Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, has had a rough go of it lately in the Missouri Senate over legislation that would repeal the state's Construction Work in Progress law.
The CWIP debate has provided the freshman senator with some of his biggest exposure since entering the General Assembly. Schaefer was instrumental in producing a substitute version of the legislation to be debated on the floor.
Supporters of Sen. Delbert Scott's legislation are aiming to repeal CWIP in order to pave the way for a new nuclear power plant in Callaway County. Opponents say the measure's rate increase is bad for consumers and doesn't guarantee the plant will be built.
Schaefer has gotten into tense verbal arguments with Sen. Joan Bray, D-St. Louis County, and Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau. He was also heavily criticized in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial.
But Schaefer's received high praise from an unlikely source: state Rep. Chris Kelly. The Columbia Democrat represents an area of Boone County that's relatively close to Callaway County.
"I'm incredibly proud of my senator for how hard he's worked and how much he's done," Kelly said. "He's taken a beating on this. But he's done excellent, excellent work. I don't like everything about the bill, but I am pleased with my representation in the Missouri Senate."
"I am mostly pleased with the compentency in which he's handled it," Kelly added. "He's done great work."
While he's been a supporter of building Callaway II, Kelly is a proponent of sending the CWIP issue to the voters. He also said he wants more incentives for wind and solar energy built into the legislation.
Scott's legislation was shelved earlier this week after it became clear the measure would need more negoiations to break a filibuster.