State lawmakers push ahead with education agenda, despite Greitens investigation

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers say they're pressing on and trying to avoid distractions from the Greitens investigation.

But when it comes to education, tensions are flaring up between lawmakers and Governor Greitens.  Lawmakers are concerned the state’s school children could get caught in the crossfire.

Both chambers were in session Wednesday with a normal day of floor session and hearings. The special committee investigating the governor's affair and his ties to his charity also today. But once again, the meeting was closed to the press and public and no reports were issued.

An association of rural electric cooperatives provided a fish fry for lawmakers this afternoon as they filed into the House and Senate chambers to try to build consensus on a number of issues without the governor's help.

In a rebuke to Greitens last night, several senators collaborated to stall the appointment of Poplar Bluff insurance agent Eddy Justice to the state's education board. That board makes decisions on items like the standardized MAP tests your kids take in school. Governor Greitens has been an advocate for private and charter schools, and many lawmakers object to how the governor has tried to get an ally as education commissioner.

Back in the summer and fall of last year, Greitens cycled through 10 appointees until he could find five willing to fire Commissioner Margie Van Deven.

On December 1, 2017, the board voted 5-3 to fire Van Deven, with all votes cast by the Greitens appointees.

When the legislative session began this year, Greitens tried to get the Senate to confirm those appointees. Senators refused to confirm them and the board doesn't have enough members to hold meetings.

State Senator Gary Romine (R-Farmington) says he will try to block any of those five appointees from getting confirmed. He says Greitens needs to resubmit five new people for confirmation.