Missouri Resolution Would Prevent Wisconsin-like Walkout
JEFFERSON CITY - Lawmakers considered a resolution Thursday that would require legislators to resign from their office if they leave Missouri to avoid a vote.
Rep. Sandy Crawford (R-Buffalo) sponsors HJR 33, the house version of the resolution. She said she sponsored the bill because she is concerned about lawmakers leaving the state in future General Assemblies, but not the current one.
"I think this is just a precaution, and I think we need to have it for future purposes," said Crawford.
Missouri's Constitution states that only a simple majority is required for a chamber to do business. In Wisconsin, a super-majority is required.
Wisconsin Democratic Senators left in February to prevent the Senate from voting on a collective bargaining bill. Senators fled to other states, because the constitution allows the Wisconsin highway patrol to collect the Senators and bring them back to vote.
Missouri's Constitution states that if a majority members of a chamber approve, the sergeant-at-arms or another appointed person and set out to retrieve absent members.
Rep. Jean Peters-Baker (D-Kansas City) said HJR 33 is a waste of time because it will not affect the current legislature.
"This rule is meritless, it's baseless, it's politics, it's searching for a problem, there isn't one," said Peters-Baker.
Lawmakers have assigned both House and Senate bills to committees.