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Politically Speaking: Missouri State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer Talks Coronavirus, Violent Crime

Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville
Tony Luetkemeyer

Missouri State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, joins Julie O’Donoghue for Politically Speaking’s first official “work-from-home” podcast episode during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Republican represents northwest Missouri, including St. Joseph and a large swath of the Kansas City suburbs.

Here’s some of what he discussed:

Luetkemeyer agreed with the Senate’s decision to adjourn until the end of the month in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. He said a truncated session could mean that the General Assembly only gets to focus on a small number of bills. Those bills that have already gotten an initial vote in the Senate or House should be a priority, he said. 

Luetkemeyer said he would be open to voting for legislation that might temporarily close off government meetings to the public in person, as long as those meetings were offered to the public online. He said he normally does not support closing off more government deliberation from the public, but the coronavirus outbreak calls for some extra restrictions. 

Luetkemeyer has sponsored legislation that is meant to lengthen sentences for certain types of violent crime and take away the option for probation in some cases. His bill would also establish a separate state crime for carjacking — something sought by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

Luetkemeyer also discussed the Senate finally passing a prescription drug monitoring program bill after several years of refusing to do so. He said the state needs oversight of prescriptions in order to combat the opioid crisis. Missouri would be the last state in the country to have such a program.

Outgoing Music: “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by R.E.M. 

Follow Tony Luetkemeyer on Twitter: @TonyForMissouri

Follow Julie O’Donoghue on Twitter: @jsodonoghue

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