Sen. Denny Hoskins’ Capitol Report for Week of April 29, 2019

Burning the Midnight Oil

No one can accuse Missouri lawmakers of not putting in the hours required for the job. The Missouri Senate held two marathon negotiations this week, with legislators defending their positions on issues late into the night. A Monday afternoon deliberation on a bill relating to large farming operations extended past sunrise the following morning. Debate on tort reform legislation that began Wednesday afternoon finally concluded in the wee hours of Thursday.

A filibuster occurs when opponents of a bill gain control of the floor and prevent a vote. Sometimes, a senator launches a filibuster in an attempt to convince a bill’s sponsor to surrender. Other times, a filibuster is a stalling tactic to allow lawmakers to reach a compromise. We saw both approaches used in the Missouri Senate this week.

Senate Bill 391 was brought before the Senate Monday afternoon and discussions finally ended at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. This legislation prohibits local zoning commissions and health boards from enacting restrictions on large agricultural operations that are more stringent than state law. Currently, concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, are regulated by the Missouri departments of Natural Resources and Health and Human Services.

Opponents held out hope of defeating the bill until daylight. Meanwhile, supporters spoke of the need for efficient meat and poultry production and the desire to keep farming economically viable in America. Eventually, the supporters of uniform statewide agricultural policy and regulation prevailed, and the measure was perfected in a form that was little changed from the original bill. Beyond causing a loss of sleep, little was accomplished by the filibuster.

Wednesday night, the Senate took up a bill aimed at streamlining pre-trial discovery procedures in civil lawsuits. The floor “debate” on Senate Bill 224 often consisted of small talk and conversations among legislators that had little to do with reforming court procedures. What would not have been evident to people listening online is that serious and genuine negotiations were taking place outside the chamber, as opposing sides reached a legitimate compromise. In this case, the lengthy debate provided time for lawmakers to come together on mutually agreeable legislation.


The House of Representatives has passed 13 budget bills. The Senate has passed 13 slightly different budget bills. It now falls to conference committees to sort out the differences. I have been named to the committees that will reconcile the budgets for the departments of Agriculture and Corrections. That work will take place next week. The final budget must be approved by both chambers of the General Assembly by May 10.

Notable items in the Senate version of the Agriculture budget include $750,000 for a pavilion to replace temporary tents at the Missouri State Fairgrounds, $630,000 to replace testing equipment at the state fuel quality lab and nearly $120,000 to implement an industrial hemp pilot program. The Department of Corrections budget includes nearly $9 million to implement the governor’s retention pay plan for corrections officers. Currently, Missouri’s prison employees are the lowest paid in the nation. The budget proposal calls for prison employees to receive a 1 percent raise for every two years of service, up to 20 years. The cost of the pay raises will be offset by the consolidation of two prison facilities near Cameron, which is expected to save $10.3 million.


Mark your calendars for June 15-16. You won’t want to miss the Wings Over Whiteman Air and Space Show. This event offers the public a rare opportunity to visit Whiteman Air Force Base and witness some of America’s most advanced aircraft in flight. Wings over Whiteman features static displays of historic and modern military aircraft, as well as aerial demonstrations by F-22 Raptor fighter jets, the A-10C Thunderbolt demo team and the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team. The B-2 Bomber, which marks 30 years of service this year, will also be on display. Admission and parking are free. Bring your lawn chair and camera and enjoy a fantastic day in celebration of America’s aviation might.

As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4302. You may also email me at

Senator Hoskins welcomed fourth grade students from Martin Warren Elementary School in Warrensburg to the Missouri State Capitol this week. Joining Sen. Hoskins in welcoming the children were Rep. Dan Houx of Warrensburg and Rep. Dean Dohrman of La Monte.


Dr. Arthur and Mrs. Carolyn Elman received the McReynolds Award in recognition of their efforts toward the restoration of the Henry Blosser House near Malta Bend. The Elman’s participated in the 2019 Honor Awards Ceremony hosted by Missouri Preservation at the State Capitol this week.