The filibuster over legislation reauthorizing numerous projects funded with federal stimulus money is over.
Four lawmakers began the filibuster at 4:30 p.m. after Sen. Jim Lembke’s amendment to cut broadband money out the legislation failed. The four lawmakers - Lembke, Sens. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, Brian Nieves, R-Washington, and Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit - say the want to send a message to Washington, D.C. about federal spending.
From KWMU’s Marshall Griffith:
They began blocking the bill Tuesday afternoon after their attempt to shrink the bill by $41 million was rebuffed by the Senate.
But they agreed to sit down after a compromise was reached in which around $14.4 million dollars for weatherization of homes would be sent back to Washington. State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) led the filibuster.
“I think the taxpayers of Missouri and our nation lost tonight,” Lembke said. “If there is any success out of this, it is that we are sending, and will continue to send, a message to the federal government, ‘quit spending money you don’t have.’”
Finally, here’s another section of the Q&A of senators filibustering an extension of unemployment benefits from 79 weeks to 99 weeks.
In this part, the lawmakers took offense when a reporter asked whether the senators were “confident” that some beneficiaries of unemployment benefits should be back at work and were “gaming the system.”
Several Missouri senators filibustering legislation to extend unemployment benefits from 79 weeks to 99 weeks said they will stand down if Gov. Jay Nixon cuts $300 million of federal stimulus money in a reappropriations bill.
Here’s the first of a few videos I shot of the press conference.
The Missouri Senate perfected a ballot item that would shrink the Missouri House from 163 members to 103 members. If approved by the voters, the measure would take effect in 2023.
You can listen to the sponsor of the measure - Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay - speak about the bill with Sen. Tim Green, D-Spanish Lake, in the above audio clip.
The New York Times noticed a filibuster over the extension of unemployment benefits for individuals who have been out of work for more than 79 weeks.
The filibuster is being lead by four GOP senators, including state Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay.
From A.G. Sulzberger’s article:
But for now Missouri, with an unemployment rate above 9 percent, is the only state that has stopped accepting dedicated federal money to extend payments to 99 weeks from 79. (A number of states never joined when the program was initially offered.)
“This is about sending a message to the federal government from the state of Missouri that enough is enough,” said Jim Lembke, the state senator who, with three other Republicans, is filibustering the legislation. “The federal government is sending us money they don’t have.”
Mr. Lembke said he also plans to block a vote needed to accept nearly $190 million in federal education money.
The reauthorization legislation, which was supported by the leadership of both parties, passed by a wide majority in the House and had been expected to pass easily in the Senate, where a similar extension passed unanimously last year. Both chambers are controlled by Republicans. The legislation is supported by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.
But senators so far have decided against using a rarely invoked procedure to end debate. The chamber adjourned Thursday without voting on the matter, missing a deadline required for the payments to continue uninterrupted.
“This is the angriest I’ve ever been,” said Jolie Justus, a Democratic senator who gave an emotional speech in favor of extending benefits. “To tell these thousands of people that they have to get off their backsides and get a job is so out of touch with what’s going on in Missouri right now.”
A proponent of banning municipalities from using red light cameras was found guilty recently of running a red light.
That’s according to Rudi Keller at the Columbia Daily Tribune. From the article:
St. Louis cameras caught one of the four cars registered to Lembke driving through a red light on Jan. 12, 2010. He received the notice of the violation, he said, on Feb. 19, 2010. He said he returned the notice with a statement that he wasn’t driving the car. He said the video of the violation only shows the back of his car and the license plate.
“I received two more notices after that, and I responded in the same way,” he said. “When you say that, they want you to rat out the person who was driving.”
He will not reveal who was driving his car, he said.
Lembke, R-Lemay, presented legislation earlier this week barring the devices.
When it comes to an amendment that would prompt organizations to collect a certain amount of signatures from all of the state’s congressional districts, Sen. Jim Lembke, R-St. Louis County, said he would probably leave the current system in place.
But Lembke said he doesn’t have some concerns over the propensity for some groups to go around the legislature on some issues. Click on the audio clip above to hear more from the first-term senator on this issue.