The first day of legislative session comes to a close

Missouri legislators returned to the Capitol today to start the legislative session for the 99th General Assembly.

Senate President Pro-Tem Ron Richard’s speech was not long-winded, and focused on setting the tone for 2017 rather than the agenda.

“What we do here matters, and how we do it matters,” Richard said.

His speech highlighted the history of courageous Missourians who paved the way for present-day lawmakers in the Capitol, pledging that the Senate will conduct business “in a way that rises to the grandeur of the great state of Missouri.”

In the House, Speaker Todd Richardson delivered a message of bipartisanship and change, naming the removal of “unnecessary government regulations” as a first step. He also said that Missouri must become attractive to prospective employers and that tort reform is expected to play a major role this session.

Speaker Richardson vowed that a lobbyist gift ban would be the first bill out of the House. He also said he will take steps on Thursday to get right-to-work on the floor as soon as possible.