missouri legislature

Missouri’s minimum wage will go up 15 cents as of New Year’s Day.

The increase from the current $7.50 to $7.65 is the result of a 2006 ballot referendum tying the state’s minimum wage to the Midwest Consumer Price Index. It’s the second 15 cent increase in as many years.

Missouri lawmakers pre-filed more than 500 bills over the past month that they plan to take up during the next legislative session, which begins on Jan. 7. Here’s a selection of bills related to health care that St. Louis Public Radio’s Health Desk will be keeping an eye on in 2015:   

HB 282: Consumer Rate Review on Health Insurance Plans

Just after the sun set on Nov. 24 -- the day that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s fate would be disclosed to the world -- Gov. Jay Nixon faced a throng of reporters at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. 

Appearing before cameras that would simulcast his words across the globe, the Democratic governor talked  at length about how law enforcement officials were ready to respond to the grand jury’s decision. 

Gov. Jay Nixon plans to call a special session of the Missouri General Assembly to pay for the Missouri National Guard and Missouri Highway Patrol’s operations in Ferguson and the St. Louis region. 

It’s a move that comes amid immense disapproval of how the governor handled the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision to not indict Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Michael Brown.

A lawmaker is drafting legislation to require Missouri universities create statewide tests for school children. 

  A Missouri lawmaker is continuing to push for a prescription medication database despite several previous failed attempts.

  Missouri lawmakers say they're reviving a failed agricultural bill that could help dairy, cattle and crop farmers. 

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

  Boone County commissioners want the ability to impose standards on rental properties outside the Columbia city limits. 

j. stephenconn / Flickr

A $3,000 dinner involving several Republican Missouri lawmakers highlights how lobbyists are reporting things differently to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The meal at a Dallas steakhouse was provided during an August conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council. It involved House Speaker Tim Jones, Majority Leader John Diehl, Rep. Sue Allen, Sen. Ed Emery and Sen. Wayne Wallingford.

Claire McCaskill
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The tally keeps rising on U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill's contributions to the Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Online campaign finance records show McCaskill gave $50,000 to the party last Friday — two days after giving an identically sized check.

From looking at the raw numbers, Republican legislators might consider the Missouri General Assembly’s recent veto session a smashing success.

After all, the Republican-controlled body overrode 10 of Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoes – and even more of his line-item vetoes. Nixon even faced a blistering condemnation from a Democratic senator over his response to Ferguson.

(Updated 12:15 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 11)

The Missouri General Assembly has made the state the third in the country to require a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can obtain an abortion, after the state Senate killed off a filibuster.

The Senate voted 23-7 – along party lines -- to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the bill, but only after deploying a procedural action that it hadn’t used in seven years to end a Democratic filibuster that had gone on for about two hours.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Republicans need to win just one of three special elections Tuesday to re-gain a veto-proof majority in the Missouri House.

gun
Drab Mayko / FLICKR

Kansas City councilmembers have unanimously voted to ban people from openly carrying firearms within city limits.

(Updated at 1 p.m. Monday with additional comments from House Speaker Tim Jones.)

Gov. Jay Nixon proved that he can outdo himself, at least when it comes to vetoing legislation. 

A fundraising quarter before an election is when Missouri politics starts getting real. 

And by “getting real,” I mean getting "real expensive.”

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that would have limited who may work as a health insurance guide for a new federally run website.

Ozarks Community Hospital says it will lay off up to 60 of its employees in the Springfield area.

stephenconn / Flickr

Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation that enacts performance-based funding for Missouri's public universities and community colleges.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri tax officials are getting audited. 

wobble-san/Flickr

Several Missourians in the U.S. House are backing a proposed amendment to the state Constitution on farming.

The Missouri Senate had seven new members after the smoke cleared from the 2006 election cycle. Only two served for the maximum time allowed under term limits – Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, and state Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah.

The two lawmakers are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. Justus entered the General Assembly as a combative fighter who fought tooth-and-nail against the Republican majority. Lager, who was arguably more conservative than his Republican counterparts, seemed on a course for higher office.

Northwest Missouri will have a new state senator next year, as Brad Lager prepares to leave office.

The Republican from Savannah can't run again because of term limits, but he says he's ready for the next chapter in his life -- which for now does not include politics. 

Lager sat down recently with St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin to talk about his time in office and about what he considers to be roadblocks toward making Missouri better. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

steakpinball / Flickr

Missouri lawmakers would create a permanent joint committee on the state's criminal justice system under bills awaiting action by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The panel would review criminal laws, law enforcement, prison issues and state efforts related to terrorism and homeland security. The committee would include members of the House and Senate, with the state's chief justice, the state auditor and the attorney general as ex officio members.

(Updated Thursday, May 29)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says that local governments stand to lose almost as much money as the state because of a final tax-cutting spree by the General Assembly before it adjourned earlier this month.

All told, Nixon said Wednesday, local jurisdictions around Missouri — from city halls to fire districts, libraries and ambulance services — could lose $351 million in annual sales tax revenue because of “a grab bag of giveaways’’ approved by legislators.

SkiStar / Flickr

Legislation pending before Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon would require new oversight of some unlicensed child care centers.

401k2013 via Flickr

Missouri lawmakers approved special tax breaks this year that could benefit pizza parlors and power companies, clothes cleaners and computer data centers. And that's just the start of it.

Few could accuse the Missouri General Assembly of languishing during its last few days of session.

In fact, the legislature’s last dash was something of a whirlwind: It featured fierce debates over bills about student transfers and abortion restrictions. Lawmakers also sent proposals on a transportation tax and early voting procedures to the November ballot. Other efforts fizzled out, including last-minute pushes to expand and reconfigure the state’s Medicaid system.

david shane / flickr

  The proposed student transfer fix is now on its way to Governor Jay Nixon.  In addition to allowing individual school buildings to be accredited instead of districts as a whole, the bill would also allow some students to transfer from unaccredited public schools to private, nonsectarian schools.  Republican Rick Stream of St. Louis County handled the bill in the House. 

Ryan Levi and Mary Kate Metivier / KBIA

 

UPDATE (Associated Press):

On May 15, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill that could potentially allow people convicted of drug felonies to qualify for food stamps under a bill passed by the Missouri Legislature.

Drug felons are currently banned for life from the aid program. But the bill would allow them to receive the benefit if they have completed or been determined by the state not to need a substance abuse program. It would not apply to people with three or more felony drug convictions.

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