- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators won’t reconvene until at least after the Fourth of July holiday to consider proposals to create more abortion regulations, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe said Tuesday.

GOP Gov. Eric Greitens called lawmakers back to the Capitol for the second special session of the summer to tackle abortion policy. In his call, Greitens asked lawmakers to pass additional regulations on the procedure and to undo provisions in a St. Louis ordinance that bans discrimination in employment and housing based on reproductive health choices, such as pregnancy or abortion.

Senators earlier this month passed a watered-down bill that addressed many of Greitens‘ requests, but not all of them. The state House last week passed a ramped-up version of the bill that senators haven’t yet taken up.

Kehoe said Senate Republicans support the proposals for more abortion regulations, but that it’s difficult coordinating key lawmakers and staffers over the summer when the Legislature typically is not in session.

“The issue’s very important to us - it’s not the issue at all,” Kehoe said. “It’s trying to make sure we’ve got enough people here to do that.”

He said he’s speaking with other Senate Republicans on Wednesday to pick a day to start work on the legislation again.

Lawmakers’ annual legislative session adjourned in mid-May. Greitens first called them back to Jefferson City later that month to pass legislation to allow aluminum smelters, steel mills and other major electricity users to negotiate lower electricity rates for longer contracts than what was allowed under prior law.

Greitens called a second special session focused on abortion roughly two weeks later. Greitens‘ action led to tensions with some lawmakers, including several who raised questions about the urgency of the issues at hand.

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