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Mo. Senate Democrats delay workplace discrimination vote

Mo. Capitol at night
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)
Mo. Capitol at night

(2-2-2012, 1:47 a.m.:  Filibuster is over...Chappelle-Nadal agreed to stop blocking SB 592 in exchange for allowing her to add an amendment guaranteeing right of trial by jury in discrimination cases...she still voted "no" when bill received first-round approval...new story with full details will be posted.)

(10:56 p.m.:  Filibuster approaching 12 hours...Senators Chappelle-Nadal, Wright-Jones and Curls have been meeting behind closed doors, possibly considering an alternate version of the bill while other Democrats and one Republican, Kevin Engler, fill in...follow @MarshallGReport on Twitter for immediate updates.)

A filibuster launched last week by Senate Democrats to block a vote ona workplace discrimination billhas resumed today.  It would require that discrimination be a motivating factor, not a contributing factor, in any action taken by an employer against an employee.

State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City) restarted the filibuster and has so far talked about numerous topics, including taking salt from the floor of the Dead Sea during a trip to the Middle East.

“And so I start stuffing all the sea salts in my bathing suit," Chappelle-Nadal said, "and I’m like, ‘I’m taking this home!  This is the real stuff!’  Because otherwise, I’d have to buy it, but this is the real stuff…so everyone said, ‘No no no no no no no, don’t take it home, it’s going to smell up your luggage."

Chappelle-Nadal has vowed to kill the bill as long as it remains in its current form.

State Senator Robin Wright-Jones (D, St. Louis) has joined in on the filibuster, and Kiki Curls(D, Kansas City) used her Twitter account to say she was waiting for her turn to begin.  Today's filibuster session began around 11:00 a.m.

Meanwhile, the Missouri House began debate today (Wednesday) on its version of the workplace discrimination bill, but adjourned for the week without taking a vote. 

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.