The Missouri House gave initial approval to legislation that would move the state's primary elections to June.
Party primaries for Congress, the state Legislature and statewide offices are currently held in even-numbered years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in August. But the bill endorsed on Wednesday would move the primaries to the first Tuesday after the third Monday in June.
Missouri House member Rory Ellinger, of St. Louis County, has died after a battle against liver cancer.
Lawmakers announced Ellinger's death Wednesday in Jefferson City. He was 72.
The Democrat had announced last month that he would not seek re-election because of his health, and he had not been at the Capitol recently. Ellinger's failing health sparked quick action by lawmakers to pass his legislation that could allow nursing mothers to be excused from jury duty.
Missouri drivers would not have points assessed against their license for tickets issued by automated traffic cameras under legislation endorsed by the state House.
The House gave initial approval to the bill Wednesday that would regulate red-light and speeding cameras.
Photo traffic enforcement systems for Missouri municipalities have been the subject of ongoing court cases and many cities have temporary halted enforcement. The measure would require cities to meet certain standards in order to operate speeding or red-light cameras.
The House interim committee on Medicaid reform is holding a hearing in Columbia on Saturday. The hearing will be the third in a series of six throughout the state where the public is encouraged to give personal testimony about the state’s Medicaid program.
Republican Rep. Noel Torpey of Independence is the committee chair. He says every testimony the group has received so far has been in favor of Medicaid expansion.
Two days of hearings are underway by an interim House committee looking into how well state agencies in Missouri are delivering services to their clients.
The hearings began with a critique of the Missouri Department of Social Services. Dan Amsden with the group Spending Oversight Council testified that DSS officials are doing a poor job of preventing non-eligible people from receiving welfare benefits, and of tracking those who no longer need them.
Missouri's education system will be the focus of a newly formed state House committee that will consider ways to improve outcomes and better prepare students for college and adulthood. The House Interim Committee on Education has scheduled its first meeting for next Thursday at the state Capitol. The panel will examine education issues during the summer and fall before lawmakers return in January for their next legislative session. Republican House member Steve Cookson of Poplar Bluff will lead the interim committee. House Speaker Tim Jones created the new education committee.
Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones formally announced the creation yesterday of two interim committees that will look at ways to reform the state’s Medicaid system.
One committee will have House members and selected citizens team up to research ways to improve Medicaid. They will then hand off their findings to the other committee, which will make recommendations for next year’s legislative session. Jones said they’re taking a thorough approach to fixing a broken system.
The Missouri House is creating a committee to study itself.
House Speaker Tim Jones says he has formed a new committee to examine the operations of the House of Representatives and recommend potential changes to the way it conducts business.
The panel will have a long name. It’s called the Interim House Committee on Legislative Institutional Infrastructure and Process. It will be led by Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst, a Republican from St. Louis County.
After declining to expand Medicaid coverage this year, the Missouri House has passed a bill that would create a committee to study the issue next year.
The House passed the measure 133-27 yesterday. It would create a joint committee of House and Senate members to look at ways to "transform" the state's Medicaid program. The committee would begin at the end of the current session until the 2015 session's start in January.
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 7:51 pm
Missouri’s budget for the next fiscal year has been passed by the State House.
While Medicaid expansion has dominated most of the debate, spending hikes were approved in other areas. There’s an extra $65 million for K-12 schools, although the increase still falls short of fully funding the state’s public school formula. Republican Mike Lair of Livingston County chairs the Appropriations committee on Education.
Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 9:31 am
Republicans in the Missouri House are making another attempt to pass legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.
No one testified in favor of the proposal at a House hearing today -- everyone who testified either opposed requiring photo ID’s for voting or were neutral and speaking for informational purposes only. In addition to mandating photo identification, House Bill 48 would allow anyone who does not have a photo ID to vote with a provisional ballot, which would not be counted until the voter’s identity is verified. John Scott with the Secretary of State’s office told the House Committee on Elections that Missouri voters would still be disenfranchised.
Missouri lawmakers have convened their 2013 session with Republican supermajorities controlling both the House and Senate.
Republicans have made tax cuts one of their top priorities for the 97th General Assembly, which runs until May 17.
They also plan to pursue business-friendly changes to the state's legal system, a bonding proposal for colleges, job-protection changes for public teachers and potentially a new transportation funding plan.