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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Nixon faces GOP legislative super-majority

  • Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon had to do some compromising with the state's GOP-led Legislature during his first term, but now the Democratic chief executive faces a new challenge: Republican supermajorities in both the House and Senate.
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  • Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon had to do some compromising with the state's GOP-led Legislature during his first term, but now the Democratic chief executive faces a new challenge: Republican supermajorities in both the House and Senate.
    Republicans' ability to override the governor's vetoes has given them some new power in policy debates and could affect the way Nixon and legislative leaders work. It's less clear whether it will affect what gets accomplished in Jefferson City.
    Senate Republicans during this past week's election maintained their existing two-thirds majority, controlling 24 of the 34 Senate seats for the 2013 legislative session. House Republicans seized 110 of 163 districts, giving their party a veto-proof majority in that legislative branch too.
    House Speaker Tim Jones said Missouri Republicans have taken away Nixon's "checkmate" and he hopes it prompts earlier discussion and negotiation between legislative leaders and the governor's administration.
    "A more efficient use of the taxpayers' time and money would be to have a governor who does not hold his cards so close to his chest and is willing to come down and make his agenda known and his opinions known on specific legislation if he has them, at the time he has them," said Jones, R-Eureka.
    The suggestion stems from complaints by several GOP lawmakers that Nixon sometimes has appeared to hang back during debates about particularly contentious issues while emerging later and seeking to bridge diverse interests.
    In recent years, Nixon waited until after bills passed before publicly entering the fray on regulations for dog breeders and restricting nuisance lawsuits filed by neighbors over odor from large farming operations. Last year, Nixon blasted a bill dealing with vehicle sales taxes shortly after it won final approval in the Legislature.
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