While the election-night news out of Washington was distressing with the election of a pro-aborton President and Congress, the results out of Jefferson City were quite encouraging. Despite the fact that Missouri now has a pro-abortion Governor, the Missouri Legislature remains firmly in the hands of pro-life and pro-family majorities. This bodes
well for efforts to enact legislation to support the right to life and the sanctity of marriage. It means even more when it comes to blocking anti-life and anti-family bills and spending proposals.
Republicans held on to a comfortable majority in the House of Representatives by a margin of 89-74. Republicans strengthened their hold on the Senate with a 23-11 split. A key question this year will be whether it will be necessary to override vetoes of the Governor to enact pro-family legislation. It would appear the votes for a veto override are there in the Senate. The potential for an override also exists in the House with the support of a good number of pro-life Democrats.
The 163 members of the House of Representatives and the 34 members of the Senate elected new leaders for the next two years, and the outcome was good news for the pro-family and pro-life community. The new Speaker of the House is
Rep. Ron Richard of Joplin. Mr. Richard has been a supporter of traditonal values. In his opening remarks to the Missouri House, he pledged to exercise his leadership in support of pro-life objectives: "This year we will also reaffirm our commitment to protecting the lives of the unborn. We have instituted policies that have greatly reduced the number of abortions in our state..but we must continue our efforts to ensure Missouri holds life sacred."
Other leaders in the House also have strong respect for the values of Christian families and citizens in Missouri. Rep Bryan Pratt of Blue Springs is once again the Speaker Pro Tem, and Rep. Steve Tilley of Perryville is the Majority Leader. Both have been very helpful to the Missouri Family Policy Council in our educational efforts. The Minority Leader in the Missouri House is Paul LeVota of Kansas City, who has opposed pro-life legislation but supported the religious freedom proposal advanced by our Family Policy Council last year.
The Missouri Senate elected as its new leader Senator Charlie Shields of St. Joseph to serve as
President Pro Tem. Senator Shields has been receptive to pro-life and pro-family objectives, and has been very supportive of the work of our Family Policy Council. The new Majority Leader in the Senate is Senator Kevin Engler of Farmington, who has a long history of pro-life activism and commitment. The Democratic caucus selected Senator Victor Callahan as their Minority Leader. This was very welcome news, since Senator Callahan is a friend of the pro-life movement.
The formal President of the Senate (who rarely presides) is Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau. Mr. Kinder is now the only statewide officeholder with pro-life and pro-family views. Lt. Governor Kinder has been a long-time vocal advocate of the rights of the unborn, and has spoken forcefully in defense of traditional
marriage. His record on the subject of human cloning has been muddled, but he affirmed in the recent election his unequivocal opposition to embryonic stem cell research.
Please pray for all the members of the Missouri Legislature as the work of the 95th General Assembly gets underway. Please place the legislators mentioned above on your weekly prayer list. These individuals control the flow and priority of legislation. The fate of good and bad proposals rests in their hands. May they find perfect counsel not in constituent surveys or political advisers, but through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the treasury of the Word of God.