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Missouri Sen. Karla Eslinger on why overriding Parson’s vetoes isn’t a sure thing

Sen. Karla Eslinger, R-Wasola, on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023 at the Missouri Statehouse in Jefferson City.
Brian Munoz
St. Louis Public Radio
Sen. Karla Eslinger, R-Wasola, on Jan. 4 at the Missouri Statehouse in Jefferson City.

Missouri state Sen. Karla Eslinger is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. The Wasola Republican talked about the upcoming veto session, the state’s budget and expectations for the 2024 session.

Eslinger represents Missouri’s 33rd District, which takes in Douglas, Howell, Ozark, Shannon, Stone, Taney and Texas counties. She previously served one term in the Missouri House and will be eligible to run for a second Senate term in 2024.

Here’s what Eslinger talked about on the program:

  • Whether lawmakers will override Gov. Mike Parson’s budgetary vetoes. She said the outcome could come down to Senate Appropriations Chairman Lincoln Hough’s decision-making, since typically the handler of vetoed bills gets to decide whether to pursue an override.
  • The former teacher and school administrator talked extensively about what type of educational initiatives could be pursued in 2024 to help improve Missouri’s schools.
  • A preview of the 2024 legislative session, including whether lawmakers will try to pass a ballot item making the constitution more difficult to amend.
  • Whether banning foreign ownership of farmland is more complicated than it may appear. 

Eslinger is a former elementary school teacher who eventually became a school superintendent. Her degrees include a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Before entering legislative politics, Eslinger was an assistant commissioner of education for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She more recently worked as a senior analyst for education services with the AEM Corp. and in that role worked with the U.S. Department of Education in Washington.

Eslinger was first elected to the Missouri House in 2018, representing a district that included Ozark and Douglas counties, as well as part of Taney County. After one term, she jumped into the primary to succeed Sen. Mike Cunningham. She narrowly won the GOP primary, which was tantamount to election.

In addition to being on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Eslinger serves as the chairwoman of the Senate Government Accountability Committee — which, among other things, handles licensing and registration regulations.

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.