The state Senate adjourned early today to make time for baseball -- without passing legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support to accept extended unemployment money from the federal government. Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer promises that he's meeting today with Sen. Jim Lembke today "to make some suggestions to him...so we could free this money up today to get it to those who are unemployed," but I have a hard time believing that much will come from that conversation.
Here's what the Star's Barb Shelly wrote about the continued insanity:
Shortly before 11:30 a.m., the Missouri Senate adjourned so that lawmakers can attend the Cardinals and Royals opening games, if they so choose. “Drive safely and have a great weekend,” the leader told members as the august body called it a day.
It won’t be a great weekend for the thousands of Missourians described below. They will now lose their unemployment benefits because four senators filibustered a bill accepting federal money, and senate leaders chose not to stop them. Shameful...
The four Republican senators — Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit, Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph, Brian Nieves of Washington and Jim Lembke of Lamar — are promoting the false notion that they’re somehow reducing the federal deficit by refusing the money.
Pure nonsense. The money will simply be used for the same purpose by other states. Meanwhile, Missourians who will have their benefits cut off will face home foreclosures, bankruptcies, delayed health care and trips to food pantries. Does anyone but these four ideologues really think that the recipients enjoy living on a shoestring from the federal government for weeks on end? They don’t. Most of them are older workers who are desperate to work and can’t get hired. Many of them have health problems are are at risk of becoming uninsured, if they aren’t already.