Talking Politics

Tuesdays at 4:45 p.m.
Justin Paprocki / KBIA News

Since the early 1800s in Missouri, there have been laws against selling certain items on Sundays. These laws are called Blue Laws, and they were originally designed to give citizens and businesses a day of rest. But a motorcycle dealer in Kansas City is pushing to knock down one of the state's last remaining blue laws. KBIA's Justin Paprocki reported on how Sunday motorcycle sales could soon be allowed, with producing by Matthew Zuzolo.

Missouri Capitol
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

 This week on Talking Politics, there are three candidates running for the First Ward Columbia City Council seat. Bill Easley, Ginny Chadwick and Tyree Byndom will be on the April 8 ballot.

Also on the show, a freshman state representative from St. Louis County wants to make the high five the official greeting of Missouri.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

  Last week, it was hard to miss the huge news coming out of Columbia.

Former University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam came out to ESPN last week. He could be the first openly gay NFL player after the draft in May.

"I'm not afraid to tell the world who I am. I'm Michael Sam: I'm a college graduate. I'm African American, and I'm gay," Sam said. "I'm comfortable in my skin."

Republican leaders in the Missouri House have scrapped the budget being proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat. Instead they will use last year's budget bills as a starting point for crafting their fiscal year 2015 spending plan.

House Budget Chair Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, says their budget bills contain none of the governor's spending proposals for the fiscal year (FY2015) that begins July 1.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing a budget that would set state government spending at roughly what it was seven years ago, before the nation’s economy – and the state’s budgets -- took a nose dive.

And that’s a huge difference from the frugal budgets the state has seen for years.

The biggest beneficiary of the increased spending, should the General Assembly agree, will be public education.

Jay Nixon
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will deliver his annual State of the State address Tuesday night, during which he'll unveil his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2015.

The governor is expected to announce funding increases for both K-12 schools and higher education, along with a warning to House and Senate GOP leaders not to cut taxes.  Nixon vetoed last year's tax cut bill (HB 253) and successfully fought off an attempted veto override last fall.  The Democratic governor is also expected to make another pitch for expanding Medicaid.

The first full week of the Missouri’s General Assembly is officially underway, and already the focus has shifted away from the expected topics – tax cuts and Medicaid expansion – and landed smack dab in the midst of a potentially bruising battle over labor rights.

The fight offers the potential of overshadowing other legislative issues for weeks, if not months.

Missouri’s two U.S. senators – Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill – are highlighting their differences when it comes to extending unemployment benefits to millions of out-of-work Americans.

On Wednesday, the two held dueling tele-conferences with reporters in which Blunt make clear his opposition and McCaskill underscored her support. 

As the Missouri General Assembly prepares to open on Wednesday for its five-month session, those involved – in and out of the state Capitol – say the big unknown about this year’s proceedings centers on one major question:

Will the session be about the past – the continued debates over Medicaid expansion and tax cuts? Or will it be controlled by new matters – notably, the unrest over student transfers from failed districts and the looming 2014 elections?

Legislature floor
KBIA

Missouri lawmakers plan to make another attempt at cutting income taxes during their 2014 session.

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon vetoed an income tax cut bill passed earlier this year, and majority party Republicans were unable to override it.

House and Senate leaders say an income tax cut will be an early priority when lawmakers convene January 8th.

Republican legislators in Missouri will try again next year to restore caps on damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Thousands of conservatives attended CPAC St. Louis on Saturday to listen to more than 40 conservative leaders and rising stars. There were a number of last-minute speaking cancellations for the conference. Members of the US House had to stay in DC to work on a fix to avoid a partial government shutdown.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri also cancelled, saying he was working on a deal even though the Senate wasn’t in session. That decision drew the ire of many conservatives.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

There could be an effort next year to change the law allowing Missouri lawmakers and others to carry guns at the State Capitol.

Jacob McCleland / KRCU

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt was in Missouri on Thursday to promote legislation that would reduce the number of so-called "boutique" fuels.

Under the Clean Air Act, different cities use different blends of fuel. Blunt's bill reduces the number of boutique fuels and broadens the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to give a waiver to a city to use whichever fuel they want in times of supply disruption.

At gas station in Cape Girardeau, the Republican Senator says before the Clean Air Act, the refineries were not the profit centers of the oil industry.

