Two Missouri GOP state senators who are running for secretary of state next year are blaming each other for the defeat of sports wagering legislation in Jefferson City this year.
Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) spoke Saturday morning on 939 the Eagle’s “CEO Roundtable” program.
“We had the ability to cut property taxes, legalize sports betting and do some other things in the tax realm all in one fell swoop, and Senator Hoskins decided to kill all of that because they want slot machines in gas stations,” Senator Rowden says.
Senator Rowden tells listeners that the legality of these slot machines in gas stations is questionable, noting the issue is currently in litigation.
State Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrenburg), who represents mid-Missouri’s Cooper County in the listening area, disagrees. He’s issued a statement to 939 the Eagle, which says “the Missouri Constitution says state tax revenue from gaming must be used for education and veterans and currently that tax revenue does not fully fund our veterans homes and cemeteries. As a veteran of the Missouri Army National Guard, I will continue to fight to find a dedicated funding source for our veterans homes and cemeteries. Unfortunately, as a former pop singer, Rowden’s loyalties lie with getting the best deal for casinos, not the best deal for Missouri veterans and taxpayers.”
Meantime, Senate President Pro Tem Rowden says term limits are good but that Missouri’s term limits are bad. Missouri voters approved term limits in 1992, and state lawmakers can serve up to four terms in the House (eight years) and up to two four-year Senate terms (eight years) for a maximum of 16 years in Jefferson City. Senator Rowden tells 939 the Eagle’s “CEO Roundtable” he’d like to see that tweaked and sent back to voters.
“I love the idea or I like the idea of saying ok you can just serve 16 years (in the Missouri Legislature) but you can do it wherever you want. Because instead of saying you can only serve eight and eight in either chamber, there’s a bunch of House members that are never going to run for the (Missouri) Senate, but if they’re there for 16 years they have the ability to really kind of put their roots down and figure out those ways to really serve their community well,” says Rowden.