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(AUDIO): Missouri’s House Speaker doesn’t believe special session will be necessary; anti-hazing bill appears to be dead

(AUDIO): Missouri’s House Speaker doesn’t believe special session will be necessary; anti-hazing bill appears to be dead

Missouri’s House Speaker is pleased with the 2023 legislative session, which wraps up Friday evening at 6 in Jefferson City.

Speaker Dean Plocher (R-Town and Country) notes House Republicans have a 111-51 supermajority, and tells 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” they should lead like they have a supermajority. Plocher notes he outlined House GOP priorities in early January.

“We wanted some tax cuts, we wanted initiative petition reform, we were going to work on the transgender anomaly that’s hitting this country for some social reason. We’re going to talk about open enrollment, reducing personal property taxes. We outlined all of that in January and I think come the end of the week here, we have four days to go, I think people are going to be very happy with what we deliver,” Plocher says.

The House also voted 154-2 this week to pass a bipartisan bill that would end state taxes on Social Security benefits starting in 2024. That bill is now on the governor’s desk. Speaker Plocher predicts the Legislature will pass transgender-related legislation by Friday evening. He tells “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” that he doesn’t believe a special session will be necessary, based on what he anticipates will happen this week in Jefferson City.

“I know we’re going to hit the transgender issues. Whether we hit them up to everybody’s satisfaction remains to be seen. But we’re going to pass some stuff. Hopefully the governor (Mike Parson) finds it satisfactory, I think he should. I think the people will,” says Plocher.

Meantime, anti-hazing legislation in the Missouri House appears to be dead, over language concerns about the bill. House Bill 240 from State Rep. Travis Smith (R-Dora) says any person who renders aid to a hazing victim or is the first to call 911 or campus security is immune from prosecution. Speaker Plocher doesn’t like the bill’s wording.

“I don’t want to grant immunity just because you call 911. What if you’re the perpetrator. I mean you can shoot somebody or haze them in some capacity and then you call 911 and then you’re immune? I think it’s a duty for people to help each other,” Speaker Plocher says.

Representative Smith, a Mizzou graduate, has said he wants to prevent another situation like Danny Santulli’s from happening again. Santulli’s family members say he’s blind and unable to walk, after an alleged October 2021 hazing incident at a Mizzou fraternity house.

Republicans have supermajorities in both chambers: 24-10 in the Missouri Senate and 111-51 in the Missouri House. You can hear the full interview with Speaker Plocher here.