© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Area senators succeed with filibuster in dog-breeding debate

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 14, 2010 - A trio of women state senators made good Thursday night on their filibuster threat -- but the targeted bill wasn't what had been expected.

State Sens. Rita Days, D-Bel Nor; Joan Bray, D-University City; and Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, led a four-hour filibuster that succeeded late Thursday in killing a bill sought by rural senators -- of both parties -- to block an initiative-petition measure restricting dog breeding in the state.

Rural legislators in both parties say the likely ballot issue restricting dog breeding will kill off the industry, which they say has helped many cash-strapped farmers. Supporters of the ballot measure, led by the U.S. Humane Society, say it will end Missouri's longstanding reputation as a haven for badly run "puppy mills."

In any case, Bray and her two filibuster partners had signaled late last week that they would filibuster some provisions relating to another issue: women's reproductive rights.

If nothing else, Thursday night's filibuster gave the trio a chance to demonstrate their prowess with the legislative maneuver -- and may give their colleagues second thoughts about inciting a replay during the final hours of this legislative session. By law, it ends at 6 p.m. today.

For Bray and Days, their filibuster may be a last legislative hurrah. Because of term limits, today will be the last day in regular session for both senators. Both are completing the end of their second terms.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.