2014 Mo. Legislative Session
6:50 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Missouri Senate GOP Makes Deal With Democrats, 72-Hour Abortion Waiting Period, Early Voting Passed

Credit Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Republicans in the Missouri Senate succeeded in passing two of their top priorities early Tuesday morning.

In a bit of old-fashioned horse-trading, Democrats agreed to allow votes on a proposed constitutional amendment to allow early voting during regular business hours (HJR 90), and on a bill to require women to wait 72 hours before getting an abortion (HB 1307).  In exchange, Republicans agreed to drop their push for "paycheck protection" (HB 1617) and a requirement for a photo ID (HJR 47).

"There was consensus on the two issues that we were able to move forward with...and I think the Democrats understood that," said Senate President Pro-tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles.

State Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton, had been leading a filibuster of the 72-hour waiting period bill.

"There are many other issues to be taken up in the next four days," Sifton said, "many of which are terribly important to my constituency, including specifically the (student) transfer bill, which has been in conference this evening and will be in conference again in the morning."

Sifton suggested that continuing his filibuster could have jeopardized the passage of the student transfer bill, along with several other bills, in the closing days of the legislative session.

The 72-hour waiting period and early voting measures now return to the Missouri House for further consideration.

The 2014 Missouri regular session ends Friday at 6 p.m.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport