JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Senate concluded early Thursday morning with a new filibustering record of 41 hours.

The previous record was held for 39 hours in 2016, when Democratic Senators filibustered against the proposal of allowing businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples.

This time, a group known as the Missouri Freedom Caucus, began filibustering around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday to block the federal reimbursement allowance (FRA) legislation. It concluded just before 3:30 a.m. Thursday.

The FRA is a tax collected from medical providers like hospitals to support the state’s Medicaid program, bringing in more than $4 billion. The last time the tax was renewed in 2021, not only did the governor have to call the General Assembly back into a special session, but he also threatened to make budget cuts because of lawmakers’ inaction. 

FOX 2’s Missouri Chief Capitol Bureau Reporter, Emily Manley, shared several updates on X, formerly known as Twitter, as the filibuster continued.

“(Missouri Freedom Caucus) members say they are standing today to hold up the FRA until the governor signs the bill to defund Planned Parenthood and the Senate passes the initiative petition legislation to increase the threshold of votes needed to approve a referendum,” Manley posted Tuesday morning, immediately after the filibuster began.

The $4.5 billion FRA legislation was perfected Thursday morning. As the days of the legislative session are dwindling, the timing gives lawmakers less than five days to get the budget sitting on Governor Mike Parson’s desk.