Sheila Lumpe was born on April 17, 1935. She served as a Democrat in the Missouri House of Representatives for eight terms, elected continuously beginning in 1980. In 1997 she accepted a position as commissioner with the Public Service Commission, and within a few months became chief commissioner. The interview was conducted in Ms. Lumpes office in Jefferson City. This transcript is especially rich on the topic of public schools and education. Ms. Lumpe served on the University City school board, 1973-1981, and later on House committees dealing with education. From these perspectives she offers some valuable insights on the various education lobbies. Also included is her philosophy on educational funding and operations, and some discussion of the Excellence in Education bill. Another topic of interest involves the evolving role of women in the Missouri Legislature. Ms. Lumpe came into the General Assembly during the final stages of the Equal Rights Amendment efforts, and stayed to see a new generation of female representatives come into office. She offers a perspective on lobbying groups interested in womens issues, and the difficult topic of abortion is frankly addressed at length. Environmental subjects discussed in this interview includes the Safe Drinking Water bill, St. Louis emissions legislation, the once-proposed merger of state parks with the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the controversial Natural Streams Act. Ms. Lumpe had an unusual perspective on organized labor in that her husband completed his newspaper journalism career as a writer for the Teamsters. Ms. Lumpe herself consistently voted with labor, and served on certain committees pertaining to labor. Again, a perspective on lobbies pertaining to labor is found in the following pages. Other topics in this lengthy interview include some very interesting descriptions of Ms. Lumpes former legislative districts (before and after redistrictings) around University City, service on the Head Injury Advisory Council, legislation dealing with gambling and gaming, and Ms. Lumpes service as chair of the powerful House Budget Committee. Once a candidate for Speaker, Ms. Lumpe describes the transition from longtime Speaker Bob Griffin to Steven Gaw. Standard subjects include discussion of media coverage of the General Assembly and legislative term limits. Finally, there is some conversation pertaining to Ms. Lumpes early service on the Public Service Commission, which coincides with a historic and dynamic transitional time of utilities deregulation.
The State Historical Society of Missouri
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