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 House Committee for Downsizing State Government has finished holding a series of public hearings across the state for citizens to share their ideas on how to cut down on state government spending.
The committee began the hearings Tuesday in St. Louis, and finished up Thursday at the Capitol. Besides lower-than-expected turnout in Joplin, Republican Representative Paul Curtman, the committee’s chairman, says citizens across the state turned out to express concerns and ideas about reducing the size of state government.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's record number of vetoes this year is expected to set up a very busy and hard-fought veto session this September.
According to the Associated Press, the Democratic Governor struck down 29 of the 145 non-budgetary bills sent to him by the Republican-dominated House and Senate. Dave Robertson is a political science professor at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation that reinstates local taxes on vehicles bought from out-of-state dealers or through person-to-person sales.
Nixon has twice vetoed previous bills that sought to re-impose local vehicle taxes.
The Missouri Supreme Court ruled last year that local sales taxes cannot be charged on vehicles bought out of state. It said cities and counties could charge "use taxes" on such vehicles only if the tax had been approved by local voters.
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) Tuesday criticized state lawmakers for failing to pass a transportation bill, while previewing federal legislation to improve the nation’s infrastructure. KSMU’s Scott Harvey has details.
McCaskill said the U.S. transportation system is deteriorating, especially in Missouri, calling the state’s $600 million construction budget to oversee 33,000 miles of roadways a “recipe for disaster.”
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.
Missouri's Republican-led Legislature put a priority on cutting taxes this year. But the same lawmakers who passed a $700 million income tax cut also approved numerous little-known fee increases.
One of those measures could increase fees on driver's licenses and vehicle registrations, costing Missourians almost $22 million annually. Another bill would impose fees on mailed-in speeding traffic tickets, affecting an estimated 170,000 cases annually.