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The legislative session in the upper chamber is off to a roaring start — particularly when it comes to proposed rule changes.

With tensions still high between two factions in the GOP, not to mention between both sides of the aisle, multiple resolutions have been floated as potential “olive branches” as session gets underway. And there have been talks that more are imminent.

Here’s a look at what’s been proposed and where the resolutions stand.

SR 436: Changes to PQ threshold, adopted

This measure from Senate Minority Floor Leader John Rizzo had a bit of a unique trajectory. The Jackson County Democrat proposed raising the threshold for a previous question (PQ) motion to move forward to 10 senators, up from just five. It also would have required a two-thirds vote for the motion to be sustained.

However, a compromise amendment offered by Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz was what was adopted by the body: The adopted resolution changed the number of senators needed to move a PQ motion to 10, but still required just a majority of senators for it to be sustained.

Despite consternation from conservative members who thought Schatz’s proposal should have been discussed in an earlier caucus meeting, the PQ changes from the minority floor leader and president pro tem were adopted in a 22-11 vote.

One more interesting thing about the resolution: It was Rizzo himself who brought it up on the floor for the debate and vote.

SR 435: Changes to bill handling, calendar

Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz kicked off the legislative session with a resolution to make clear just who can bring up bills on the Senate floor.

The resolution would amend Rule 70 to say only the sponsor or handler of a bill can make a motion to override a governor’s veto. An exception would be a senator designated in a letter by the bill sponsor or handler.

The resolution seems to be a response to a veto session kerfuffle last year when Sen. Mike Moon attempted to bring up a portion of an appropriations bill. However, he was not recognized for the motion since the bill handler was a different senator.

Schatz’s resolution would also amend Rule 88 to say only the sponsor or bill handler can be recognized by the chair to make an adoption, perfection, third reading, or other motion on a bill or resolution. This includes the same exception from the proposed change to Rule 70.

This resolution sits on the calendar.

SR 448: Changes to bill referrals, calendar

After some grumblings from conservatives already this year about what committees their bills have been assigned to, Sen. Bill Eigel proposed a resolution to allow senators to have two of their bills each regular session referred to a standing committee of his or her choice.

Eigel said the change would allow senators to have “a little bit of control over where their high-priority bills would go.”

His resolution, which would amend Rule 50, sits on the calendar.

SR 453: Changes to bill reporting, calendar

Sen. Bill Eigel proposed another change to Rule 50 to allow chairs of committees to report — or, place on the calendar — at least one bill when the Senate is on the order of business of reports of standing committees.

The resolution is on the calendar.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.

Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.

She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.

Contact Kaitlyn at kaitlyn@themissouritimes.com.

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