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Rep. Hardwick expects Missouri lawmakers to come back to ballot item curbs

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State Rep. Bill Hardwick, R-Waynesville, speaks on the House floor during the 2023 legislative session.
Tim Bommel
House Communications
State Rep. Bill Hardwick, R-Waynesville, speaks on the House floor during the 2023 legislative session.

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, state Rep. Bill Hardwick talks about fallout from the 2023 legislative session and what next year may bring.

Hardwick is an attorney who was first elected to the Missouri House in 2020. The Waynesville Republican represents a portion of Pulaski County, including Fort Leonard Wood.

Here’s what Hardwick discussed on the show:

  • How the last week of session may have been disappointing to some lawmakers but also how a difficult legislative process may actually be a good thing since it forces legislators to sell ideas to a wide array of people.
  • Why he supports legislation that would bar some transgender minors from access to puberty blockers and hormone therapy. Hardwick also explained why he is not in favor of limiting gender-affirming care to adults.
  • Why lawmakers failed to send a measure making the Missouri Constitution more difficult to amend to voters. He said he expects that issue to reemerge during the 2024 session but added that proponents of raising the threshold could face a skeptical electorate.
  • With 2024 just around the corner, Hardwick provided his early assessment of how the GOP primary for governor is shaping up among Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and possibly state Sen. Bill Eigel of St. Charles County.
  • Whether an acrimonious primary could help a Democratic gubernatorial hopeful like House Minority Crystal Quade of Springfield in November 2024.

Hardwick was the city prosecutor for St. Robert. He is a lieutenant colonel in the Missouri National Guard.

He’s the chairman of the House Emerging Issues Committee, which handled legislation on such matters as sports wagering and regulations around rural hospitals.

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Sarah Kellogg has been the Missouri Statehouse and politics reporter for St. Louis Public Radio since 2021.

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