Originally published on Sun April 27, 2014 9:41 pm
It'll be a busy week for Missouri lawmakers as they enter the homestretch of the 2014 regular session.
First, the Missouri Senate is scheduled this evening to begin debates on the 13 bills making up the state budget, and they may actually try to pass them all tonight, according to Appropriations chair Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia.
A coalition of education organizations representing teachers, administrators and school board members objects to student transfer legislation because it could lead to students attending private schools at taxpayers' expense.
Missouri House members this past week passed legislation that would allow public schools to begin counting some children attending early childhood education programs toward the basic state funding they receive.
The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a temporary one-cent sales tax to fund transportation needs. The tax hike would require voter approval and would expire after 10 years unless renewed by voters again. Before the vote, an amendment was offered that would have raised the state’s fuel tax from 17 to 20 cents per gallon. It was sponsored by Democrat Jon Carpenter of Clay County. “The Missouri gas tax has not increased in many years, and it hasn’t kept pace with inflation, and the amount of money we get to be able to
The Missouri Senate has finally passed a tax cut bill, after different versions were blocked by Republicans who opposed a compromise between the fellow GOP sponsor and Democratic Governor Jay Nixon. The bill now on its way to the Missouri House would cut the individual income tax rate from 6 percent to 5-and-a-half percent and phase in a 25 percent deduction on business income. The changes would not take effect until 2017. The measure is sponsored by Republican Senator Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit.
The Missouri House has already endorsed legislation that would nullify some federal gun control laws the state considers to be infringements on gun rights.
But today, the Republican-led chamber voted to remove a portion of the bill that could have sent law enforcement officers to jail for knowingly enforcing such laws.
Under previous versions of the measure, federal agents could have faced up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The House bill would only allow people to sue law enforcement for enforcing certain federal laws.
The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation that would require local elections authorities to phase out the use of some electronic voting machines. Under the bill, voters could only use electronic machines that produce a paper trail of marked votes. All other types of electronic voting machines currently in use for elections could still be used, but could not be replaced once they malfunction.
The legislation given first-round approval Monday also declares the paper ballot as the official ballot of Missouri elections. It needs one more Senate vote before moving to the House.
Since the early 1800s in Missouri, there have been laws against selling certain items on Sundays. These laws are called Blue Laws, and they were originally designed to give citizens and businesses a day of rest. But a motorcycle dealer in Kansas City is pushing to knock down one of the state's last remaining blue laws. KBIA's Justin Paprocki reported on how Sunday motorcycle sales could soon be allowed, with producing by Matthew Zuzolo.
Across the nation, “right to work” bills have received a lot of attention. Twenty four states have adopted this legislation, most recently Indiana and Michigan. “Right to work” prohibits labor contracts from requiring all workers to pay union fees, regardless of whether they are union members.
Six of the eight states bordering Missouri have already passed “right to work,” one of which is Oklahoma. Bill Lant, representative from Pineville, sees a big difference between these two states.
Missouri residents and government agencies could not use drones to conduct surveillance without a warrant under legislation advanced by the state House.
The measure would also prevent journalists and other organizations from using drones to observe private property without an owner's consent. State universities could still use unmanned aircraft to conduct educational research.
Missouri senators have given first-round approval to legislation that would reward the state's four-year institutions for good performance with more funding.
Under the measure endorsed Tuesday, public universities would establish performance criteria. The criteria would be used to determine how much extra money the institutions get during years the state can afford to increase college funding.
Missouri lawmakers appear to agree with Gov. Jay Nixon that public colleges and universities should get more money next year.
But some lawmakers want to put part of that money toward building improvements, instead of devoting it to operations as proposed by Nixon.
House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream says he wants to make use of a 2012 law that authorizes state money for college building projects that generate a 50 percent match through private donations.
Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:38 pm
Republican leaders in the Missouri House have scrapped the budget being proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat. Instead they will use last year's budget bills as a starting point for crafting their fiscal year 2015 spending plan.
House Budget Chair Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, says their budget bills contain none of the governor's spending proposals for the fiscal year (FY2015) that begins July 1.