Audio: Missouri legislature starts special session today

Missouri State Capitol

(Missourinet) – Missouri lawmakers are heading back to work today for a special session requested by Governor Mike Parson.



The special session will coincide with the annual veto session that takes place on the first Wednesday after the second Monday in September. The veto session is held for the legislature to consider action on bills the governor has rejected after the regular session ends in May. Parson called the special session this year to address two measures he vetoed in July largely for technical reasons.

In a statement last week, he said the gathering would focus on the passage of computer science course access and awareness of career opportunities through STEM education, as well as expanding treatment courts (from drugs to include other areas such as mental health). STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math, and STEM education generally means integrating the four disciplines into a single curriculum. In his proclamation to convene the special session, Parson said not enough students are pursuing careers in STEM and not enough teachers are equipped to educate students in those subjects.

The other bill set to be reexamined would establish treatment court divisions to handle several categories involving substance, alcohol and mental disorders. Currently, the state only has a drug treatment court.