Missouri GOP starts 2017 legislative session with new ally

jefferson city

Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri lawmakers will start the 2017 legislative session with a new ally for Republicans: Gov.-elect Eric Greitens.

Legislators will meet for the first day of session Wednesday at the Capitol in Jefferson City.

Republicans hold commanding majorities in both the House and Senate. But GOP lawmakers for eight years were checked by outgoing Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

Nixon was barred by terms limits from seeking re-election. His Republican predecessor takes office Jan. 9.

Greitens shares top priorities with Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson and Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard. All three want to pass a right-to-work law barring mandatory union fees, which the legislative leaders say will be one of the first goals for the session.