JEFFERSON CITY | A filibuster protesting federal stimulus funding in the Missouri Senate came to an end at about 6:30 this morning.
After 14 hours of talking, the four senators pushing for $250 million in spending cuts came away with …
… wait for it …
… cuts totaling $14,486,084.
The funds came from programs promoting energy efficiency, financing expanded drug courts and providing information-technology upgrades at government offices.
With that compromise (such as it was) in place, the bill passed with just over $452 million in federal stimulus money to be spent by the state in the coming year.
Now the senators are sleeping off their late night, and will reconvene at 3 p.m.
Sen. Jim Lembke, a St. Louis County Republican, led a group of four lawmakers in the filibuster. They delayed the bill because fellow lawmakers refused to go along with their demand to cut $41 million from it when debate opened yesterday afternoon.
They had been seeking to cut funds from the bill as part of an agreement earlier this year to allow a federally-funded unemployment benefits extension to pass. The fiscal conservative lawmakers opposed both bills as irresponsible and wasteful expenditures of federal money.