missouri legislature

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri's Republican-led Legislature is weighing a number of tax breaks for businesses as the session wraps up.

j.stephenconn / flickr

There are two weeks left for the Missouri Legislature to pass bills, and some Democrats are frustrated another year has passed without major changes to the state's law enforcement policies.

Erik Drost / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL draftee, is speaking out against a Missouri measure to protect some businesses that deny services for same-sex weddings.

Sam was among roughly 80 who rallied against the legislation Wednesday.

The former Mizzou football star came out as gay before the 2014 NFL draft and was selected by the St. Louis Rams before being cut in training camp.

Sam called a proposed constitutional amendment the opposite of respect and equality and said it doesn't reflect Missouri values.

File Photo / KBIA

A bill nearing a final vote in the Missouri Legislature would restrict how political campaign committees invest their funds and limit what happens to the money after an official becomes a lobbyist.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Lawmakers are advancing legislation to make Missouri one of the first states to adopt policies allowing for daily fantasy sports.

File Photo / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow utilities to raise customers' rates every year with less control by regulators.

Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers are looking at changing the ways police collect and store the enormous amount of data that comes from relatively new technology, including video, audio and location.

columns at university of missouri
File Photo / KBIA

COLUMBIA - University leaders are projecting “a very significant budget shortfall” at MU, according to a statement emailed to MU faculty and staff today.

In the statement, Interim MU Chancellor Hank Foley says that factors including an anticipated drop in first-time students and student retention for fall of 2016 could cause a roughly 1,500 student decline in enrollment at MU. That decline would contribute to the $32 million budget gap projected for next year.

 

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

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.

Ryan Famuliner, Nathan Lawrence

Tensions between the University of Missouri and the state Legislature appear to be dying down.

j.stephenconn / flickr

Missouri lawmakers are considering several proposals to make it easier to carry a concealed gun.

Missouri Senate Strips One-Year Lobbying Ban For Lawmakers

Feb 18, 2016
missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

 Missouri senators have stripped a one-year ban on lobbying from a bill that's part of an effort to repair public trust in government.

Colin / Flickr

City regulators are trying to persuade Missouri lawmakers not to replace local regulations governing ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft.

U.S. Department of Education / Flickr

Missouri high school students may soon be required to pass a civics test, similar to a citizenship test, in order to graduate.

Holley St. Germain/Flickr

  

An advocacy group is pushing the Missouri Legislature to reconsider how it awards scholarships for a 30-year-old program designed to keep the brightest college students in the state.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers who want a private firm to scrutinize the state's welfare rolls say it could save money by ending benefits for people who aren't actually eligible.

Missouri Senate discussing concealed weapons on college campuses

Jan 27, 2016
Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri lawmakers have begun discussing whether to allow concealed weapons on college campuses.

A Senate committee began hearing testimony Wednesday on a bill that would only allow campuses to ban concealed weapons if the school posts armed guards and metal detectors at every entrance to every campus building.

Other bills in the House and Senate would also expand access to guns on campuses.

For his final state budget, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is taking no risks.

His proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 features no grand gestures of setting up new programs, and calls for limited increases for the state’s current operations.

David Shane / Flickr

Three more ethics bills have been approved by a Missouri House committee. One would ban individual gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers, the second would revise rules for investing campaign funds, and the third would expand the definition of public official to include members of a task force appointed by the governor. 

That last bill is sponsored by Republican Jay Barnes of Jefferson City:

A move to abolish the death penalty in the Show-Me State is getting a hearing before a Missouri Senate committee.

Senate Bill 816 is sponsored by Sen. Paul Weiland, R-Imperial. He told the committee on general laws that being a pro-life Republican should also include the end of life.

Updated 5:49 p.m. Jan. 14 - In Missouri, it usually takes a few weeks or even a month for the first bills to be completely passed out of one chamber and sent to the other, but not this year.

The Missouri House fast-tracked four ethics bills and on Thursday passed them on to the Senate, during the first full week of the legislative session.

A Missouri Senate committee is weighing legislation that would eliminate the 1 percent earnings tax in both St. Louis and Kansas City, effective Dec. 31, 2017.

Republican Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, who's also running for attorney general, brought his bill before the Senate committee on ways and means Thursday.  He said that a similar tax in Maryland was ruled unconstitutional, and it could cost Missouri millions of dollars if the same thing happens here.

Two companion measures that would require Missouri voters to show photo identification at the polls have been passed by a House committee.

The first one, HJR 53, is a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow for a photo ID requirement, and would need to first be passed by Missouri voters.

It appears that Republican leaders in the Missouri House and Senate are putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to ethics changes.

During his opening speech, House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, said he'll refer all ethics bills to committee on Thursday, a move that often takes place days, weeks, and sometimes months after the start of a legislative session.

Ron Richard is about to spend his first full session as president pro-tem of the Missouri Senate.

He was elected to the post by his colleagues in September after Tom Dempsey resigned a year ahead of time, and shepherded the upper chamber through veto session. The Republican from Joplin also served as House Speaker from 2009 to 2010, and is the only elected official in Missouri history to lead both chambers.

Richard sat down recently with St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin and talked about what he hopes to accomplish, and about getting started as president pro-tem:

House Speaker Todd Richardson’s legislative career is full of defied expectations.

Before he was elected to House leadership, Richardson helped bring substantial changes to Missouri’s embattled Second Injury Fund – an issue that bedeviled lawmakers for years. And after the misdeeds of his predecessor, the Poplar Bluff Republican rose to the speakership much earlier than anybody expected.

Missouri Capitol
David Shane / Flickr

A Missouri judge has ruled against a challenge to the state Senate's vote overriding Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of measure that could reduce the number of weeks residents can collect unemployment benefits.

The push to make life better for women inside the Missouri Capitol strikes a chord for people like Kelly Schultz. One of the main lessons she learned about dealing with harassment is the importance of having a structure in place.

Before she embarked on a 16-year career in and around the Missouri Capitol, Schultz worked at a central Missouri police station. There, Schultz faced sexual harassment from one of her male officers.

money
File Photo / Flickr

Starting this week, delinquent Missouri taxpayers can pay back taxes without penalties or interest under a temporary amnesty program. The program begins tomorrow and runs through November 30th. 

Participants must follow tax laws and pay on time for the next eight years or face paying previously waived fines and interest. Revenue department estimates show roughly 350,000 taxpayers could be eligible, potentially making the program one of the most high-impact legislative measures this year.

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