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TWMP Column: The Senate finally stops

After two days of grindingly slow legislative progress, the senate finally came to a complete stop today as Senator Bill Eigel finally took to the floor this afternoon and ended the tedious review of omnibus bills as they passed them and announced that he was ending session if his property tax bill wasn’t taken up and passed.

Whatever happens in the next 23 hours this session has been an extraordinarily successful one for Senate leadership. However, they were put in a challenging position beginning last Thursday When Senator Brattin used the budget deadline to demand his bill that would prohibit Cass Countians from selling their land for a landfill.

Senators Rizzo and Rowden reached out to Kansas City Mayor Quentin Lucas for some help and together they gave Senator Brattin a year-long reprieve to try to kill the landfill and that was enough to allow them to move forward.

However, the next morning Senators Hoskins and Eigel demanded millions of dollars in spending for projects in their districts in order to allow the budget to be passed by the constitutional deadline. Along with Senator Brattin’s money for a study of the landfill site. In a bit of comedy Senator Eigel still didn’t vote for the budget bill with his spending in it.

Now to be fair, there was a good amount of grumbling about paying this ransom for what actually was a train robbery, but in all honesty what was leadership supposed to do? Not pass the budget on time? I suppose you could, but at that point it seemed like if they were bluffing it was a good one. The truth is there really wasn’t much they could do except give them their pork barrel spending and listen to them complain that the budget is too big.

However, kudos to Senator Eigel who has identified what has been wrong with St. Charles folks this whole time, it’s been the drinking water! Fortunately the state budget includes millions to fix it. And this whole time I thought it was the Starbucks.

Senator Moon was not in the senate last week to witness these scenes play out as his father is very ill, but when he returned Monday it was his turn to demand that he get what he wants or there will be no state senate. He completely stopped the senate Monday and Tuesday over the house not passing his bills.

After the house passed a couple of his bills Wednesday morning a new tactic was begun of analyzing every provision of an omnibus bill, but ultimately allowing them to pass. This morning the senate began in pretty normal form. Honestly, I don’t think you could even call it a filibuster as it was simply senators scrutinizing the larger bills in a similar fashion to how Senator Hoskins was doing a few years ago when he found a provision no one else had seen.

However, that lasted until mid afternoon when Senator Eigel took to the floor and said there was not going to be any sportsbook legislation passed regardless of any deals. He stated that unless his property tax bill was taken up and passed that there would be no other legislation passed and session was effectively over. This wasn’t scrutinizing bills, this wasn’t a slowdown, this was a full stop filibuster.

Now, most are skeptical that he is really all that opposed to sportsbook, and literally no one has ever cared about what is in a party platform, it could be that he is deflecting attention away from Senator Hoskins who has up till now been chiefly blamed for the bill’s failure. It is probably more a message to house who has the chief sportsbook proponents that even if they strike a deal he is still going to hold it hostage until he gets what he wants.

In reality the house and senate leadership are trying to play Hoskins and Eigel against each other. Personally I think there close to zero chance that it works. They will just let it all die while they read the platform on the floor. It would be funny if they took the Arkansas GOP or the Iowa GOP platform and read it. I think it might take a couple of hours before anyone noticed.

For senate leadership they have a long list of accomplishments to tout, and five months of the most effective state senate in half a decade in the books with the last two weeks reminding most folks of the problems of the past.

Regardless of whatever the senators demands are in 23 hours the most held hostage piece of legislation sports book is either gonna pass, or if not the hostage is free and the people of Missouri will see Patrick Mahomes on TV asking them to cast a vote to help him win a Super Bowl…I think they will help him out.

Further in one year and 23 hours the bad blood from the most emotional senate leadership race loss of all time will be gone. In fact if you see Senator Bernskoetter buy him a beer for how classy he has carried himself this session.

Make sure to catch up on all of the final weeks Midweek updates using the links below.

Monday, special guest Representative Brad Pollitt.

Tuesday, special guest, Representative Jamie Burger.

Wednesday, special guest Senator Mike Moon.

Thursday, special guest Senator Lincoln Hough.

Friday, special guest, Senator Denny Hoskins and Senator Bill Eigel.