Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 10:47 pm
House Democrats are sponsoring legislation to expand Medicaid in Missouri, despite the fact that the state budget filed by Republicans leaves out the proposed expansion.
House Bill 627 would expand Medicaid to an additional 300,000 Missourians, and House Democrats say not passing it would cost the state 5,000 jobs and could force some rural hospitals to close their doors. Kerry Noble is CEO of Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems in the Missouri Boot-heal.
People fired for sleeping on the job and missing work could have a harder time getting unemployment benefits under a bill endorsed by the Missouri Senate.
The Senate gave initial approval Wednesday to a measure expanding the definition of "misconduct" in the workplace. The change would make it harder for people to qualify for unemployment insurance after they are fired.
Supporters say the bill will protect businesses from liability and give them more freedom to fire employees who misbehave at work.
Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 7:49 pm
Legislation that would eliminate the prevailing wage requirement in Missouri was heard Tuesday by a State Senate committee.
The state calculates various wages that are to be paid in each county and in St. Louis for construction trades on building projects. The sponsor, State Senator Dan Brown (R, Rolla), says eliminating prevailing wage requirements would give smaller businesses outside of St. Louis and Kansas City a fair shot at landing construction contracts.
The Missouri House is expected to consider a requirement for voters to show photo identification at the polls. State lawmakers have debated the concept previously, but this is the first time Republicans have held a veto-proof majority in both the House and Senate. In the past, discussion generally fell along party lines with Republicans favoring the idea and Democrats opposing it.
Legislation requiring voters to show photo ID at polling places is scheduled for debate in the Missouri House. House Majority Leader John Diehl said he expects a proposed constitutional amendment mandating photo ID and a bill implementing the rule to be taken up on the House floor this week.
Republicans argue the measure is needed to cut down on voter fraud. Democrats contend the photo ID requirement is aimed at disenfranchising voters.
A Missouri House committee is taking up legislation that would bar union membership or dues as a condition of employment.
The House Workforce Development Committee scheduled a public hearing Wednesday on the bill, which supporters call "right to work."
Approval by the Legislature would put the proposed new law to a statewide vote this November. Supporters argue the legislation would allow Missouri to be more competitive in the job market. Opponents say it would weaken unions and hinder collective bargaining.
A Missouri House committee plans to review the effectiveness of the state's job-creation incentives.
State Rep. Jay Barnes says his committee will look into the Missouri Quality Jobs program and other economic development tax credits when the Legislature convenes in January. Barnes is a Republican from Jefferson City and chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability.