Fiscally conservative senators find their voice
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Fiscally conservative senators find their voice

Date: May 15, 2009
By: Sarah D. Wire
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: Six fiscally conservative senators found their voice this session saying enough with expanding the state budget.

Sarah Wire has more from Jefferson City. 

OutCue: SOC

They're called the "Republican Sleeper Cell."

Although the fiscally conservative senators aren't an official group, they banded together at the end of the session to direct how the state spends its money.

Specifically they have focused on reforming who gets a tax credit.

Smithville Republican Sen. Luann Ridgeway says with so many senators united for one cause the group could stop legislation they didn't like.


Actuality:  RIDGE1A1.WAV
Run Time: 00:09
Description: "Two senators can certainly slow something down, three senators can virtually stop it, four you can completely filibuster it and there's at least six of us."

She says the group drifted together over the course of the session.


Actuality:  RIDGE1B.WAV
Run Time: 00:18
Description: "Within the Republican party we now have a distinct group of very financially conservative legislators who are willing now to take a stand against runaway government growth, and you saw that this year."
Sen. Jason Crowell says the coalition was a natural response to the current economic situation.
Actuality:  CROW1A.WAV
Run Time: 00:10
Description: "Yea, I mean times are tough, and when times are tough, people are trying to articulate where we are, and saying why we can't do this or that."

Majority Floor Leader Kevin Engler says although the senators have kept some bills from passing, they still have an important voice in the chamber.


Actuality:  ENGLE1A.WAV
Run Time: 00:12

Description: "Some people say it causes problems and others say it brings sense to the process rather than just approving things because it sounds good."

Some of the fiscally conservative coalition say they will continue to meet next year to influence spending bills.
From the state capitol, I'm Sarah Wire.