Jefferson City

state capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

 The Missouri Senate approved an amendment to the state constitution that would ban lobbyist gifts to lawmakers.

The measure, passed Wednesday in a 20-12 vote, would also change legislative term limits to allow lawmakers to serve more time in one chamber. If the amendment is approved by the House, it will go to voters.

The gift ban was a longtime priority of Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, who signed an executive order more than a year ago banning lobbyist gifts to his own employees.

Sarah Kellogg

The House General Laws Committee has passed a bill allowing firearms in current “gun free zones” along with other legislation concerning guns.

Of the eight bills that had public hearings on Monday, five passed through committee Tuesday evening. The voting mostly went by party lines, with all five Republican sponsored bills and one Democrat-backed bill passing the majority republican committee.

This includes a bill that allows firearms without a conceal and carry permit into current gun free zones such as bars, hospitals and churches.

Missouri State Capitol Renovations Begin This Week

Feb 26, 2018

  Renovation work on the State Capitol building in Jefferson City begins next week.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports the nearly $29 million project is expected to start Friday. It will involve restoration of most of the Capitol's exterior stone work.

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

A Joplin man who was appointed to the Missouri Board of Education and then blocked from voting on the fate of the state education commissioner is suing Gov. Eric Greitens.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Cole County, John Sumners asks the court to determine if he remains a board member and whether Greitens broke the law by rescinding his appointment earlier this month.

Sumners publicly alleged in mid-November that the governor's staff pressured him to vote to during a board meeting Nov. 21 to replace education Commissioner Margie Vandeven.

Missouri transportation officials say this year's spike in Amtrak ridership continued to rise from July through October.

The Jefferson City News Tribune reports the state Department of Transportation found a 5 percent growth in the number of Amtrak riders on the twice-daily trains at the Jefferson City station. The department counted nearly 13,950 riders this year, compared to about 13,330 riders last year.

File / KBIA

A former Missouri lawmaker is arguing to the state's Supreme Court that she shouldn't have to pay $230,000 for alleged campaign finance violations.

An attorney for former St. Louis Democratic Sen. Robin Wright-Jones told judges Tuesday that the charge amounts to an unconstitutionally excessive fine by the Missouri Ethics Commission.

A lawyer representing the commission said the amount is an appropriate fee for a couple hundred thousand dollars of expenditures and contributions the candidate failed to accurately report by state deadlines.

File / KBIA

Public defenders are raising concerns after the Missouri Supreme Court disciplined an attorney with a large caseload of indigent clients and then told another public defender that she must ask permission before denying additional cases.

Missouri State Public Defender Director Michael Barrett said the two decisions have created a conflict. The first ruling was issued last month and led to a Columbia-based public defender being placed on probation for a year for neglecting clients. Barett blamed the issue on the attorney having too many cases.

Dave Ingraham / Flickr

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is headed to the United Kingdom and Switzerland on his second trade mission.

Greitens is leaving Monday on a trip that will include meetings with government officials, business executives and workforce development leaders. In a news release, Greitens' office said he chose the nations because he sees an opportunity to increase trade, investment and educational and cultural ties. Spokesman Parker Briden said Department of Economic Development acting director Rob Dixon and other staff members will accompany the governor.

Former Jefferson City NAACP Chapter President died last Tuesday.  Nimrod Chapel, Sr. was 76 and died from a recent stroke. 

A longtime civil rights advocate, Chapel sought to protect voter rights for African Americans.  Chapel was the first African American to receive a degree in the Construction Management when he graduated from Oklahoma State University.  The NAACP Lifetime Service Award recipient established NAACP units in prisons and at Lincoln University in Jefferson City. 

mikecogh / Flickr

  JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lawmakers are questioning checks and balances in Missouri prisons following reports of employee harassment and costly settlements.

Potosi Republican Rep. Paul Fitzwater said the Corrections Department has been policing itself.  

The agency fell under scrutiny after the Kansas City alternative weekly The Pitch reported on harassment and discrimination claims by prison employees. Some say they were retaliated against.

The paper reported the state's paid more than $7.5 million in related settlements and judgments from 2012 to 2016.

All Lanes of Jefferson City Bridges Now Open

Nov 16, 2016
Paul Sableman / Flickr

All lanes of Route 54 and Highway 63 on the Missouri River Bridge in Jefferson City are now open. The Missouri Department of Transportation opened the eastbound side of the bridge Sunday afternoon and the westbound side of the bridge Friday. Construction on the bridge began May first. 

MoDOT Central District Construction and Materials Engineer Patty Lemongelli said residents have been inconvenienced enough and MoDOT is glad the bridge is reopened.

TRIM Grant Brings More Trees to Missouri

Oct 12, 2016
Trees
blmiers / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Conservation recently awarded more than $380,000 to communities across the state from the Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance, or TRIM, grant program. Jefferson City and Columbia were both awarded funding.

