YAEL T. ABOUHALKAH

Petty Missouri lawmakers on the warpath

Updated: 2013-04-24T01:40:35Z

By YAEL T. ABOUHALKAH

The Kansas City Star

The Missouri Senate is careening out of control.

With irresponsible actions, pouting senators in the last few days have decided to cut the budgets of at least two state agencies that the lawmakers think are dissing them.

Never mind having civil, thoughtful and mature discussions about budgets and issues that matter to the people of Missouri.

In one instance, the senate has slashed $3.5 million from the agency that issues state driver’s licenses. That’s right: The state potentially could stop making driver’s licenses, inconveniencing thousands of Missourians.

It’s all part of the pathetically petty effort by GOP senators to get back at the Motor Vehicle and Driver’s License Division over the biggest nonstory of the year: the division’s handling of conceal carry documents.

Sure, more sensible legislators eventually will come to the rescue, the money will be restored and licenses will be issued. But it’s a shame we have to see the crybabies in the Senate act this way.

In the second case, GOP state Sen. Bob Dixon of Springfield got back at a specific individual in Department of Social Services by getting the Senate to eliminate funding for that person’s position on Monday night.

As it turns out, part of this fight eventually ties back to the Senate’s fiscally stupid decision to not take millions of dollars from the federal government last year to improve public information systems at the state level.

Yes, Missouri lawmakers will remain ideologically pure when it comes to refusing to put in place Obamacare or almost anything else that would help hundreds of thousands of low-income residents in Missouri.

But when it comes to their own hurt feelings, Missouri legislators will act like crybabies and make the whole story about them and their “problems” in getting information from other state employees.

It’s pathetic but normal behavior for too many in the state Senate at this time.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. He blogs at voices.kansascity.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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