In March, the Missouri House approved a bill that would extend the state's abortion waiting time to 72 hours from 24 hours. If the measure, HB 1307, becomes law, it would put Missouri in company with South Dakota and Utah as the only states with a 72-hour waiting period.
Listen to this week's of edition of Talking Politics, and Meredith Turk's report on abortion legislation in Missouri:
Proponents of the bill, argue 72 hours is not too much to wait to receive such a procedure.
“I don’t think 72 hours, 3 days is too much time to bring another life into this world or not," said Tim Jones, Missouri Republican Speaker of the House. Elizabeth Nash, State Issues Manager at the Guttmacher Institute, said it is too much to ask.
Missouri has just one abortion service provider in St. Louis after Planned Parenthood of Mid-Missouri lost their doctor, who could perform abortions, in 2011. Having just one location where women may receive abortion care, Nash argues the 72-hour wait time would exacerbate the logistical burden on women who need to travel for abortion services, such as travel, day care, housing and taking off work.
"It is probably not going to sway a woman or affect her decision-making, but it can impact her ability to access abortion care entirely," said Nash.
Missouri House members have approved legislation allowing commercial sales of motorcycles on Sunday.
State law currently bars dealers from selling cars, trucks and motorcycles on Sunday. The House legislation approved 139-5 on Thursday would repeal that ban — but only for motorcycles.
Some dealerships in western Missouri assert they're losing business to potential customers who visit their showrooms to shop on Sundays, then head across the state line to buy motorcycles in Kansas. Supporters hope the legislation would help Missouri-based businesses compete.
Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 4:12 pm
The Missouri House has passed all 13 budget bills with an estimated $26.6 billion spending plan for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins July 1.
During Thursday's round of budget votes, House Democrats began sharply criticizing this year's budget writing process. Along with Gov. Jay Nixon, they disagree with House Republicans about how much revenue they think the state will take in. State Rep. Margo McNeil, D-Hazelwood, accused GOP leaders of crafting an unnecessarily low budget.
Missourians could lose welfare benefits if they go too long without using them in the state under legislation advanced by the House.
The House gave the measure first-round approval Wednesday. It needs a second vote before moving to the state Senate.
Recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families would be warned of possible suspensions if they go 60 days without using their electronic benefit card in Missouri. The Department of Social Services would suspend accounts if benefits went unused in Missouri after 90 days.
Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 11:56 am
The Missouri House has given first-round approval to next year's state budget -- after spending most of Tuesday on amendments to the FY 2015 budget, including two attempts to expand Medicaid. Both failed, and both were sponsored by state Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur.
The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation that would require local elections authorities to phase out the use of some electronic voting machines. Under the bill, voters could only use electronic machines that produce a paper trail of marked votes. All other types of electronic voting machines currently in use for elections could still be used, but could not be replaced once they malfunction.
The legislation given first-round approval Monday also declares the paper ballot as the official ballot of Missouri elections. It needs one more Senate vote before moving to the House.
The Missouri House has advanced legislation allowing Sunday sales of motorcycles at dealerships.
Missouri law now prohibits the sale of cars, trucks and motorcycles on Sunday. The House legislation would be limited to motorcycles.
Proponents said the measure would make Missouri more competitive with states that allow dealerships to sell motorcycles on Sunday. Some dealers in western Missouri told lawmakers they were losing sales to competitors in Kansas.