Jefferson City received more than $22,000. The money will go toward creating an inventory of trees to determine which are safe and which are in danger of collapsing.

jefferson city
localozarkian / flickr

  Efforts to build a bridge to improve riverfront access in Jefferson City have hit a stumbling block.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports that the Missouri Department of Transportation has determined that the city is ineligible for a $400,000 federal grant.

Open Enrollment Boosts Summer School Attendance

Jun 15, 2016
Evan Thomas / KOMU

Jefferson City Public Schools made the decision this year to allow open enrollment for summer school to all preschool through eighth-grade students in the Jefferson City area. Last year only students attending JCPS and who needed remediation were allowed to enroll.

This change has increased participation by 40 percent. During the first week of summer school, 2,786 students attended classes, 804 more than last year.

Amy Berendzen, director of school-community relations for JCPS said the district made this change because it had the space.

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri voters could get to decide whether to re-impose limits on the money flowing to political candidates and committees.

Supporters of campaign contribution limits said Wednesday they had submitted more than 272,000 petition signatures to try to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

The measure would cap donations to candidates at $2,600 per election. Contributions to political parties would be capped at $25,000.

Missouri Capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY - A contested Missouri measure, SJR 39, to protect businesses that deny services for same-sex weddings has been voted down.

The measure failed to advance Wednesday on a 6-6 vote in a House committee. It had previously passed the Senate.

The legislation drew opposition from LGBT-rights activists and some business leaders, who cited economic backlash in other states with laws perceived as discriminatory toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

File Photo / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers appear uninterested in Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's proposal to end the business "border war" between the two states.

Brownback last week offered to reduce his state's efforts to lure jobs away from the Missouri side of the Kansas City metropolitan area if Missouri's lawmakers would in turn weaken a law they approved in 2014 addressing the issue.

Russian police have stepped up the search for an American student who went missing on a hike in the mountains on Sunday. 

File Photo / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY - The House has endorsed a bill creating a grant program to attract more conventions to Missouri.

Lawmakers gave initial approval Wednesday to a measure authorizing grants for large conventions that could cover up to half the operating expenses. Eligible conventions would have to draw at least half their attendees from out of state, and their grants would be tied to how many hotel rooms their attendees are expected to fill.

The fund would be capped at $3 million annually.

JEFFERSON CITY - Lawmakers have trimmed about $7.3 million from Missouri's mid-year budget increase of nearly $500 million.

A House panel approved the reductions Wednesday along with limits on Governor Jay Nixon's travel expenses and less flexibility in how some health care funds are spent. Proposals for soil erosion projects and a grant program for ethanol-blended fuel pumps were also reduced.

Bernard Pollack / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Jay Nixon says a proposed constitutional amendment granting religious exemptions to some business owners opposed to gay marriage could be "harmful to our economy."

The Democratic governor also said Wednesday that the measure would "condone discrimination" and urged the House to oppose it.

KOMU News / Flickr

Advocates are lobbying in Jefferson City for Missouri Medicaid to expand access for young adults suffering with mental illness.

Mika Jarvinen / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers are considering whether to allow concealed weapons on public transit.

Republican Sen. Bob Onder told a Senate panel Wednesday that his proposal is about safety. He said public transit can be dangerous, and allowing people to carry concealed guns on buses and trains would deter crime.

Brandon Bartoszek / Flickr

 

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate has given initial approval to a bill changing how medical expenses are handled in court cases.

The Senate's endorsement Wednesday came after Democrats staged an all-night filibuster that dragged out a debate that began Tuesday.

The bill would require the actual costs — not the value of medical treatment for plaintiffs — to be considered as evidence in civil lawsuits.

Seal of Jefferson City
File Photo / KBIA

Almost six years after it was foreclosed on, a house in the old town area of Jefferson City might receive restoration.

MoDOT
File photo / MoDot

Stage four of the six-stage Lafayette Street Interchange Project in Jefferson City will begin this Friday. 

Capital Region Medical Center Hosts Open House

Nov 2, 2015

The public turned out Monday for the official open house of the newly renovated Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City. The $38 million expansion project, which broke ground in February 2014, includes 115,000 square feet of clinical space.

The new clinics have been phasing in since early October, and will continue to do so until mid-December. The project will eventually bring all of the clinics and specialty providers under one roof. The new wing incudes artwork from local artists, and even includes a photograph of the Capital taken by Mayor Carrie Tergin.

Jefferson City Council Votes to Close a Major Street

Oct 6, 2015
Lincoln University
Kristina D.C. Hoeppner

The Jefferson City council voted last night to close a busy thoroughfare to vehicle traffic at the Lincoln University campus. 

FBI

The FBI’s released its annual Uniform Crime Report this week revealing a decline in violent crime in Jefferson City from 2013 to 2014.

The data show a decrease in almost every violent crime category, excluding murder.

Councilman Rick Mihalevich is the chairman of the city’s Public Safety Committee.

He said the city’s initiatives concerning public safety could be responsible for the decline.

He also said the police department is finally fully staffed.

Pages