JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A heated floor debate broke out between two Missouri lawmakers on Wednesday, which involved a prolonged period of both speakers talking over each other. You will need to watch the clip to the end to see Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher’s interesting remark.
Reps. LaKeySha Frazier-Bosley (D-St. Louis) and Doug Richey (R-Excelsior Springs) both spoke about various elements and stances on House Bill 437, which eventually cleared the Missouri House on a 133-19 vote.
The bill pertains to fiscal years and budgets of Missouri libraries. One component of it would allow a board of trustees to amend or modify the approved budget at the request of librarians or on its own motion.
Frazier-Bosley called up Richey to question his support in funding libraries, but noted he voted to restrict funding for libraries in the latest state budget.
From there, it seems the bill discussions got a bit off-topic, leading Frazier-Bosley and Richey to debate over a newly-approved Missouri statute that bans explicit material in school libraries. In a video archived by the Missouri House of Representatives, both weighed in on the statute back-and-forth for nearly a minute.
The debate intensified when Richey claimed people from Frazier-Bosley’s side of the aisle don’t want the statute to be read. Frazier-Bosley refuted those remarks, but Richey asserted “It very is. It very much so is.”
The two then delivered these comments into microphones around the same time without giving permission for the other to speak.
Frazier-Bosley: “People can’t say tampons on the floor, but yet we can talk about sexually explicit material, and we can talk in front of children that are sitting up here in the lobby about pornography, but you can’t even say tampons. That is incredible.”
Richey: “The statute makes it very clear at what is attempted to be overturned. The association joined in on the effort to overtun a law, and that law is very clear in what we’re trying to do to protect children from being corrupted by material that goes beyond the pale.”
As both finished those remarks, they followed up with other comments and once again talk over each other.
Frazier-Bosley: “I do want you to know that this is my inquiry, so you’re not going to talk over me, and we’re not going to have this conversation if you continue to talk over me. So let us, allow us to have a civilized conversation. I’m not going to allow you take over the inquiry to begin with.”
Richey: “Everybody on your side of the aisle voted on that bill last year as well. It doesn’t ban books, it just tells individuals you can’t put material in front of children that is a problem. That’s the reason why I got up here to speak.”
Frazier-Bosley then claimed that she felt like Richey was “being attacking” by talking over her, to which Richey replied, “Oh no, not at all.”
Shortly after both paused, Missouri Speaker of the House Dean Plocher spoke and said “Well, that was interesting.” He then noted that Frazier-Bosley was out of time to speak.
The video shows some mixed expressions from lawmakers observing the debate from their seats, including one in the vicinity of both lawmakers on his cell phone throughout the entirety of the exchange.