While Governor Jay Nixon (D) continues touring Missouri to oppose efforts to override his veto of tax cut legislation, a group of business officials and political activists are trying to rally support for the override effort.

 The Democratic Party of Missouri has a new chairman.

On Saturday the state party committee picked long-time political strategist Roy Temple to replace Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, who is stepping down after less than two years and says he may be interested in running for attorney general in 2016.

Even though Democrats have fared well as of late in state-wide elections, Republicans hold supermajorities in both the state House and Senate.

Heads up, Missouri drivers: New traffic laws affect you

Aug 23, 2013

Several new Missouri laws regarding traffic and roadways are going into effect soon. KSMU’s Jennifer Davidson has more.

Captain Tim Hull with the Missouri State Highway Patrol just completed his annual training on the new laws.  Each year, the patrol briefs its troopers on new laws, or changes to existing laws – and it’s also trying to educate the public about them.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's record number of vetoes this year is expected to set up a very busy and hard-fought veto session this September.

According to the Associated Press, the Democratic Governor struck down 29 of the 145 non-budgetary bills sent to him by the Republican-dominated House and Senate.  Dave Robertson is a political science professor at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.

Jim Bowen / Flickr

This week on the show: what information does the government have about you… and how is it using it? Plus, hundreds of MU faculty members finally get a vote.

Columbia Mayoral candidates make their case

Mar 19, 2013
KBIA file photo and sidsullivan.com

On this week’s Talking Politics, we hear from Columbia’s Mayoral candidates. We’re just two weeks away from the Municipal election on April 2nd. Republican Mayor Bob McDavid is running for re-election, and is being challenged by Sid Sullivan.

This week: why Boone County leaders are asking for a 3/8 cent sales tax in April. Plus, economists and business owners in Mid-Missouri react to President Barack Obama’s goal of increasing the national minimum wage to 9 dollars an hour.

Jay Nixon
File Photo / KBIA

This week on the show: the Medicaid expansion debate continues. Plus: what Mid-Missourians are concerned about as the President prepares for his State of the Union address.

File photo / KBIA

This week on the show, we’ll talk about some of the major issues the state legislature plans to take on this semester. Some very familiar, others not so much.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Democratic Missouri Governor Jay Nixon delivered his state of the state speech Monday night;  to a legislature that this year again has enough Republican members that if they all vote together, they won’t even need his signature to alter the state’s laws.

Islespunkfan / Flickr

At the first major league baseball game I ever saw, as a Cub Scout in old Sportsmans Park in north St. Louis, Stan Musial got his 2500th hit, a home run.  I became a Cardinals fan and a Stan Musial fan that day.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

This week on the show – New enforcement creates questions about whether organic certification is worth it for farmers. Plus, details about the likelihood of Missouri becoming a right to work state, and a report from Jefferson City about the possibility of Missouri switching to performance based funding for higher education.

United States Congress

This week on Talking Politics: the latest on Jo Ann Emerson’s retirement and the rush to find a replacement in the US House. Plus, the so-called fiscal cliff, and what it would mean for the University of Missouri system.

Alexandra Olgin / KBIA

The current human rights act in Missouri says, to discriminate against any person because of “race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, or familial status” is illegal, but it doesn’t cover gender identity and sexual orientation. It’s not just in Missouri, right now 29 states have no protections for sexual orientation and 34 have no discrimination protections for transgender individuals.

Aaron Malin is the co-founder of Missourians for Equality, an organization that is attempting to take the issue of employment and housing discrimination of LGBT members to a ballot in 2014. The proposal would be an amendment to the current legal definition of discrimination in Missouri.

KBIA

Hello and welcome to Talking Politics, I’m Ryan Famuliner.

Less than a week, folks. That’s all the time you have to make sure you’re prepared for election day. KBIA’s been conducting in-depth interviews with political candidates for regional and statewide office in our studios, and we’re airing portions of those in these few days left leading up the election. We’re also posting the full length-interviews here on KBIA.org: we’re calling them “candidate conversations.”

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

This week on Talking Politics, Columbia College political scientist Terry Smith makes his predictions for November 6th. Plus, our “candidate conversation,” Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Susan Montee.

We hear again from Columbia College political scientist Terry Smith, who is a regular contributor to the show. In this commentary, he has his predictions for November 6th.

Pages