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Eric Greitens goes to Aspen as special session on abortion nears close

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is in Aspen, Colo., where he will be participating in a Republican governors’ panel hosted by the Aspen Institute Tuesday evening.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is in Aspen, Colo., where he will be participating in a Republican governors’ panel hosted by the Aspen Institute Tuesday evening. kmyers@kcstar.com

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens will be in Aspen, Colo., while the state’s lawmakers debate new abortion regulations Tuesday in Jefferson City.

The first-term governor will be participating in a Republican governors’ panel hosted by the Aspen Institute Tuesday evening as the Missouri Senate looks to conclude the special session called by Greitens.

The governors will discuss “policies and programs that serve as the backbones of their respective states,” according to the institute’s website.

Other GOP governors listed as attending the event include Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who joined Greitens at a bill signing earlier this year.

Greitens’ spokesman did not immediately respond to questions Tuesday morning about who paid for the trip and what policies Greitens planned to highlight. He also did not comment on whether the governor’s absence would undermine his efforts to pass new abortion restrictions.

Greitens’ decision to call two special sessions this year has rankled some lawmakers.

“While the Senate is back in Jefferson City to continue working on the Governor’s extraordinary session, it’s good to know he’s found the time to share the wealth of governing knowledge he’s gained from 6 months in office with the good people of Aspen, Colorado,” said Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Kansas City Republican, in a text message.

Missouri Democratic chair Stephen Webber criticized Greitens and noted the cost of the special session. The cost of special session stood at more than $70,000 earlier this month and will continue to grow until it’s officially concluded.

“As an expensive and unnecessary special session attacking women’s reproductive freedom is dragging on in Jefferson City and Republicans in D.C. are close to gutting healthcare for Missourians, of course Eric Greitens is skipping town,” Webber said in a statement. “He only uses his office to look out for himself, billionaire political donors, and big corporations.”

The Star’s Jason Hancock contributed to this report.

Bryan Lowry: 816-234-4077, @BryanLowry3

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