JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The House’s informal Conservative Caucus, made up of Republicans with a libertarian bent, will not support Rep. Holly Rehder’s prescription drug monitoring act, which yesterday saw its conference committee dissolved.
Despite changes made to the bill in the Senate by libertarian-esque conservatives in the upper chamber, representatives in the caucus said the bill would still harm peoples’ privacy with little benefit to the state.
“Our focus on this epidemic of prescription drug abuse should be on the treatment for those addicted and new methods of prescribing prescription drugs; not squandering away peoples 4th [sic] Amendment rights with regard to their personal medical information,” Conservative Caucus Vice-Chairman Rick Brattin said in a statement.
Their stance against the PDMP bill is little surprise as many members of the caucus opposed the legislation the first time it came to the floor for a vote. However, that bloc of votes could prove crucial in whether the bill makes it out of the House. Some Democrats – who constituted about half of the bill’s ‘yes’ votes when it first made it out of the House – balked at changes made by the Senate. Tuesday night, Minority Floor Leader Gail McCann Beatty said she would not vote for the new version, and other Democrats were ready to join her in pushing their red buttons.
For a bill on the brink that needs every vote it can get, one of the largest informal caucuses restating their opposition means one of the most talked about bills in Jefferson City could fail to cross the finish line.