The Senate begins debate on the state budget for the 2005 fiscal year. And it goes on for hours and hours on end. It went on until just after midnight when the Senate finally completed work on the second of twelve budget bills. It was clear, early on, that Democrats planned to stall the proceedings by offering amendment after amendment after substitute amendment. After a while, Senate Budget Committee Chairman John Russell of Lebanon realized it would be a long day … and night … and issued a veiled threat to Senator Ken Jacob of Columbia – the leader of the filibuster – that some of the money earmarked for the University of Missouri might not get there if the stalling tactics went on. Jacob expressed his anger over what he saw as a threat and demanded an apology. None was forthcoming. The Senate version of the budget is an $18.8-Billion package. The House version totals $18.6-Billion. Debate on the remaining ten budget bills resumes today.
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