Connect with us

Missouri

Democrats pull all-night filibuster of bill making it harder to amend Missouri Constitution • Missouri Independent

Published

on

Democrats pull all-night filibuster of bill making it harder to amend Missouri Constitution • Missouri Independent


A Democratic filibuster of legislation making it harder for Missourians to amend the state constitution through citizen-led initiatives stretched through the night and into its 15th hour Tuesday morning. 

Though Democrats oppose the changes to the initiative petition process, their filibuster was focused on GOP efforts to include “ballot candy” that would add unrelated issues about immigrants voting and foreign fundraising to the question that would appear on the statewide ballot. 

Unless Republicans agree to ditch all of the ballot candy — which was removed when the Senate originally passed the bill in March — Democrats have vowed to block all action in the Senate until the legislative session adjourns at 6 p.m. Friday. 

“Since it is forever,” state Sen. Lauren Arthur, a Kansas City Democrat, said of the amendment. “This is worth fighting and trying to stop.” 

Advertisement

Republicans show no signs of backing down on the ballot candy, raising the odds that the Senate will be unable to pass anything else before adjourning.

“There is a hope that we are able to find a resolution to move forward so that the rest of session is able to operate,” state Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, a Republican from Arnold sponsoring the initiative petition bill.

State Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold, listens at the start of an anti-abortion rally on March 12 (Annelise Hanshaw/Missouri Independent).

If the bill clears the legislature, it would go on the statewide ballot, most likely in August. 

Missourians would be asked whether they want to require constitutional amendments be approved by both a majority of votes statewide and a majority of votes in a majority of the state’s eight congressional districts.

Currently, amendments pass with a simple majority.

Advertisement

Republicans have pushed to change the initiative petition process for years, but the effort picked up steam more recently as a campaign to restore abortion access in Missouri advanced closer to appearing on the ballot. 

These lawmakers on the right have said that without eliminating the simple majority, abortion would likely become legal again. Missouri was the first state to outlaw abortion in nearly every circumstance in June 2022 after Roe v. Wade was overturned. 

Democrats say the initiative petition process gives voice to citizens when elected officials aren’t acting on the will of the people.

“There must be some serious concerns that this isn’t the will of the people – the majority of the folks in the state of Missouri want autonomy over their bodies,” said state Sen. Steve Roberts, a St. Louis Democrat. “Otherwise why would you lead a misguided effort to confuse voters to make it more difficult to have their voices heard?”

Advertisement

Threat of the previous question

Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence, speaks Thursday at a weekly leadership news conference with (from left) Sens. Doug Beck, D-Affton, Steve Roberts, D-St. Louis, and Brian Williams, D-University City (Rudi Keller/Missouri Independent).

In addition to the changes to the initiative petition process, the bill being blocked in the Senate would ask Missourians if they want to bar non-citizens from voting and ban foreign entities from contributing to or sponsoring constitutional amendments. 

Non-citizens have been barred from voting in Missouri since 1924. Federal law already bans foreign entities from getting involved.

Arthur said these “are not real threats,” but rather “scary hypotheticals.”

During Senate debate Monday, Democratic state Sen. John Rizzo of Independence said he’s been approached by Republicans trying to negotiate to take some, but not all, of the ballot candy. 

“No,” Rizzo said he told them. “I’m not deceiving voters just a little bit.”Arthur replied that Democrats will only end the filibuster if the ballot candy is completely removed, or if they’re forced to through a “previous question,” a rarely-used procedural maneuver to cut off a filibuster and force a vote on a bill.

Advertisement

The previous question is considered a last resort in the Senate because the response is typically total gridlock as Democrats would use the chamber’s rules to derail the rest of the legislative session. 

During a television interview broadcast Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Cindy O’Laughlin referred to the previous question motion as the “nuclear” option, saying she hasn’t made a decision yet whether to use it to pass initiative petition legislation or not. 

But last week, state Sen. Rick Brattin, a Harrisonville Republican and a member of the Missouri Freedom Caucus, said his party is ready to use “any means necessary” to pass the initiative petition bill.

Sen. Rick Brattin, center, makes a point on April 2 during the Freedom Caucus weekly news conference also attended by Sens. Denny Hoskins, left, and Bill Eigel (Rudi Keller/Missouri Independent).

Republicans have said the change is necessary, arguing Missouri’s constitution is too easy to change, and that passing this amendment would give more voice to rural voters. Democrats say the bill is an attack on the concept of “one person, one vote.”

Senate Democrats on Monday continued to argue that such a constitutional change would make it virtually impossible for citizen-led ballot measures to ever be successful. 

A February analysis by The Independent found that under the concurrent majority standard being proposed by Republicans, as few as 23% of voters could defeat a ballot measure. This was done by looking at the majority in the four districts with the fewest number of voters in 2020 and 2022.

