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One step closer, two steps back: The Senate dance around joinder and venue continues

From Missouri Times

It’s been one week since the issue of joinder and venue appeared on the Senate floor in its mission to be perfected, and for the third time during the current legislative session, the bill has been laid over.

Whether any progress has been made depends on who you ask.

“There has been no compromise,” Sen. Scott Sifton said.

There have been some changes made along the way, though. Sifton and Sen. Brian Munzlinger, the legislator carrying SB 564, have continued conversing about prospective changes, with Munzlinger saying he believed they had fixed at least some issues and addressed some of the concerns raised by the opposition in an amendment filed by Sifton last week.

“We’ve taken probably 85 percent of what you offered in the amendment,” Munzlinger said.

“I’d say you narrowed it down to two or three issues left, but the problem is that those are big, big issues,” Sifton replied.

It’s clear that this bill cannot go forward until some compromise is found on two issues: at a fundamental level, the two parties cannot agree on in-state joinder, as well as the issue of retroactivity.

Sifton argued that all the lawsuits who have been waiting to get their trial date would be in jeopardy unless the issue of retroactivity can be addressed.

Shortly before 10 p.m., a new draft was seen being placed on the desks of the senators, and Sen. Munzlinger rose to withdraw his previous version. After sending forward his new substitute, he asked the bill to be laid over until another day.

Whether any compromise on the issues of in-state joinder and retroactively can be found, at this point, is what the survival of this bill is hinging upon.

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