Senate Democrats spent five hours Wednesday blocking the bill before sitting down. Today, there was no debate, only a 23 to 8 straight party-line vote. Brad Lager (R, Savannah) handled the bill in the Senate. He says he fully expects the governor, a Democrat, to veto the bill.
The bill would change the definition by making discrimination a motivating factor in any action taken by an employer against an employee, instead of a contributing factor as established by court rulings in recent years. House Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka) argued that the current standard is killing small businesses in Missouri.
The vote was a mere formality following last week’s battle to kill the measure. Maria Chappelle-Nadal of University City and several other Senate Democrats had conducted a filibuster, but gave in after language guaranteeing jury trials in discrimination lawsuits was added to the bill. But she still spoke out against it, in particular, the Missouri Chamber’s claim that the bill would help curb frivolous lawsuits.