With only three weeks left before the General Assembly adjourns for the year, the Missouri Senate is mired in gridlock and no one seems confident lawmakers can dig themselves out.
A litany of Republican legislative priorities hangs in the balance.
Conservative lawmakers worry that bills easing restrictions on businesses or stiffening them on abortion providers will fall by the wayside.
Even Democrats, who are largely watching the turmoil from the sidelines, voice concerns that lawmakers may have to adjourn without putting Missouri in compliance with the federal Real ID Act, a situation that could result in residents being prohibited from using their driver’s license to board commercial airplanes.
But the biggest issue by far is the state’s budget.
Lawmakers face a May 5 deadline to get the budget to Gov. Eric Greitens. Their timeline was already hurt when the governor turned in his budget proposals two weeks later than normal.
The Senate plans to finalize its budget proposal this week, leaving lawmakers a week to work out differences between the House and Senate on the state’s $27 billion spending plan.