parenthood for services not related to abortion related.
  • The arguments, primarily from Democrats, that opponents of abortion rights have essentially run out of measures to enact — and that aspects of this special session were aimed at furthering such lawmakers’ future political prospects.
  • The upcoming special session on congressional redistricting. Before she was elected to the Senate, O’Laughlin served on a state legislative redistricting commission. Lawmakers debate and approve congressional maps, while either a bipartisan commission or appellate judges draw state legislative districts.
  • The issues that could be top of mind in 2022 in her role as Senate Education Committee chairwoman. That may include efforts to curtail what’s known as “critical race theory.”

O’Laughlin co-owns Leo O'Laughlin Inc., a bulk hauling and ready mix concrete company with deep northeast Missouri ties. She’s been active in local politics for years, but 2018 marked the first time she decided to run for state office.

She defeated three sitting GOP state representatives to represent the 18th District, which takes in a slew of counties in northeast Missouri. O’Laughlin will be up for reelection in 2022.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jonathan Ahl on Twitter: @JonathanAhl

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

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