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House Minority Caucus

Mike Talboy, Minority Leader Tishaura Jones, Asst. Minority Leader Mike Colona, Minority Whip Terry Swinger, Caucus Chair Sara Lampe, Caucus Secretary Chris Carter, Caucus Vice Chair

Jill Schupp, Policy Chair

For Immediate Release: March 15, 2012

For more information contact: Rep. Mike Talboy at (816) 536-0082

House Democrats propose rules for Hall of Famous Missourians


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. In light of Republican House Speaker Steve Tilleys proposed induction of controversial and bombastic radio personality Rush Limbaugh into the Hall of Famous Missourians, House Democrats are proposing legislation that would for the first time establish formal criteria and procedures for inducting future members. At present, the Hall of Famous Missourians doesnt legally exist and is an informal honor traditionally bestowed by the speaker of the House, who unilaterally selects inductees and privately raises money for the commissioning of a bronze bust of the person to be honored. The busts are displayed in the Capitol Rotunda by permission of the Office of Administration, which has legal authority and control over all public areas of the Capitol. Until the proposed induction of Rush Limbaugh, whom many Missourians consider wholly unworthy of a place of honor in their Capitol, the Hall of Famous Missourians has never been a source of controversy, said House Minority Leader Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City. It is now clear that a formal process is needed in state law for inducting future members, rather than leaving it to the whims of a single person. Under the proposed rules for the Hall, inductees would have to have been born in Missouri or lived and worked in the state for a significant portion of their lives and have achieved excellence in any field of human endeavor. Inductees would be chosen by a vote of three of the four following people: the House speaker, Senate president pro tem, House minority leader and Senate minority leader. No more than two people could be inducted into the Hall during a given General Assembly, which lasts two years. House Democrats will seek to include the Hall standards legislation as an amendment to an appropriate bill that comes before the House during the final weeks of the legislative session. Although to date only House speakers have selected inductees, since the Hall doesnt legally exist, there is nothing to prevent another state official -- such as the governor or Senate president pro tem -- or even a private person from commissioning a bust and requesting that it be placed in the Hall. House Democrats have asked the Office of Administration to refuse to grant the proposed Limbaugh bust space in the Capitol, and the House speaker has no legal authority to require that it be granted space. ###