Missouri Senators supporting the filibuster of the Missouri transportation funding plan, SJR 16

Tuesday we reported that the Missouri House had approved a historic Missouri transportation funding plan that, for the first time ever, fully incorporates bicycling and walking into the state's transportation funding.  The Missouri Senate had approved the measure earlier this year, but after minor changes by the House, the measure needed to return to the Senate for final confirmation--usually a matter of form in that situation.  

If passed, the transportation funding measure would appear before voters in 2014. 

However, later Tuesday we reported that a small group of Missouri senators had filibustered SJR 16, stopping the bill in its tracks.

Since then, our members have been asking: Who is filibustering SJR 16 and why?

Who is filibustering SJR 16 and why?

It only takes two senators to filibuster legislation.  SJR 16 passed the Senate by a vote of 24-10.  The ten senators opposing the bill at that time:

  • Dan Brown, Ed Emery, Will Kraus, Brad Lager, John Lamping, Brian Nieves, David Sater, Rob Schaaf, Kurt Schaefer, Eric Schmitt

Now, senators might oppose a bill for any number of reasons. It only takes two senators to filibuster legislation in the Missouri Senate, but filibusters happen only rarely--generally for measures the Senator has very strong opposition to.

When the bill was brought back to the Senate Tuesday, a few Senators appeared to be leading the filibuster while others appeared on the floor as part of the filibuster.  Some appeared to be just voicing the opposition to SJR 16 while others appeared to more actively support the filibuster.

Strongest supporters of the filibuster seem to be:

Other senators participated in the filibuster but it is harder to judge their exact degree of support for the filibuster:

UPDATE, 17 May: When constituents contacted them this week, Senator Will Kraus and Senator Kurt Schaefer indicated that they did not support the filibuster. If you live in their districts, it would be very appropriate to thank those senators for that effort--they personally opposed SJR 16, and voted against it, but they were willing to let the people have the final say, whereas filibuster supporters were not.


Hour-by-hour summary of the SJR 16 floor debate under the filibuster

The Missouri Times gives an excellent hour-by-hour summary of floor debate in the Missouri House and Senate.  Here is their summary of the SJR 16 filibuster that happened Tuesday, May 14th:

8 p.m. - 10 p.m. two-hour floor update (By Eli Yokley)

Lawmakers continued debate on Sen. Mike Kehoe’s one-cent sales tax increase for transportation projects. Conservatives senators Ed Emery and Rob Schaaf stood up to filibuster for much of the hour, objecting to what they call a tax increase on most Missourians. Later during the second hour, Lamping helped carry the filibuster. 

Senator Ed Emery
Senator Ed Emery


11 p.m. floor update (By Ashley Jost)

SJR16 — The filibuster continued.

  • Senators John Lamping and Ed Emery continued the filibuster, discussing their relationships with their colleagues and their shared concern for constituents at the top of the hour.
    — “It really bothered me that I had to look my friends in the face [and say I had to filibuster],” Lamping said.
    — Emery said while there can be an appropriate time for a tax to raise revenue, that doesn’t apply in this case. 
  • Lamping took the filibuster over for Emery, and immediately inquired of Sen. Dan Brown, R-Phelps. They began by talking about family, and continued to discuss different taxes and potential impacts on families.


12 a.m. floor update (By Ashley Jost)  

SJR16 — The filibuster continued.

  • Senators John Lamping and Dan Brown continued the filibuster, starting the hour with Lamping reading a list of different taxes that Missourians pay.
  • Lamping inquired Schaaf. 
    Senator Rob Schaaf
    Senator Rob Schaaf

    — Schaaf said he’d be ashamed to be part of a Senate who passed an $800 million tax.
  • Lamping inquired of Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, who was one of the other 10 “no” votes on the bill.
  • Lamping inquired Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, and begins by asking questions about the process of changing who is presiding over the body.
    — Lamping and Kraus discussed what other avenues there could be to get this issue on the ballot.
    — Lamping and Kraus transitioned to voter ID, citing past issue related to “Voter Protection Act” language, relating downfall to the current situation.

The debate is ongoing.

12:55 a.m. floor update (By Ashley Jost)  

SJR16 — The filibuster continued.

  • Senators John Lamping and Will Kraus continued discussion at the top of the hour.
  • Lamping inquired Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Kansas City, who voted for the transportation tax originally but now he says he’s against it.
    — Lamping said there are many avenues to pursue a tax for the people who are wanting to pursue this.
  • Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, asked for the bill to be laid over at about 12:30 a.m.

. . . 

Senate adjourns under the rules.

After Senator Kehoe asked for the bill to be laid over, the Senate resumed it's usual business, before adjourning for the day at 1 a.m.

Senator Kehoe indicated that he is planning to talk with those who are supporting the filibuster and hopes to bring SJR 16 back to a final vote before the Senate adjourns Friday.


Photo credits:

1. Missouri delegation at the National Bike Summit, MoBikeFed

2. Senator John Lamping, Missouri Senate

3. Senator Ed Emery, Missouri Senate

4. Senator Rob Schaaf, Missouri Senate

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