JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Sen. Rob Schaaf made a shocking move in the Senate Wednesday afternoon when he requested each House bill on the Senate consent calendar be removed from that calendar.
The effect of those bills coming off of the consent calendar, designed to streamline the legislative process on bills widely-agreed upon, could muck up the final weeks of session.
At the beginning of the Senate session, Schaaf requested a letter to Secretary of the Senate Adriane Crouse be read on the Senate floor. The letter simply listed each bill read be moved off of the Senate consent calendar.
If any single senator requests those bills off the consent calendar, those bills immediately come off of the calendar and there is no recourse for them to return to that calendar. Those bills can go to the regular calendar, however Schaaf’s action may put many of those bills in jeopardy as session comes to a close in less than a month because they will now have to go through multiple procedural motions they otherwise would not have to on the consent calendar. Budget bills also still have to go through the Senate at least by May 5.
The senator from St. Joseph also had the letter read publicly, when requests for removal of bills from the consent calendar is usually done off of the floor.
Schaaf targeted House bills after stating his version of the prescription drug monitoring program was sent to Rep. Kevin Engler’s House Insurance Committee by House Speaker Todd Richardson as opposed to the committee he requested, saying “actions have consequences.”
When debate began on the House bills for third reading Calendar, Schaaf spoke to further expand on the reason for his letter. He used his opposition to the budget implementation of managed care pushed by many in House leadership as further reason for his stall tactics.
“Games are being played all around us,” Schaaf said, later adding that he wanted to “slow things down” in the legislative process.
“Other bills will die, and that’s sort of the way things will be,” he said. “You can have what you want, but there will be a price to pay. The rank-and-file 162 members in the House need to inform their leader this is happening.”
Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal stood with Schaaf and thanked him for his “courage.” Her bill allowing the government relocation of owners of homes she says are contaminated with radioactive waste moved out of the Senate, but has not yet been assigned a committee in the House.
She said other matters may have to wait given the amount of important legislation the body has to deal with in the coming weeks.
“If we end up in a special session for the budget, we just do,” Chappelle-Nadal said.
Schaaf also requested on multiple bills to have debate on them postponed until Thursday, reading excerpts from Robert Cialdini’s “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” during each of his points of orders to further slow down business in the Senate.