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The 96th Missouri General Assembly went into session yesterday in Jefferson City. New members were sworn in, leadership was elected, and business has started in Jefferson City.

One of the first orders of business was the election of the Speaker of the House. The minority (Democrats) nominated representative Mike Talboy (D-37).

Representative Mike Talboy (D-37), the new House Minority Leader.

Given the overwhelming republican majority in the House Representative Talboy rose to speak on his nomination (remarks as prepared):

The Missouri House has tough work ahead of it, so I won’t take up everyone’s time with a long speech.

Missourians and their families are struggling and we must work to fix this situation. The No. 1 priority of both parties this year must be to preserve and create jobs to help restore our state’s economy.

However, in our efforts to make Missouri more “business friendly,” we must avoid being anti-worker.  

While it is often said that businesses create jobs, it is really consumers who create jobs, because they are the ones who choose to buy the goods and services that make it possible for businesses to exist.

Policies that purport to help businesses by reducing wages ultimately hurt businesses, because it means hard-working Missourians have less money in their pockets to spend.

Education is the foundation for success and economic growth in our state.

We must take steps to make sure we do not decimate our education system to ensure we have the educated workforce to fill the jobs we create.  Investment in education is critical in attracting new businesses and the expansion and retention of existing businesses in Missouri.

Republicans have the numbers in the House to do whatever they want on virtually every issue.

For our part, House Democrats will do our best to keep the majority accountable and work together to find solutions for these challenging times facing Missourians.

Although the majority party has increased power, it comes with increased responsibility.

All of Missouri will be watching the decisions House Republicans make. And ultimately they will be held responsible for those decisions.

House Democrats will offer concrete and realistic ideas to put Missourians back to work and create new jobs in our state. We stand ready to move Missouri forward and we are ready to go to work.  

I am honored and humbled to be nominated as Speaker of this esteemed body, however, I respectfully decline this nomination.

Representative Steve Tilley (r) was elected Speaker by acclamation.

Representative Jill Schupp (D-82) in conversation with colleagues on the House floor before the start of the session.

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) starts the proceedings of the House.

Members of the House take their oath of office.

Speaker Steve Tilley (r) addresses the House.

Previously:

Teabaggers, and nullification, and the cult of the lost cause, oh my! (January 5, 2011)

Teabagger rally at the state capitol: when astroturfing lobbyists speak, they listen… (January 5, 2011)