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Two Senators Block Village Law Repeal

Efforts to repeal the so-called village law ran into a roadblock in the senate where a candidate for attorney general helped block it from coming to a vote. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports from Jefferson City.

The bill would repeal a law that allows an individual landowner to get around local planning and zoning regulations. It's a major issue for lawmakers in Southwest Missouri, including Republican Senator Jack Goodman. He says businessman Robert Plaster, who owns land in Goodman's district was the first to try to take advantage of the village law. Goodman was visibly disappointed that two Democratic senators blocked the bill from coming to a vote Thursday evening.

One of the two democrats who blocked the bill is Senator Chris Koster, a candidate for attorney general. Koster says he's using the opportunity to force Republican leaders to pass bills related to illegal immigration and property taxes.

The other democratic candidates for attorney general had harsh words for Koster, who, until last year was a republican. House Speaker Rod Jetton opposes the village law repeal. Democratic Representative Margaret Donnelly says Koster's alignment with Jetton on this issue is suspect.

The handler of the village repeal in the senate, Republican Jack Goodman says this effort to block the bill goes beyond a difference of opinion.

But the two senators who are blocking the village repeal say they're just trying to pressure the leaders of Goodman's own party to pass a bill cracking down on illegal immigration.