Mo. senators continue budget negotiations

May 2, 2012

The Missouri Senate took the next step Tuesday toward beginning final negotiations with the House on next year’s state budget.  Senate members struggled with whether to bind themselves to various positions they support.

Binding yourself to a position means that lawmakers refuse to negotiate on one or more items during conference committee meetings, in effect, declaring them off limits.  Several senators wanted to do that, but Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer of Columbia argued against it.

“Because you are throwing a dart at the 5 representatives on the other side, saying, ‘we’re drawing a line in the sand, we’re not gonna negotiate,’ which is immediately going to prompt a response from them, which is, ‘alright, fine…here’s the things we’re not gonna negotiate on,” Schaefer said.

The Senate eventually agreed not to bind themselves to any issues.  Budget negotiations with the House begin Wednesday afternoon.