Today was the official Missouri House Address for Jeff City legislature with Inauguration Day closing in on Monday, January 9th. I got to sit in on the panel for the House of Representatives as former Secretary of State Jason Kander officially granted the new Speaker of the House, Todd Richardson, and boy! Was there drama!
There is always obvious tension between conservatives and liberals and that doesn’t cease once representatives step outside of social media. Once issues such as voter registration fraud were brought up, tensions began to rise as Secretary of State Jason Kander made outcries regarding restricting constituent’s right to vote claiming that there had been no case of voter fraud in the state of Missouri causing a bit of tension between the left and right side of the floor. There were several boos regarding the movement disrupting the entire floor and Republican Representative Allen Andrews almost immediately went after Kander calling it a slap in the face with a rather candid and contempt tone.
To be honest, the boos rather surprised me not to mention the cut-throat accusation of Allen Andrews; granted, I’m not sure what else I quite expected. While I was seated in the back and couldn’t get a great look at everyone’s physical responses, the verbal responses were clearly evident and, in a way, childish. These are topics that have been thrown around for years and they’re still fighting over them like cats and dogs. I heard abortion mentioned a few times and it’s just interesting to me that some fights never cease, no matter where you go. Welcome to journalism, Krissy. Hope you brought your raincoat.
Adding to that drama was the inclusion of democrat Representative Gail McCann Beatty’s mention of rising racial tensions as well as the rise of minority unemployment rates by nearly double the percentile and possibly rising to nearly 45 percent. McCann Beatty mentioned in a following press conference that not enough was being done regarding the issues and opposed many viewpoints of newly-nominated Todd Richardson, indicating an interesting beginning to the session.
Republicans seemed almost soft spoken in this event given that they attain the 2/3 majority of the floor, especially since newly-appointed governor Greitons-R will be sworn in. I rather liked Todd Richardson’s speech and found it interesting when he mentioned he would be passing a ban on lobbysists providing gifts to elected officials and that it would be the first bill out of the house. Also gives light to how bad of a problem this has become given that it was granted nearly top priority.
Overall, it was an interesting day. Got to learn how to deal with the radio equipment (even though people kept stepping on it) and was properly introduced to a number of other press workers that were very friendly and gave me good insight towards what I will be doing in the future. It’s still super intimidating as I came in with little to no experience; however, that just means I will be able to learn so much more before I even step into that Broadcast Journalism degree.