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This week in the Senate: April 29 – May 2

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.  — The Senate had some late nights this week as the body moves to debate priorities of various members during the final few weeks of session.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey,  R-St. Charles
Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey,
R-St. Charles

The Senate debated late into the night on Wednesday about legislation that would allow investor-owned utility companies to instate a surcharge for infrastructure. Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, said while he co-sponsored the bill, he did not see it as a caucus priority.

There were some contentious debates throughout the week, including ones between Republicans Kurt Schaefer and Rob Schaaf, who engaged in fiery debates multiple times. Dempsey stepped in at one point in an attempt to cool the waters.

“I said, ‘Don’t make it personal. Make it about policy,’” he said. “We need to be respectful.”

Lawmakers next week will spend time in budget conference committee. Dempsey said, “I know we’re going to meet the deadline.”

House bills 1-13: The Senate named conferees to the Budget Conference Committees this week. Included in the list: Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, Sen. Scott Rupp, R-St. Charles, Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, Sen. Kiki Curls, D-Kansas City, and Sen. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis. The conferees, along with their House counterparts, will begin conference work Monday at 10 a.m. Their budget is due by next Friday.

SB 207: The Senate stayed late into the night on Wednesday debating Sen. Mike Kehoe’s bill that would allow investor owned utility companies to instate a surcharge to cover infrastructure expenses. After nearly five hours of debate — and missing much of the annual legislative softball tournament — the bill was placed back on the Senate’s informal calendar. Senate leaders said Thursday that it was unlikely to pass the chamber this year.

SB 1: Legislation that aims to reform the state’s crippled Second Injury Fund for Worker’s Compensation was placed on the Senate’s conference calendar on Thursday. The bill is one of the closest attempts to fixing the insolvent fund in recent memory. The bill received bipartisan support in both chambers, but includes varying provisions.

SB 16: Legislation sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Clarence, was delivered to the governor that would exempt farm work performed by children under the age of 16 from certain child labor requirements. The exemption would apply to children working on family farms with the convent of their parents. Similar legislation was proposed in the General Assembly last year.