Missouri immigration bill back in play

Crisis averted?

Maybe, but maybe not.

An immigration bill won committee approval in the Missouri Senate this morning, indicating some resolution of a conflict that yesterday threatened to paralyze the legislature in its final two days.

Sen. Jack Goodman, a Mt. Vernon Republican, had held the high-priority bill hostage in committee in order to force the House to pass a bill repealing a controversial change to state law on village incorporation. The House passed the bill yesterday, but included on it a potentially problematic amendment.

As recently as last night, Goodman was holding up debate until progress was made on the village law change. At one point last night, he filibustered a bill on the floor by reading from a book called, “The Cold War.”

By giving up his biggest piece of leverage this morning, Goodman apparently believes he can work out the village law’s problems either on the Senate Floor or in a conference committee between the chambers.

The session adjourns for the year at 6 p.m. tomorrow.

Even with the small victory this morning, the immigration legislation’s success is far from assured. An amendment added to that bill on Tuesday night could be a poison pill for the House, which must sign off on it before it goes to the governor.