Monday, June 19, 2006

Sen. Champion on Special Session: Wait and See

Greene County Senator Norma Champion said she's not yet sure whether she'll support a special session this fall to reinstate a Medicaid program for the working disabled.

"I want to give it a little thought," Champion told me today. "The leadership is looking into it, so we need to wait and see how practical it would be to do."

Last week Democrats promised to begin circling a petition among lawmakers to call a special session without the Governor's approval. They would need to get signatures from 75 percent of members of both the House and the Senate to do it.

"I don't know if you can do it by petition alone," Champion said, expressing concerns about the procedure. "If we do it every time a bill doesn't pass, we may set a precedent we may not want."

But when pressed on whether she would sign the petition, Champion said, "I'm not ready to say I'll sign it. I'm not ready to say I won't sign it either."

Champion says the MAWD program is very important but isn't sure a special session is worth it. She says there may be some advantage in waiting until 2007 to craft an all-encompassing Medicaid reform package that deals with fraud as well.

Champion said she wants to let the G.O.P leadership do their job and "check into it." "If leadership supports it, I'd be inclined to support it."

Senator Champion has no primary opponent in August. Democrat Doug Harpool will challenge her for her seat in the fall.


Anonymous said...

"How practical it is?" They're already in the building for veto session.

Guess what, Norma? You *can* do it by petition. And as for setting precedent you don't want, the governor held a special session last year after an abortion bill he wanted didn't pass.

"Champion says the MAWD program is very important but isn't sure a special session is worth it." -- if the welfare of thousands of Missourians most vulnerable citizen isn't worth a little extra work by lawmakers who work only part-time, what is worth it? Small tax exemptions like those Gov. Holden called a session for in 2003? To pass a "pro-life" bill at the governor's request?

Republican senators broke the dam on precedent by squashing the late night filibuster over voter ID.

"If leadership supports it, I'd be inclined to support it." Thanks for the courage and leadership Norma.

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Anonymous said...

Off topic, but important:

Brad and David, the Springfield Bloggers would love to have you attend tonight's meeting--7:00 at the Patton Alley Pub. You both are members simply by being local bloggers.

--A. Cline