Special session off to very slow start

Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, left, begins to ask Majority Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Peters, right, questions about a routine motion shortly after the Senate convened for business during a special legislative session called by Gov. Jay Nixon Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011, in Jefferson City, Mo. Dempsey had just moved to inform House members the senate was in session when Crowell was recognized to speak and took control of the floor. The procedure is normally approved without debate. Crowell has said he opposes some of the new tax credits being considered during the special session because he believes they do not allow enough protection for tax payers.

Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, left, begins to ask Majority Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Peters, right, questions about a routine motion shortly after the Senate convened for business during a special legislative session called by Gov. Jay Nixon Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011, in Jefferson City, Mo. Dempsey had just moved to inform House members the senate was in session when Crowell was recognized to speak and took control of the floor. The procedure is normally approved without debate. Crowell has said he opposes some of the new tax credits being considered during the special session because he believes they do not allow enough protection for tax payers. Photo by The Associated Press.

The Missouri Senate took almost three hours Tuesday to vote on sending a message to the House — that the senators had begun work for the special session.

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At the heart of the slow start was state Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, who spent two hours and 38 minutes talking with several colleagues about why the special session was needed.

“We’re blowing through taxpayer dollars to the tune of $25,000 a day .... and I’m trying to figure out why,” he said.

As the Constitution allows him to do, Gov. Jay Nixon last month called lawmakers to Jefferson City for a special session beginning Tuesday.

His call listed nine areas for lawmakers to consider, including enacting legislation implementing comprehensive reforms to existing tax credit programs, that produces substantial savings to the state treasury through the elimination of programs.

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