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Wimp Charges

May 3, 2000
By: Missy Shelton
State Capital Bureau
Links: SS SJR 31

Tensions between the Missouri House and Senate bubbled onto the floor when one senior Democratic senator called the Democratic speaker of the House a wimp.

Missy Shelton has this story from Jefferson City.

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It started in the Missouri Senate when St. Louis County Democratic Senator Jonn Schneider stood up on the floor and said this.

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Contents: [138K WAV file - St. Louis County Senator John Schneider calls the speaker of the Missouri House a wimp.]

Shortly after Schnieder's comments, House Speaker Steve Gaw gave his side in an interview with a few reporters.

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Contents: [163K WAV file - In response to being called a wimp, House Speaker Steve Gaw says name calling does not help the legislative process.]

By the end of the day, Schneider apologized for his remarks about the speaker.

Schneider and other senators expressed their frustration with the House. All session, the House has moved slowly and a number of Senate bills got killed in the process, creating tension between the two chambers.

Schneider is sponsoring the proposal that would allow Missourians to vote on term limit expansions. He says the speaker hasn't moved that bill along because it's controversial. Schneider says Gaw doesn't want to deal with controversial issues during his run for Secretary of State.

But Gaw says the election doesn't have anything to do with his decision.

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The House speaker says he'll move the term limit proposal into committee by the end of this week.

He says he's disappointed that lawmakers have resorted to name-calling.

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At least one senator did defend the speaker.

Democrat Jim Mathewson says he won't say anything bad about the speaker because the fate of some of his bills is in the speaker's hands.

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To illustrate just how slow the General Assembly has moved this session, Senate President Pro Temp Ed Quick that only 4 proposals have cleared both chambers compared to one hundred at this same time last year.

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