Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Missouri Senate Adopts Conference Committee Substitute, Approves March Presidential Primary

On Tuesday night the Missouri Senate adopted the conference committee report for SB 282 and then passed the conference committee substitute. The AP is reporting that this new version of the legislation includes a provision for a March presidential primary, something the Senate had rejected previously. That action by the upper chamber means that both houses have now passed a version of the bill that would move the presidential primary back a month. However, the conference committee substitute has not been posted online for this to be confirmed. Also, assuming that the conference committee substitute differs from the House-passed House committee substitute, the bill would need to go back to the lower chamber for final consideration and a vote there. Though there was a conflict between the two chambers regarding the timing of the presidential primary -- at least in terms of the earlier versions that passed -- the main sticking point in the conference committee negotiations was, according to the AP account above, the inclusion of requirement for presidential nominees to submit "proof of status as a natural born citizen of the United States". The House committee substitute added that to the Senate-passed version. That portion was removed in conference.

The bill now presumably heads back to the House, though, the current status still reads "in conference" for today. That said, assuming the House signs off on the newly amended version of the legislation, the proposed move of the presidential primary to March would head off to Governor Jay Nixon's (D) desk for his signature.

NOTE: FHQ will post a link to the Conference Committee Substitute to SB 282 when and if it is posted online.

Thanks to Richard Winger at Ballot Access News for passing along the news of the bill's progress.

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