State Senate, Gov. Greitens set for showdown over Board of Education nominees

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Lawmakers from across the state made their way to Jefferson City this morning for the first day of the 2018 Legislative Session.

While the start to the House of Representatives was quiet, the Senate was heated after an announcement from the Governor.

Just before the State Senate started opening ceremonies for the new legislative session at noon, Governor Eric Greitens rescinded his five nominees to the state Board of Education, and quickly re-nominated them.

This act buys them more time to be confirmed by the Senate, something some members of the Governor's own party were unhappy about.

"He's ignoring the Constitution, and I have to remind you that Greitens swore to uphold the Constitution," said Sen. Rob Schaaf, a Republican from St. Joseph. "In fact, he swore to uphold the Constitution when he became a Navy SEAL."

In November, Governor Greitens made headlines after he pulled his nominees from the board who voiced opposition to removing the state Education Commissioner, Margie Vandeven, from her position.

"These 5 members fired her without having any discussion in advance," Schaaf said.

Greitens released a statement after the November vote failed, saying the reason he was pushing for her removal was that administrators were making too much money, which was pulling from the education system.

Sen. Schaaf thinks there are reason's the governor isn't making public.

“I think that the governor has a reason and hasn’t been transparent about what it is," Schaaf said. "The people of Missouri don’t know because the Governor isn’t transparent about many things.”

Senator Schaff says there are members of the Republican Party, including Sen. Gary Romine, a Farmington Republican and head of the Senate Education Committee, would join up with the Democrats for enough people to filibuster these five nominees from ever sitting on the board.

The board currently only has three members, making it impossible for them to vote on any decisions.

"These five nominees won't be confirmed," Sen. Schaaf said.

The Senate would have had only 30 days to confirm or block those nominations. Now, they have until session ends in May.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.