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Missouri Sen. Rehder on finally getting a prescription monitoring program passed

Sen. Holly Rehder, R-Scott County, speaks on the Missouri Senate floor earlier in 2021.
Harrison Sweazea
Missouri Senate
Sen. Holly Rehder, R-Scott County, speaks on the Missouri Senate floor earlier this year.

Sen. Holly Rehder joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Sarah Kellogg and Jason Rosenbaum to preview the 2022 Missouri legislative session and to provide insight on how she got a long-sought prescription drug monitoring program passed.

Rehder is a Scott County Republican who was elected to represent the 27th District in 2020. The district includes Bollinger, Wayne, Cape Girardeau, Scott, Perry and Madison counties.

Here’s what Rehder talked about on the show:

  • Rehder, the new chairwoman of a committee examining child abuse and neglect, discussed a recent committee hearing about how the Department of Social Services lost track of foster children. 
  • Rehder was one of six senators who signed a letter asking Gov. Mike Parson for a special session to ban private-sector COVID-19 vaccine mandates. She explained how a number of people in her district are demanding state legislative action because of fears that the requirement could lead to job loss.
  • She said workers who are fired because they won’t get the vaccine should be eligible for state unemployment benefits.

Rehder grew up in poverty and has openly talked about her family depending on welfare and her daughter’s struggle with drug addiction. Rehder earned a bachelor’s degree from Southeast Missouri State University. She’s worked in the cable industry since she was 19.

The legislator was elected to the first of four terms in the Missouri House in 2012. She narrowly won the contest for the Senate last year, defeating state Rep. Kathy Swan by less than 200 votes. She is one of the first people in recent memory to represent a Cape Girardeau-based Senate seat without being a resident of that city.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Sarah Kellogg on Twitter: @sarahkkellogg

Follow Holly Rehder on Twitter: @hrehder

Sarah Kellogg is a Missouri Statehouse and Politics Reporter for St. Louis Public Radio and other public radio stations across the state.
Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.