JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Missouri lawmakers gaveled in Monday with just two weeks left to handle all legislation, but they believe they can press on and prevent the Greitens scandal from slowing down state business.
Lawmakers took the historic step last Thursday to call for a special session to consider the impeachment of Greitens. Lawmakers told Fox 2 Monday that allows them to solely focus on legislation in the final stretch.
The conference committee working out the differences between the House and the Senate on a $29 billion budget proposal met Monday afternoon. One of the committee meetings was canceled last week when the special investigative committee released its report on "The Mission Continues."
Lawmakers must meet a Friday deadline to pass the budget.
"We don't have any huge items in there that we differ on," said Rep. Kathie Conway, R-St. Charles. "Most of them are between $30,000 and $1 million give or take. In the big scheme of a $29 billion budget, $1 million is not a huge difference to overcome."
Lawmakers are working on several other items like tax cuts, repealing the minimum wage or "prevailing wage" paid to workers on public construction projects and a medical marijuana proposal.
However, lawmakers have not said definitively what bills they know they can get through both chambers before the session ends on Friday, May 18th.
"There have been maybe 1,000 bills that have been filed," said Rep. Kathie Conway, R-St. Charles. "Some are moving through rather well. There's good cooperation between the Senate and the House. The big bills I'm not really sure. Big ones can die and small ones can get through. So, we're just going to have to wait and see what happens."
As the session winds down, Republican Senate leaders may be more likely to use the "previous question."
The motion shuts down floor debate on a bill and forces a vote. Previous question motions are rarer in the Senate, but Republican Senate leaders have not hesitated to use the "PQ" in the final weeks of the last few sessions to get key GOP priorities across the finish line.