Missouri lawmakers back in session amid rapid COVID-19 surge

Missouri lawmakers back in session amid rapid COVID-19 surge

Missouri lawmakers are back in Jefferson City. The new session opens amid a rise in COVID-19 cases.Despite the COVID-19 surge, there are no mask mandates in place at the Missouri State Capitol. In the Missouri Senate and the Missouri House, some lawmakers say that COVID-19 is a big concern.As the House gaveled in, several lawmakers were absent from the rolls. It’s unclear how many absent Republicans may not be there due to COVID-19. The house speaker said he didn’t have the numbers, but the minority floor leader said two Democrats were not in attendance due to a positive COVID-19 test. The minority floor leader also said COVID-19 impacted a number of Democratic staff members last session. The Missouri House had to shut down because of positive cases. It’s something that House Speaker Rob Vescovo says he isn’t worried about this year”It’s not a concern to me. No, I mean listen we all use common sense. If we’re sick, I’m gonna ask the members to stay home. They’re all adults. They can police themselves and if they’re sick they’re probably going to stay home,” Vescovo said. Democratic leaders were less certain about the potential effects of COVID-19.”Acting like everything is fine is definitely concerning – if you think about how much time we had to take off those five weeks when this first started – and the numbers are higher now than they are then. So, we are concerned but our caucus is doing everything we can to stay safe,” House Minority Leader Crystal Quade said. Both Republican and Democratic leaders can agree one of the top issues for this session will be drawing the maps for congressional districts. The issue will only become more important once filing for Missouri congressional seats opens in March.How the state government handles federal funding coming in for 2022 will also be an important issue on the docket.

Missouri lawmakers are back in Jefferson City. The new session opens amid a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Despite the COVID-19 surge, there are no mask mandates in place at the Missouri State Capitol. In the Missouri Senate and the Missouri House, some lawmakers say that COVID-19 is a big concern.

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As the House gaveled in, several lawmakers were absent from the rolls. It’s unclear how many absent Republicans may not be there due to COVID-19. The house speaker said he didn’t have the numbers, but the minority floor leader said two Democrats were not in attendance due to a positive COVID-19 test.

The minority floor leader also said COVID-19 impacted a number of Democratic staff members last session. The Missouri House had to shut down because of positive cases. It’s something that House Speaker Rob Vescovo says he isn’t worried about this year

“It’s not a concern to me. No, I mean listen we all use common sense. If we’re sick, I’m gonna ask the members to stay home. They’re all adults. They can police themselves and if they’re sick they’re probably going to stay home,” Vescovo said.

Democratic leaders were less certain about the potential effects of COVID-19.

“Acting like everything is fine is definitely concerning – if you think about how much time we had to take off those five weeks when this first started – and the numbers are higher now than they are then. So, we are concerned but our caucus is doing everything we can to stay safe,” House Minority Leader Crystal Quade said.

Both Republican and Democratic leaders can agree one of the top issues for this session will be drawing the maps for congressional districts. The issue will only become more important once filing for Missouri congressional seats opens in March.

How the state government handles federal funding coming in for 2022 will also be an important issue on the docket.

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