Senator Jason Crowell of Cape Girardeau has stopped all action in the body in protest of a $2-million funding increase in the state budget for Southeast Missouri State University.
Senator Tom Dempsey, the number two man in the Senate power structure, says negotiations with Crowell have been going on since late Monday afternoon.
"I'm not the one to negotiate with Senator Crowell right now. So, other members are doing that. And I support that conversation," Dempsey said.
At stake in the negotiations is the fate of the state budget that has to be passed by the House and Senate by 6:00 p.m. this Friday, May 11.
The Senate can move forward over Crowell's objections, but Dempsey says Senators generally don't like to use the procedure.
"You know, once you go there, it becomes a grey area. When is it worthy of use and when is it not? And so, members don't like using it because they feel in some way in the future it can be used against them."
Crowell is threatening to filibuster any bill that comes up, angry about the money budgeted for Southeast Missouri State.