missouri house speaker tim jones

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 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.

Governor Jay Nixon vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have cut Missouri’s income tax rates for the first time in 90 years.

The Republican-led General Assembly passed the bill in large part pointing to neighboring Kansas which already has slashed its personal and corporate income taxes.

But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman reports, the Democratic governor says the cuts would hurt Missouri education and other state services.

Teddy Nykiel / KBIA News

  Missouri state lawmakers launched an interim committee Thursday to examine the issue of Medicaid reform. Governor Jay Nixon pushed heavily for the legislature to expand Medicaid this session, and accept hundreds of millions of federal dollars to do so. But Republican legislators were worried about the long-term costs of the move, and no measure was passed. Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, a Republican member who started the committee, says accepting the federal money wouldn’t fix the problems that are inherent to the Medicaid system.

www.timwjones.com

House Speaker Tim Jones has named additional members to a newly created House commission reviewing driver's license policies and the sharing of gun data.

david_shane / flickr

The Missouri House has sent back to a committee a proposal to issue $1.2 billion in bonds to fund construction projects at college campuses, parks and other state facilities.

House member Chris Kelly, a Democrat from Columbia, says the proposal needs adjustment and that working it out at the committee level would save time.

The bonding package would need voter approval if it clears the Legislature, which adjourns May 17. The House Budget Committee will re-examine the bonding measure, and Kelly says the full chamber could vote on it next week.

The Missouri House speaker says lawmakers will take action if Gov. Jay Nixon fails to order the release of records in recent child tragedies.

The Republican supermajority in the Missouri House inched up this week with the election of Republican Mike Moon of Lawrence County to the vacant House District 157 seat from southwestern Missouri.  Moon defeated Democrat and former House Member Charlie "Doc" Dake in what Republican Speaker Tim Jones described as a hotly-contested race.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

Missouri state legislators return to the Capitol today with a to-do list that includes the budget and various legislative priorities such as taxes, economic incentives and a fund for injured workers.

The Legislature recessed this past week for its midsession break. Lawmakers are scheduled to resume debate today.