Advertisement

State Sen. Tracy McCreery, an Olivette Democrat, cited this story on Monday afternoon, saying that this outcome “should raise alarms.”

“It will make politicians even more powerful,” McCreery said. “It takes power away from the people and puts way more power into the hands of politicians.”

At about 4 a.m., Rizzo took the floor again for his second filibuster shift this week.

“I don’t see the end in sight any time soon,” he said.

“Unfortunately we have to be here in the last week of session as bills are dying minute by minute, and lobbyists are probably running around somewhere here in a few hours screaming and yelling about why their bills are dying,” Rizzo said. “Because they can’t live without ballot candy.”

Advertisement



Source link

Missouri

Missouri & Illinois Suddenly Now in Tornado & Hail Danger Sunday

Published

on

Missouri & Illinois Suddenly Now in Tornado & Hail Danger Sunday


We knew that there would be a decent chance of thunderstorms across Missouri and Illinois over the Memorial Day weekend, but suddenly there is talk of tornado and hail danger due to ever-changing atmospheric developments.

I saw the National Weather Service out of St. Louis, Missouri share a graphic today explaining that there is an expectation now of explosive storm development overnight Saturday into most of the day Sunday in most of Missouri and Illinois.

NWS St. Louis, Missouri
NWS St. Louis, Missouri

That’s based out of an updated forecast from NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center which has big areas of Missouri and Illinois in the enhanced area for tornadoes, damaging wind and hail on Sunday. It likely also will involve heavy rainfall in places which could mean flash flood danger for many places.

NOAA Storm Prediction Center
NOAA Storm Prediction Center

When discussing Missouri and Illinois specifically, the Storm Prediction Center said “the environment would be quite favorable for tornadoes”.

Advertisement

This is another one of those storm systems that will likely have several different rounds of storm development. Some storms could begin popping up during the overnight hours of Saturday night into Sunday morning. It’s likely the most dangerous storms could develop Sunday afternoon into Sunday evening. As is always the case with Missouri and Illinois weather, there are many variables which will decide how strong storms are when they happen. Just know that you should pay attention to potential weather alerts in both states during the Memorial Day weekend.

10 Missouri Towns Most Likely to Get Hit by a Tornado

Gallery Credit: Canva





Source link

Continue Reading

Missouri

Missouri softball live score updates in crucial Game 2 vs Duke in Columbia Super Regional

Published

on

Missouri softball live score updates in crucial Game 2 vs Duke in Columbia Super Regional


Missouri softball is back in familiar territory.

No. 7 national seed Mizzou must win out in its NCAA Columbia Super Regional series against No. 10 Duke to keep its season alive, starting with its game Saturday afternoon at Mizzou Softball Stadium in Columbia, Missouri.

The Tigers dropped their opening game of the super regional, after the Blue Devils shut MU out down the stretch following an early offensive outburst for a 6-3 win.

Advertisement

That puts one foot in the Women’s College World Series for Duke, which is playing its seventh season as an official NCAA program. 

It puts Missouri’s backs against the wall — again. So far during the NCAA Tournament, the Tigers are 4-0 when facing elimination.

Can Larissa Anderson’s team find one more, and extend their season into a Sunday decider?

You can find live updates from the Missouri-Duke super-regional bout here.

More: What to know about Missouri softball’s NCAA Columbia Super Regional: TV, times, tickets, parking

Advertisement

More: Missouri softball falls to Duke in opening game of NCAA Columbia Super Regional

More: How Duke adjusted to beat Missouri softball in first game of NCAA Columbia Super Regional

What channel is Missouri softball vs. Duke softball on today?

  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN+ | ESPN app
  • Date: Saturday, May 25
  • Time: Noon CDT

Missouri softball and Duke will square off beginning at noon Saturday. The game will air on ESPN, and is available to stream on ESPN+. 

NCAA Columbia Super Regional schedule for Missouri softball vs Duke

Friday, May 24

Advertisement

Game 1: Duke 6, Missouri 3

Saturday, May 25

Game 2: Missouri vs. Duke at noon (ESPN)

Sunday, May 26

If necessary at TBD

Advertisement

Live score updates for Missouri vs. Duke in NCAA Columbia Super Regional

More: Scouting report: Keys for Missouri softball vs Duke in NCAA Columbia Super Regional



Source link

Continue Reading

Missouri

Missouri softball drops super regional opener to Duke 6-3

Published

on

Missouri softball drops super regional opener to Duke 6-3


Cassidy Curd retired 11 straight batters in relief of starter Jala Wright and 10th-seeded Duke beat seventh-seeded Missouri 6-3 on Friday for its first super regional win in program history. Duke is one win away from advancing to its first Women’s College World Series. Game 2 of the best-of-three Columbia Super Regional is schedule for noon today. It will be broadcast on ESPN.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending