The Ratification Bill Is On the Floor.    But Not For Long!

it's on the floor... but what is it?

Senator Cindy O'Laughlin, Senate Majority Floor Leader, brought the constitution ratification bill, SJR 74, up to the senate floor for debate this evening.

Senator Mary Elizabeth Coleman, the bill handler, created a senate substitute and "dropped it" as soon as the bill was brought up.  This is a new version of the bill that had not been seen with several added elements that were not discussed in the committee hearing.

There are a couple major changes to the bill.

1.  Concurrent majority ratification changed from being based on Missouri House districts in the senate committee substitute to being based on Missouri Congressional districts.  There are 163 house districts and 8 congressional districts.   There are arguments for both scenarios, but my personal preference is to use house districts.  I believe this is the most principled option in order to get a truly fair representation of the entire state.

Missouri Right to Life prefers congressional districts which is likely the reason for this preference from several of our republican senators.  


2.  More "ballot candy" was added.   No amendments shall be added to the constitution that would:
  • Permit a public official to receive gifts from lobbyists
  • Raise sales tax on food
  • Reduce the appropriation of money dedicated to any law enforcement agency, the Missouri department of the national guard, or first responders;
  • Raise, expand, or impose any taxes or fees on real estate, real estate transactions, or real or personal property; or
  • Prohibit the use of public moneys or personnel in assisting the defense of the national borders
3.  More "ballot candy" ..... The general assembly shall ensure that legal voters who are disabled, including but not limited to those voters who are hearing impaired, speech impaired, or visually impaired, can review, comment on, sign, or decline to sign initiative petitions proposing constitutional amendments.

It's up...but for how long?

Senator Cindy O'Laughlin, Senate Majority Floor Leader, and Senator Mary Elizabeth Coleman, the bill handler for SJR 74, brought up the ratification reform bill to the senate floor for debate.

This is what the Freedom Caucus started filibustering for a few weeks ago.  We had hoped to see it on the floor last week, but that did not happen.  Today was the day.

I was at the Capitol all afternoon and I didn't expect it to be on the floor but I'm happy to be wrong.

The question is....  How long will it be on the floor?

is This theater?

They all knew the democrats would filibuster and they did...they are.  At the time I'm writing this, at 8:45pm Monday evening, the democrats are still holding the floor in the senate with a filibuster.

Rumor has it that leadership decided before dinner time that they would allow the dems to hold the floor a few hours then adjourn so everyone can sleep then adjust the schedule tomorrow and Wednesday so that everyone can go to the Chief's parade if they'd like.  

Interesting... so the question is are they just play acting to make us think they are serious about passing it when they know full well they won't make the democrats truly filibuster and they might not even be in the building much for the rest of the week.

It'll be interesting to see if football is more important to our Missouri republican leadership than our constitution.

NOTE:  Before I could publish this blog, they adjourned.  They'll return to the chamber around 10:00am.   Looks to me like the rumors were right.  What a show!

Not Enough Votes?

Another little rumor I've heard is that apparently there may not be enough votes to get this bill across the senate finish line this week.   

24 republican senators.   10 democrat senators.

34 total senators.

We need 18 votes to pass a bill.  

How hard can this be?   Common sense says let the dems filibuster all night long until they give out.  If they hold the floor for 48 hours - great!  Who cares??  

When they give up - whenever that would be - SJR 74 should pass easily.  

We don't have 18 votes?   Interesting.   Who might the hold outs be?

Based on my time in the Capitol and the situation this evening, I believe these 9 would definitely be a yes vote:   

1.  Mary Elizabeth Coleman, bill sponsor
2.  Bill Eigel, Freedom Caucus
3.  Denny Hoskins, Freedom Caucus
4.  Andrew Koenig, Freedom Caucus
5.  Jill Carter, Freedom Caucus
6.  Rick Brattin, Freedom Caucus
7.  Nick Schroer, Freedom Caucus
8.  Mike Moon, Constitutional Conservative
9.  Ben Brown, Not FC or as constitutional as Senator Moon, but generally a conservative voter

Definitely 10 no votes from the democrats:

1.  Lauren Arthur
2.  Doug Beck
3.  Karla May
4.  Tracy McCreery
5.  Angela Mosley
6.  Barbara Washington
7.  Greg Razer
8.  John Rizzo
9.  Steven Roberts
10.  Brian Williams

Republican Toss Ups:
IF we had a clean CMR bill, I think the highlighted senators listed below would likely vote in favor.  Because of the political situation and with the ballot candy - I'm just not sure how they would vote if they were voting tonight.  

The unhighlighted names below are ones that I truly do not trust not to cross over and vote with the democrats.  I debated about which group to put Trent & Rowden in, but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.

These 6 plus the 9 above equal 16 and that means we'd be 2 votes short if I'm correct.

1.  Jason Bean - 
2.  Mike Bernskoetter - 
3.  Rusty Black - 
4.  Justin Brown -
5.  Mike Cierpiot - 
6.  Sandy Crawford  - 
7.  Karla Eslinger - 
8.  Travis Fitzwater - 
9.  Elaine Gannon - 
10.  Lincoln Hough - 
11.  Tony Luetkemeyer - 
12.  Cindy O'Laughlin, Majority Floor Leader - 
13.  Caleb Rowden, President Pro Tem - 
14.  Holly Thompson-Rehder - 
15.  Curtis Trent - 

what can you do?

1.  Remember this.  Grab a journal.  Write things down so you can go back and look then tell your friends at election time!

2.  Call & email those 15 republican senators listed above plus Senator Coleman.   Ask them to do what it takes to get SJR 74 across the finish line.  


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