During the last week of the session, The Missouri Times will bring you updates of floor activity for each chamber. Below is all the activity in the Senate from Friday, May 15. For live updates on the House, click here.
The Missouri Senate has adjourned.
With 30 minutes left in the session, Majority Floor Leader says there is no further legislation coming before the body. It’s time for individual senators to fill the final 30 minutes with small speeches and thank yous.
HB 1700, Omnibus tax bill, Informal calendar
Sen. Lincoln Hough followed in Sen. Paul Wieland’s footsteps, advocating for the removal of the Senate substitutes so the bill is simply what it originally sought to tackle: the allowance of a transient gas tax to be levied in Springfield upon voter approval.
However, the bill was simply placed back on the informal calendar.
The bill, up for debate Thursday, included a Senate substitute related to the Wayfair tax and the elimination of cable franchise fees. Hough noted members from all parties were involved in negotiations for this bill.
Hough and Sen. Andrew Koenig said if the body had just “one more day,” they might have been able to get the legislation perfected.
HB 1386, Modifies various provisions relating to lobbyists, Third read and passed
The bill is the House companion to Sen. Paul Wieland’s own legislation. It modifies the definition of legislative liaison, among other things. It was used as a sacrificial lamb and when Rep. Rep Vescovo’s “Schiff Amendment” was added to allow the house to model its investigative committees after congressional investigative committees like the one who has been investigating President Trump since the democrats came to power. Wieland has asked the Senate to peel it back to the original bill and work from there.
After the Senate unanimously rejected the substitute containing the Schiff amendment, it passed the underlying House bill 31-0.
HB 1387 & 1482, Establishes the “Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act,” Third read and passed
Rep. Jim Murphy’s legislation was handled in the senate by Sen. Wayne Wallingford, in the upper chamber, said it’s his “final opportunity as a senator to get a bill across the finish line.” Wallingford is in his final term in the Senate but is running to continue to serve in the General Assembly as a state representative.
This bill establishes several provisions related to the use of electronic monitoring devices owned and operated by a nursing home resident or provided by the resident’s guardian or legal representative.
Senators unanimously third read and passed the bill 31-0 with applause after.
SB 631, Modifies restrictions on the political activity of certain state employees, TAFP
From Sen. Dan Hegeman, this bill deals with a variety of provisions related to elections. It allows certain state employees to run for political office and absentee voting by those who have contracted coronavirus or are considered “at-risk” for the disease.
The bill includes an emergency clause so it will be in effect for the August elections.
Senators noted the bill was debated until 3 a.m. the night before in conference.
The bill was passed 25-5 vote.
SB 551, Modifies provisions relating to insurance, TAFP’d
HB 1963, Modifies provisions relating to transportation, Third read and passed
Handled by Sen. Doug Libla in the Senate, the bill includes myriad provisions related to transportation, including special license plates and highway names for fallen law enforcement officers.
The bill had been debated extensively Thursday. In a tongue-in-cheek comment, Libla noted the third amendment in this large transportation bill did not contain the controversial Grain Belt language that derailed a transportation bill last night.
An amendment from Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin related to the expansion of I-70 caused strife on the Senate floor between her and Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz. Noting she has more time in the Senate and the Hyperloop project, which is at the crux of the debate, is still a ways away, Schatz implored her to save her amendment for another year.
“But if your motivation is to kill legislation, then kill away,” Schatz said.
The amendment has resulted in a fracas between Schatz and Sen. Bill Eigel.
O’Laughlin’s amendment was adopted in a roll call vote: 17-12.
The bill was third read and passed 25-6.
HB 1693, Modifies provisions relating to the monitoring of certain controlled substances, Informal calendar
Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer notes the controversial fentanyl language has been stripped out of this bill.
Sens. Bill Eigel and Denny Hoskins, Conservative Caucus members, immediately rose to talk about the bill.
“Here we are in the midst of a global pandemic, and [lawmakers] have done everything we could to squeeze legislation that will add new government in the lives of our citizens. All of those things have been done with the best of intentions,” Eigel said. “Missouri is the last state to adopt a monitoring program on the private data and medication taken by its citizens.”
Eigel lambasts the House for not taking the deal offered by the upper chamber. He says two things have changed: “political games” played by the House that has resulted in extra scrutiny of House-loaded bills and the bill coming to the floor on the final day of session.
“Why should the Senate bail the Missouri House of Representatives out when they chose to play political games in the first place,” Eigel said.
Hoskins and Eigel said there is a path forward for PDMP: taking the version the Senate sent over to the House.
“This bill should pass under the same arrangements set on it in February when the compromise was reached,” Eigel said.
Just before 1 p.m., the bill was laid over.
Sen. Denny Hoskins begins the session by discussing last night’s maneuver.
Hoskins brings up Rep. Greg Sharpe, who attached the questionable amendment to the bill that set off last night’s katzenjammer. He noted House Republicans, in general, voted for the amendment and wanted to make it known Sharpe “is a good guy.”
Sen. Justin Brown, too, discussed the “unintended consequences” of the amendment. He said he was “proud of the underlying bill” which he carried. He thanked the Senate president pro tem and those who found the questionable amendment.
“In the future, we must work to avoid the necessity of omnibus bills so situations like last night can be avoided,” Brown said, adding when legislators meet again, he hopes it’s to “work together in the spirit of collegiality and trust.”
Brown’s speech received applause from the body.
Senate gavels in
The legislative day got underway just before 11 a.m.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at email@example.com.