The last week of the 2011 Missouri legislative session has arrived. Some major issues have already been resolved. Lawmakers have passed the state budget, forced changes to dog breeding regulations in Proposition B and overridden the governor’s veto of the state’s congressional redistricting map - but there are still plenty of issues waiting for action.
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.
Early this morning, the Missouri Senate gave first-round approval to a major overhaul of the state's tax credit system.
The wide-ranging bill would phase out numerous incentive programs while reducing others. Among those being partially eliminated is a tax break enabling low-income senior citizens to offset either property taxes or monthly rent payments. It's sponsored by GOP Senator Chuck Purgason of Howell County.