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Representative Mike Talboy (D) speaking to students at the University of Central Missouri.

On Friday morning Representative Mike Talboy (D-37) addressed students at the University of Central Missouri as part of the program for Politics & Social Justice Week:

Representative Mike Talboy (D-37): ….I’ve been in the legislature for four years now. I, uh, I’m heading up the campaign committee for the House Democrats and I also have been selected by my caucus as the Democratic Leader-elect….

….If you’ve watched what’s going on in Jefferson City the last few years, aside from the news about the FBI investigations or anything like that, you know that we have no money. And I wish I could tell you that it was gonna get better. But the bad news is that we are going to have even less money next year. Uh, we’re looking at about a billion to a billion two shortfall and the reason that things aren’t that bad right now is because we have a little left over stimulus money that, that came in and gave us a cushion at the state level.  The problem is,  is that that money’s all going to be dried up and we may have just a tad bit that will come in because of the jobs bill, maybe three hundred million, and that’ll keep us from going completely into the one and a half to one point six billion dollar shortfall possible.

Uh, the, the environment down there is about like what you’d expect it to be. It looks a lot like the, for anybody that watched the health care debate, it looks a lot like that on a, on a daily basis. Oh, and they actually, probably are a little more civil day to day. Uh, it’s always funny because you hear about the, the party in power will always say that the party in the, in, in the minority is always doing obstructionist work and, and they’re, they’re not really coming to the table. Or they’re, the minority will always say they’re not being included. And so it’s always very interesting to watch the dance that happens in, in Jeff City.  ‘Cause we’re in, we’re in minority. We’re eight seats down. But we actually had the guy who, if the, the Republicans stay in power, is talking to us about his bill about opting out of the health care bill and trying to put the constitutional fight that all these states want to get in to, actually on the ballot inside of our Constitution in the State of Missouri. Well, the, the interesting part about the whole thing is they shut off debate during that bill. On us. While they were complaining about the majority party at the federal level not allowing the minority party at the federal level to have a voice in the process. So, it’s, it’s one of those things that regardless of, of what the environment or who’s in power or anything like that, the House of Representatives is not the deliberative body that the Senate is. It is very much a tyranny of the majority. It is very much a whoever’s in power, as long as you have votes to do something you’re gonna get it passed.

And so it, it’s been interesting ’cause we’ve had a lot more people take interest now that the, the health care debate was on TV at such a wide, uh, audience that I can’t remember any other kind of, of, uh, C-SPAN audience actually have that many viewers at any one time. Uh, matter of fact, I think the only time I’ve ever, I’ve seen that much interest in anything that was going on inside Congress, the day to day, was Anita Hill and, and Clarence Thomas.  And you are all probably way too young to remember any of that….

….But the interesting part is that we have become very divided along all sorts of different lines. It’s happened at the national level, it’s happened at the state level, and it’s, it’s probably going to get a little bit worse before it gets better. The good news is that usually throughout history these types of things do end up getting better. But, it takes a while for it to cycle back.

Uh, we have some things that are, that are moving forward in the legislature. But again, when you don’t have any money and you’re actually taking money out of programs it’s very hard to try to actually advance anything because it, passing legislation usually has some sort of fiscal impact on the state to it. And right now the, the big thing is this new DWI bill that, that the Governor had put forward and, and we debated on the floor. It’s probably not going to end up passing unless there are some significant changes to it because of this simple fact. And it’s amazing, the warrantless blood search is probably, you know, the fact that a guy fresh out of the police academy can come in and take your blood without a warrant, uh, plays no factor in that. It’s simply a monetary problem. It’s [inaudible] we can’t fund it. If we actually put it in we would completely tax the law enforcement divisions of municipalities and counties.

And so, a, a lot of bills are going to simply live or die based upon whether or not there’s any fiscal  impact to the state….

Representative Talboy took questions from students for the remainder of the hour.