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Senate Ready To Debate Stadium Bill

April 29, 2002
By: Jon Ariztimuno
State Capital Bureau
Links: SB1279

Sponsor: Peter Kinder
Description: allows state funding for a St. Louis Cardinals baseball stadium and other community development projects
Current Status: on Senate informal perfection calendar
Next Step: debate on Senate floor

JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate will face this week one of the hottest issues of this session.

While the legislature deals with the budget crisis, funding for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball stadium will likely be presented this week on the Senate floor for the first time.

The bill's sponsor, President Pro Tem Peter Kinder, R-Cape Girardeau, said he intends to present it this week, and he will keep the bill on the floor until it goes to a vote. But opponents have not ruled out a filibuster to block a vote.

"Our rules...call for unlimited debate," he said. "Cutting off debate is a rare, just about once in a generation move, and we don't anticipate to do it on this".

Even though there is opposition within the Republican party, Kinder said he believes he has the votes necessary to pass the bill.

Sen. Sarah Steelman, R-Rolla, said she has concerns about how appropriate it is to discuss this issue this year.

"All of the other programs, vital programs, are suffering," she said. "I don't think we should be spending the time or the money on it."

Sen. Jim Mathewson, D-Sedalia, said the issue is very "divisive" for Senate members.

"Every poll I see, there is more people opposed to it," he said. "They are not gaining ground or loosing ground with every poll I see... Consequently it will be thoroughly debated."

Mathewson questioned that the bill will go to a vote. Even if it does, he said, the bill won't pass.

"If it does come to a vote," he said, "it will not get more than thirteen 'I' votes."