casey guernsey

New Mo. House panel to probe agriculture agency

Nov 5, 2013

A new Missouri House committee will look into allegations of a hostile work environment in the Department of Agriculture.

House Speaker Tim Jones said Tuesday he is "deeply concerned" about the allegations against former Agriculture Director Jon Hagler. He says the new investigatory committee will be led by Rep. Casey Guernsey, a Republican from Bethany.

Gov. Jay Nixon replaced Hagler as department director Oct. 11. That was one day after a high-ranking department employee resigned while distributing a letter alleging Hagler created an atmosphere of intimidation and fear.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

A last-minute move by Missouri lawmakers could make it easier for a Chinese conglomerate to buy one of the biggest pork producers in the U.S.

Legislators agreed on their final day of work in May to remove a ban on foreign ownership of agricultural land in Missouri. That change sets a foreign ownership limit at 1 percent of the state's agricultural land, subject to approval by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

The Missouri House has passed legislation that declares any future federal ban on semi-automatic weapons or large capacity clips is "unenforceable" in Missouri.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The use of manned or unmanned aircraft for criminal investigations or surveillance of farms would be barred in Missouri under a bill advanced by the House without receiving prior consent.

The head of the Missouri Department of Revenue says his agency is not forwarding electronic copies of documents from Missouri citizens to the federal government.

Director Brian Long told the House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability that once he heard the allegations, he questioned other officials and employees within the Department of Revenue about it.

“I was repeatedly and independently assured that these scanned source documents, as part of the license process, are not, nor is there any plans, to share them, again, with the federal government or any third-party vendor," Long said.

Missouri capitol building
KBIA

The Missouri House voted Wednesday and today to approve a house bill that allows rural schools to opt out of paying prevailing wage for public construction projects.

House Republicans and Democrats held opposite attitudes on the bill, but they bill got secondary approval and now is moving to the Senate.

Prevailing wage is a wage requirement meant to protect local construction industries when public construction projects are conducted.

gun
Drab Mayko / FLICKR

A new Johns Hopkins University study suggests a connection between decreased gun regulations and increased crime in Missouri.

Missouri repealed its permit-to-purchase law in 2007. That means that you don’t need a sheriff’s permit to buy a gun.  Johns Hopkins researcher Daniel Webster said after this law was repealed, homicides jumped by 25 percent in the state [PDF]. Many other states still require a sheriff’s permit, which Webster said is a good idea.