The plates of Missouri lawmakers will be full when they return to work Wednesday.
Even now, four days before the gavel drops on the 100th General Assembly, 620 bills have already been prefiled since Dec. 1.
The 2019 legislative session will welcome 163 state representatives, who between them have prefiled 414 bills.
In addition to the bills, 17 House joint resolutions have also been filed.
During the election cycle of 2018, the Republican party was able to maintain its super-majority in the House.
After the official swearing-in ceremony of new and returning members Jan. 9, there will be 116 Republican House members.
The Democratic caucus in the state House will consist of 47 members.
Unique to this year’s session, will be the integration of 62 new members.
Of the total 163, just under half will be freshman legislators coming into the House for their first terms. Three of those new members, Aaron Griesheimer, R-Washington, Dottie Bailey, R-Eureka, and John Simmons, R-Krakow, are representing Franklin County.
The fourth legislator from Franklin County, Nathan Tate, R-St. Clair, was successful, in his election to a second term.
There is still no word from House leadership on committee assignments or chairmanships.
On the Senate side of the Capitol building, there are 34 legislators who have prefiled 206 bills since Dec. 1.
Senators have also filed 14 Senate joint resolutions as of Friday.
When the session begins at noon Wednesday State Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, will be sworn in as Senate president pro tempore.
Shortly after his successful re-election bid in November, Schatz was voted by his Senate colleagues to serve in the leadership role.
The pro tempore position is the highest leadership role in the Senate, second only to the lieutenant governor, who presides over the session, but typically only votes to break ties.
Although Schatz will not be filing legislation of his own during this session, he will control the Senate calendar and be able to steer bills through the chamber.
Both Schatz and Tate said they are looking forward to the legislative session and working with Gov. Mike Parson.
Parson, a former legislator and lieutenant governor himself, ascended to the governor’s mansion after the resignation of Eric Greitens on June 1, just weeks after the 2018 legislative session.
Wednesday will mark the beginning of the first legislative session of Parson’s tenure.
Former 61st District State Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, will work as the legislative liaison to push the governor’s agenda in 2019.
Of the hundreds of bills filed in the House and Senate last year, only 146 made it to final passage.
Outgoing Gov. Eric Greitens signed 77 bills before exiting office leaving 63 to be signed by new Gov. Mike Parson.
Parson later called a special legislative session to consider other bills from the 2018 session.