Mo. State budget
12:01 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Crowell shuts down Missouri Senate

The Missouri Senate has been shut down by one Senator over which version of legislation for veterans’ homes will be adopted.

Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) and several allies tied up the Senate for nearly 12 hours Monday night and are provoking a showdown with Senate leaders.  In addition to using a filibuster to block the veterans’ homes bill, Crowell is using several motions to block all bills from being debated.

“We have some issues that need to be resolved in the Senate before we move forward, and they’re gonna be resolved one way or the other," Crowell said.  "I will continue to make this series of motions on anything else that we do.”

The version of the bill Crowell and his allies want would strip state funding from the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.  They accuse the institute of being politically biased towards Democrats.

Crowell is also trying to pressure House budget negotiators into removing $2 million in extra funding for Southeast Missouri State University.  He says the money was slipped into the budget as a political favor to departing House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville).  Tom Dempsey (R, St. Charles) is the Majority Floor Leader for the Missouri Senate.

“What Senator Crowell is critical of me on is that I could not get Senator (Kurt) Schaefer (R, Columbia) to bind the conferees on the SEMO funding," Dempsey said.  "I can’t make another Senator offer a motion that they don’t want to offer.”

Dempsey says Senate GOP leaders will decide later today how to end the standoff.  The Senate is scheduled to reconvene at 10:00 a.m.