Rather than find common ground, Republican lawmakers in Missouri threw in the towel on Tuesday and said there will be no special session next week to restore funding for a disabled workers program.
After cutting the program in 2005, GOP lawmakers were pummeled with criticism and promised to fix the program in 2006. Tuesday, they broke that promise. The Associated Press reports:
Gov. Matt Blunt said in July that he would call a special session if lawmakers could reach consensus on a pair of Medicaid bills - one addressing fraud by medical providers, the other restoring coverage to some disabled workers. Any special session likely would have begun next week.
But Ed Martin, Blunt's new chief of staff, said Tuesday that the governor has no intention of calling a special session.
"There doesn't seem to be consensus over what the issues should be," Martin said.
State Rep. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, also said there will not be a special session. Schaaf, who was leading the House's efforts on the Medicaid fraud bill, said he discussed the legislation with sponsoring Sen. Chris Koster, R-Harrisonville, but the two could not reach a compromise.