Senate kills pay raise plan for state elected officials

By State Capitol Bureau staff

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri legislators, statewide elected officials and judges will not be receiving a pay raise anytime soon.

After an unusual tactic that had split Republicans, the Senate joined the House in rejecting salary increases for elected state government officials that had been adopted by the Commission on Compensation.

Under Missouri’s Constitution, the commission’s salary plan automatically takes effect if not rejected by the end of January in separate votes by the House and Senate by two-thirds majorities. Earlier in January, the House had voted to reject the pay hikes that ranged as high as nearly 11 percent for legislators.

But when the resolution came before the Senate, a filibuster by two Senate Democrats on Wednesday caused the sponsor of the resolution to drop his motion and to declare the effort to kill the pay hikes dead.

The next day, however, Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, placed on his desk a written motion to shut off debate. It needed four more signatures. After four members walked up to add their names, the Senate went into extended breaks for backroom discussions.

Eventually, the two Democrats said they would stop filibustering to avoid creating future problems of collaborative efforts within the Senate.

With that, the resolution killing the pay raises easily cleared the Senate 31-3.