The House Committee Substitute actually calls for moving the primary back to March, not November as reported below.
The Missouri House today passed the House Committee Substitute to SB 282, the Senate bill initially drafted to shift the Show Me state's presidential primary from the first Tuesday in February to the first Tuesday in March. That bill got out of committee in that form but has been on a rollercoaster ride ever since. Let's take a look back:
- The original SB 282 was amended on the floor of the Senate to anchor the state's primary to New Hampshire -- placing the contest a week after the primary in the Granite state -- and subsequently passed.
- The House meanwhile passed its own version of the bill (HB 503) -- moving to March.
- But then the House got the revised Senate bill, turned a 180 on the bill it had just passed and amended the New Hampshire part in committee and changed the primary to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November (presumably in the year before the presidential election).
To say the process in Missouri has been a rollercoaster ride, then, may be an understatement. And that November provision was retained in the final and floor-amended version that passed the House today. Of the five amendments added, none of them pertained to the presidential primary provision in the committee substitute. However, the final amendment does add the first Tuesday in February as an option for public elections -- something the House Committee Substitute removes.
Now the bill heads back to the Senate, where the House bill in its original form is due for floor consideration in the very near future. That bill, it seems, is the only hope of moving the Missouri primary to a compliant date. Governor Jay Nixon (D) would be likely to veto any bill that kept the state in violation of the national party delegate selection rules. Of course, the legislature could override that veto like it did the redistricting plan today, but it isn't clear that a similar winning coalition would be there for such a presidential primary plan.
...and so it continues. SB 282 now heads back to the Senate.