Governor Parson Calls Special Session Regarding STEM and Treatment Courts

On Thursday, Governor Parson announced an upcoming special session regarding STEM education and treatment courts. The session will convene on September 10th, and will address two bills, House Bill2562 and Senate Bill 894, which Parson vetoed earlier this year.

HB 2562, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Austin (R-Springfield), dealt with drug treatment courts and SB 894, sponsored by Sen. Doug Libla (R-Poplar Bluff), dealt with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs in the state.

The Senate bill would have allowed high school computer sciences courses to count toward credits needed for graduation, but Parson said he vetoed the bill because the criteria appeared to be tailored to one specific company.

The governor said that the House bill appeared unconstitutional because it included multiple subjects, including addressing drug treatment courts, retirement benefits for state workers, and use of abandoned property.

Both bills passed earlier this year with enough support to override the governor’s vetoes, but the special session will allow legislators to address Parson’s concerns without having to resort to an override.

In an email sent out to legislators, Senator Bob Onder said that the special session will run concurrently with the constitutionally required veto session scheduled to begin Sept. 12.