Missouri lawmakers returned last week to the capitol in Jefferson City to begin the new legislative session.

Missouri legislators returned to Jefferson City last week to kick off the second regular session of the 96th General Assembly. And thanks to legislators up for re-election – from both parties – University of Missouri–St. Louis political scientist Terry Jones predicted an active session Thursday on “St. Louis on the Air,” a program on St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU. The incumbents will want to have done something this session, he said, “particularly in the economic development arena, that they can brag about on the campaign trail come fall.”

Dave Robertson, Curators’ Teaching Professor of Political Science at UMSL, also touched on state politics on an earlier episode of “St. Louis on the Air” that reflected on major regional headlines in 2011. He pointed out that the Missouri and national political scenes last year were similar in some ways.

“There’s just enormous gridlock and political polarization between the two parties,” Robertson said on “St. Louis on the Air.”

As a low-tax, low-spending state, he added, moving Missouri forward economically will be difficult in a period of program cutting.

Rounding out a week of heavy Missouri and national political news coverage, David Kimball, associate professor of political science at UMSL, weighed in on Sen. Claire McCaskill’s re-election bid in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article “McCaskill in the middle: centrist or opportunist?”

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz