A veteran mid-Missouri state lawmaker says tension over congressional redistricting kept the GOP-controlled Legislature from accomplishing a lot more this session.
State Rep. Chuck Basye (R-Rocheport) says the issue dominated the entire session, including time in private House GOP caucus meetings.
“Even on our House (GOP) caucus, we had hours I mean multiple caucuses to talk about it when we were moving our first map. And there was a lot of disagreement on our side, but we got through it. It passed pretty overwhelmingly,” Basye says.
The governor’s office has started the review process of the new congressional map approved by lawmakers, which splits Columbia and Boone County into two districts.
During a wide-ranging interview with 939 the Eagle News, Basye also addressed the issue of education. He chairs the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. While he voted for it, Basye wishes lawmakers had handled the issue of starting teacher pay differently. He says school administrators don’t like the Legislature’s decision to increase the baseline salary for new Missouri teachers to $38,000.
“In the rural areas, they’re very, very worried about this going forward. They think it’s going to be a terrible budget problem for them in the years to come. And so now that’s something we passed, and we’re going to have to live with it,” says Basye.
Governor Mike Parson (R) called for the increase during his January State of the State Address, noting Missouri ranks 50th in the nation for starting teacher pay. The governor says half of Missouri’s new teachers leave the profession by their fifth year.
Missouri’s current minimum teacher salary is $25,000.