A plan to quickly move a resolution to prohibit state courts from imposing taxes has derailed in the House. The measure, HCS HJR 41 , now must wait until the legislature returns from spring break.
Emotions remained raw during House floor debate, two days after majority Republicans had shut out Democrats during preliminary debate, when members can move to amend legislation. Democratic Representative John Burnett of Kansas City still smoldered over Republican leadership’s refusal to recognize Democrats during the amendment process.
"This issue has not had full and fair debate on this floor," Burnett told colleagues.
The move by Republicans on Tuesday limited debate to less than 11 minutes. House leadership brought the measure back before the body on Thursday for debate prior to a final vote. But as debate wore on, a few Republicans left for spring break early. The numbers of the majority party dwindled below the minimum needed to pass a bill. With it uncertain that any Democrats would vote for the measure, Republicans shelved the bill.
"We had a lot of people go home," House Speaker Rod Jetton (R-Marble Hill) told reporters afterward, "There were a number of people who had to leave and for one reason or another there just wasn’t enough people on the floor to get it passed."
It was a rare break of discipline for Republicans. Even during their time in the minority, Republicans were known for being in their seats, ready to vote.
Jetton’s counterpart on the Democratic side, Rep. Paul LeVota (D-Independence), hopes Republicans learned a lesson.
"Hindsight should tell them, allow debate during perfection to have people buy in to what’s going on and that makes the process go faster during third reading," LeVota told the Missourinet.
The turn of events made for a bit of tension in the House chamber and a touch of dramatics, but likely won’t have a long-term effect on the resolution. It should return to the floor for a final vote once the House returns from its spring break on Tuesday, March 25 th . It is expected to pass.