I spoke up with Representative Luke Scavuzzo (D-124) in the third floor hallway, just outside the side gallery, during one of the brief pauses between votes on the House floor. As we spoke we had to contend with the noise of the large crowd of people, many from the earlier rally, milling about or just walking through.
Representative Luke Scavuzzo (center) on the floor of the House, May 14, 2009.
Show Me Progress:…This has been a very, very busy week and there seems to be, everything seems to be at the last minute at this point. Have you, have you, when you deal with the process, has this been a frustrating thing?
Representative Luke Scavuzzo: Yeah, it’s been frustrating because here at the end, at the end so much happens so fast. And it’s hard to keep track of what’s, what’s in a bill and what’s not in a bill. A lot of bills coming over that have been amended in the Senate. If they are done on the floor, those amendments are not in the bill, so you have to go back to journals and find what amendments have been added in. And it’s, it’s just a real, it’s a, it’s a hard time to keep things straight.
SMP: As you’ve looked at this legislative session what do you think are, are some of the good things that have been accomplished?
Representative Scavuzzo: You know, in, in my opinion there hasn’t been a lot of good things happen in this session. You know, we failed to get people on, to get thirty-five thousand adults on to…health care. It was shot down by the House Republicans. When, when the Senate and the House Democrats and the Governor all in favor of doing this plan at no cost to, no GR [general revenue], no cost to taxpayers of the state. the Hospital Association was picking up the expansion of Medicaid and to, to not do that was very, very disappointing…
…And then the, the large omnibus education bill, to go down in defeatt the way it did, I was hoping that would get passed and go to conference and we could weed out some of the bad things and keep the good things. And that didn’t happen. we were kind of blind sided on that vote. And I was real disappointed. That bill has a possibility of coming back this afternoon [it did, and it passed] – different little version of it, so I’m interested to see what it’s like and see if we can get something for education through.
SMP: That’s SB 291?
Representative Scavuzzo: Right, right. [crosstalk]
SMP: Yes. Okay. What do you think have been the big, the really big disappointments, you’ve touched on some, but are some things that have surprised you that have happened, that didn’t get taken care of?
Representative Scavuzzo: I’m probably more surprised not that some things didn’t get done, I’m more surprised at what…we just didn’t work together. And I just feel like that, my prior two sessions, you know, there’s always a little bickering between the House and the Senate, but this year it was a lot worse than what it was my prior two sessions. And I would, I’m just more disappointed, the fact that we could not even get together and work together to try and get something accomplished.
And that was the message at the beginning at, you know, when, when Governor Nixon was inaugurated in. You know, it was all bipartisanship, bipartisanship. Well that went out the window in about two weeks. And, and I don’t know if went out so much in the Senate. I can’t really speak for them. But they seem to be more on the same page as the Governor and the House Democrats, than the Hose Republicans. And I’m just, I’m just disappointed that we could not come together and work together to get some good, some good legislation passed.
SMP: What, what do you attribute that to?
Representative Scavuzzo: I’m gonna attribute it, a little bit, to the fact that you have a Republican General Assembly and you have a Democratic Governor and you have a Democratic President. And I, I’ve seen a lot of, in several of the bills we’ve taken up this morning, have been nothing but shots at the federal governement and President Obama.
SMP: Well, thank you very much time.
Representative Scavuzzo: Okay.