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Politically Speaking: Missouri Sen. Majority Leader On Legislature In Coronavirus World

Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden listens to colleagues during the last day of the legislative session in Jefferson City on Friday.
File | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, joined St. Louis Public Radio for the most recent edition of the Politically Speaking podcast.

Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where the Columbia Republican talked about how coronavirus upended the Missouri General Assembly’s legislative session.

Rowden represents Missouri’s 19th District, which takes in all of Boone and Cooper counties. As majority leader, Rowden is responsible for what the Senate debates — making him one of the more powerful and influential lawmakers in Jefferson City.

Here’s what Rowden talked about on the show:

  • When lawmakers may return to take up a supplemental budget aimed at handling coronavirus concerns across Missouri and the types of precautions that legislators will take to make sure they don’t catch the virus.
  • How Missouri is expected to receive billions of dollars from a recently signed federal stimulus bill — and what that money could be used for in the coming months.
  • Gov. Mike Parson’s decision not to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, a move that’s drawn some criticism since other states have taken such action.
  • Questions about how legislation that has nothing to do with coronavirus may fare for the rest of the session, which is set to end in mid-May. Also, whether a special session may be necessary.

Rowden was first elected to the Missouri House in 2012, representing a part of Boone County. He was elected to the Senate in 2016, winning one of the most expensive legislative races in history against Democratic Rep. Stephen Webber.
Rowden will be up for re-election this year and is expected to face former state Rep. Judy Baker, D-Columbia.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jaclyn Driscoll on Twitter: @DriscollNPR

Follow Julie O’Donoghue on Twitter: @jsodonoghue

Follow Caleb Rowden on Twitter: @calebrowden

Music: “Isolation” by Joy Division

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