The battle isn’t over, but it appears Senate Democrats have won the latest round in the fight over SB 389 , legislation authorizing the sale of assets of MOHELA – the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority .

Negotiations had gone on throughout the day on Tuesday as Republicans tried to put an end to a Democratic filibuster over MOHELA legislation that began Monday evening and went through the night.

At the end of what was clearly a frustrating negotiation for Republicans, Senate Leader Mike Gibbons (R-Kirkwood) addressed the chamber Tuesday night suggesting Democrats had no interest in coming up with a deal to improve higher education in Missouri – they just wanted to try to make Governor Blunt look bad in an effort to help Attorney General Jay Nixon, who is likely assured the 2008 Democratic nomination for Governor.

Senate Democratic Leader Maida Coleman (D-St. Louis) says Attorney General Jay Nixon speaks with the members of her caucus on a very regular basis, adding he gives her advice. But she rejects suggestions from Republicans that Nixon pulled the plug on what might have been a deal.

Republican leaders say negotiations will continue, but it’s unclear when the bill will return to the floor.

Download/Listen: Steve Walsh report (:60 MP3)