(2-2-2012, 1:47 a.m.: Filibuster is over...Chappelle-Nadal agreed to stop blocking SB 592 in exchange for allowing her to add an amendment guaranteeing right of trial by jury in discrimination cases...she still voted "no" when bill received first-round approval...new story with full details will be posted.)
(10:56 p.m.: Filibuster approaching 12 hours...Senators Chappelle-Nadal, Wright-Jones and Curls have been meeting behind closed doors, possibly considering an alternate version of the bill while other Democrats and one Republican, Kevin Engler, fill in...follow @MarshallGReport on Twitter for immediate updates.)
A filibuster launched last week by Senate Democrats to block a vote on a workplace discrimination bill has resumed today. It would require that discrimination be a motivating factor, not a contributing factor, in any action taken by an employer against an employee.
State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City) restarted the filibuster and has so far talked about numerous topics, including taking salt from the floor of the Dead Sea during a trip to the Middle East.
Among those taking part in the filibuster are Robin Wright-Jones (D, St. Louis) and Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City). They talked about several other topics besides the discrimination bill on the Senate floor Wednesday, including America’s immigration policies.
Credit Harrison Sweazea, Mo. Senate Communications Office
State Sen. Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), debating on the Senate floor back in March. Lembke was one of four senators who blocked a capital improvements bill in an attempt to reject $41 million in federal stimulus funds.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says the all-night filibuster in the Missouri Senate of a capital improvements bill containing federal stimulus funds was "political theatrics."
McCaskill, a Democrat, says she understands that the four Republican Senators are trying to send a message to Washington, and that message has been received loud and clear.
"The people that they're really filibustering against are the people of Missouri, because those projects that are funded are creating jobs," McCaskill said. "Our economy is recovering and most importantly it's funding public education in Missouri."
Updated: 7:00 a.m. May 4:
A group of four Republican senators have ended their all-night filibuster of a capital improvements bill that contains more than $465 million in federal stimulus funds.
They began blocking the bill Tuesday afternoon after their attempt to shrink the bill by $41 million was rebuffed by the Senate.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation restoring federally funded jobless benefits to thousands of Missourians, but cutting aid to people laid off in the future.
Nixon's signature Wednesday means retroactive payments will go out later this week or early next week to about 10,000 people whose eligibility for unemployment benefits ended April 2. It also means that people who lose their jobs on Sunday or later will be eligible for just 20 weeks of state-funded benefits instead of 26.
Missouri's Senate has embraced a plan to extend federally funded jobless benefits while cutting eligibility for state-funded benefits. Several Republican senators upset about federal spending ended a filibuster Thursday against legislation renewing the federal long-term benefits. That came after the Senate voted to cut state jobless benefits by six weeks, to a maximum of 20 weeks.