iPad photo of Mo. Senate chamber while the body was officially at-ease Monday night, 4-23-2012. A group of fiscally conservative Republicans began blocking the state's supplemental budget bill late Monday afternoon.
The Republican from Cape Girardeau had promised weeks ago that he would block the budget over its use of one-time funds to fill holes in next year’s spending plan. Gradually throughout the evening, other fiscally conservative Senators joined in, including Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), Rob Schaaf (R, St. Joseph), and Luann Ridgeway (R, Smithville).
Early on, Crowell spent part of the filibuster lampooning the Missouri House for cutting pensions for the blind.
One day after the Missouri House gave first-round approval to the state budget, a state Senator is threatening to derail the entire budget process.
Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) is objecting to the use of one-time sources of money to plug holes in the FY2013 budget. He singled out both Democratic Governor Jay Nixon and House GOP leaders for plans to divert $40 million from a federal mortgage settlement to the state’s Higher Education budget.
Legislative leaders say budget items are expected to top the agenda in the coming weeks. Those items include the state's troubled pension system and Medicaid costs.
House Deputy Majority leader, Democrat Frank Mautino, says Medicaid reform could end up being more controversial than pensions. Mautino says payment cycles are stretching too long and that cuts have to be made.