As the Democratic Party points out in a news release, that is already impossible. In Missouri, if the Democrats were to take off to Illinois or Iowa, the Republicans could continue conducting business since our Constitution allows the House to operate with a simple majority of legislators present:
In proposing a change to the Missouri House Rules and companion constitutional amendment that would punish minority lawmakers who theoretically might flee the state in an attempt to prevent the House majority from conducting business, House Republicans are sadly oblivious to the fact that the existing Missouri Constitution and House Rules already prevent such a thing from ever happening.
“House Republicans need not tremble in fear that House Democrats might someday go into exile in another state to shut down the House or delay votes, for the simple reason that we can’t,” said House Minority Leader Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City. “If we tried, it would leave Republicans free to pass whatever legislation they wanted to without opposition. There is absolutely no possibility a minority party in Missouri would ever slit its own throat like that.”
Democratic lawmakers from Wisconsin and Indiana have made national news in recent weeks by hiding out in neighboring Illinois to prevent the Republican majorities in their states from passing legislation to strip public employees of collective bargaining rights. The actions of Wisconsin and Indiana Democrats are effective because legislative procedures in those states require a super-majority of lawmakers to be present in order to establish a quorum to conduct certain business.
Neither the Missouri House nor Missouri Senate has such a rule. And they never will since the Missouri Constitution mandates that only a simple majority of lawmakers is required to pass legislation.
“House Republicans’ pure ignorance of the fact that the Missouri Constitution already renders this tactic impossible is truly astounding,” Talboy said. “You’d think they’d be encouraging us to leave so there would be no one around to stop them from passing laws that are bad for Missouri.”
The proposed House rule sought by House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, would levy fines against any House member “who removes himself or herself from the state of Missouri during a regular session of the House for the purpose of avoiding any official duty or vote.” HJR 33 sponsored by state Rep. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo, would take it a step further by amending the constitution to oust from office any representative or senator who leaves the state to avoid voting.
“At some point House Republicans need to stop wasting time and taxpayer money on nonexistent problems and join House Democrats in our efforts to create jobs and balance the state budget,” said Assistant House Minority Leader Tishaura Jones, D-St. Louis. “I hope that point comes soon because this is really getting ridiculous.”