missouri legislature

Politics
7:42 am
Tue January 14, 2014

'Right-to-work' bill praised and blasted in House committee hearing

A standing-room-only crowd awaits the start of a hearing on House Bill 1099, which would make Missouri a right-to-work state.
Credit Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

A bill to turn Missouri into a right-to-work state was the subject of a hearing in Jefferson City Monday.

As written, the so-called "Freedom to Work Act" (House Bill 1099) would bar workers from being required to "engage in or cease engaging in specified labor organization practices" as a condition for employment.  It's sponsored by State Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield.

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Politics
5:01 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Tax Cuts, Student Transfers May Dominate Missouri Legislature's 2014 Session

House Speaker Tim Jones and other Republican lawmakers on opening day of Missouri's 2014 legislative session.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 7:31 pm

The Missouri General Assembly's 2014 session is underway, and the first day sounded a lot like last year's session.

In his opening remarks, House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, laid out his agenda for this year's regular session: medical malpractice reform, making Missouri a right-to-work state, and cutting taxes.

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Politics
8:10 am
Mon January 6, 2014

As Session Opens, Missouri Legislature May Refight Old Battles But Resolve Some New Ones

Missouri state capitol
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 10:36 pm

As the Missouri General Assembly prepares to open on Wednesday for its five-month session, those involved – in and out of the state Capitol – say the big unknown about this year’s proceedings centers on one major question:

Will the session be about the past – the continued debates over Medicaid expansion and tax cuts? Or will it be controlled by new matters – notably, the unrest over student transfers from failed districts and the looming 2014 elections?

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Politics
8:07 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Washington State Machinists Narrowly Approve Contract To Build Boeing's 777X

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 11:50 pm

Updated at 12:30 a.m. on 1/4/14.

The nationwide chase for Boeing's 777X is over.

That's because Washington State machinists narrowly approved a contract on Friday to build the airplane near Seattle. It's a move that concludes Missouri's high-profile bid at landing a significant economic development opportunity for the St. Louis region.

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Politics
7:57 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Lawsuit seeks to compel Mo. Gov. to set elections

A new lawsuit seeks to compel Governor Jay Nixon to call special elections to fill four vacant legislative seats.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in Cole County claims Nixon is shirking his duties by not setting special elections.

The 120th House District has been vacant since June, when Republican Representative Jason Smith of Salem won a special election to Congress.

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Politics
8:36 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Proposed state legislation would include 72-hour waiting period for abortions

Credit Rosemary / Flickr

A Missouri senator is proposing legislation that would require a 72-hour wait before an abortion.

The state currently has a 24-hour informed consent law. Republican David Sater of Cassville says extending that period would provide additional time for reflection. He said he hopes it would reduce the number of abortions.

The legislation has been proposed for the 2014 legislative session starting January 8th.

Opponents contend a longer waiting period would not decrease the number of abortions but simply cause them to happen later in pregnancy, which can increase risk.

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Politics
8:29 am
Mon December 30, 2013

State legislators plan a comeback for income tax cut legislation

Credit KBIA

Missouri lawmakers plan to make another attempt at cutting income taxes during their 2014 session.

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon vetoed an income tax cut bill passed earlier this year, and majority party Republicans were unable to override it.

House and Senate leaders say an income tax cut will be an early priority when lawmakers convene January 8th.

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Politics
10:43 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Amid Nationwide Scramble, Missouri Seeks To Stand Out To Nab Boeing's 777X

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:45 am

The opportunity was too good to pass up. 

When Boeing decided to move production of its 777X passenger plane out of Seattle, states across the country were eager to offer their services. Missouri's political and business leaders were no exception.  They simply couldn't miss out on the chance to cement thousands of high-paying jobs for decades to come.

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Politics
7:52 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Mo. House Committee Kicks Off Series Of Medicaid Hearings

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 11:07 am

A series of hearings by state lawmakers into Missouri's Medicaid system has begun.

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Politics
9:04 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Democratic St. Louis lawmaker votes for overrides as son lobbies for bills

Rep. Penny Hubbard
Credit Missouri House of Representatives

A St. Louis lawmaker provided a couple of key votes to override vetoes of bills on which her son had recently been hired as a lobbyist.

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Politics
1:22 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Live Blog & Round-Up: Missouri Veto Session 2013

(St. Louis Public Radio/Marshall Griffin)

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:33 pm

From gun control to a controversial tax cut, this year's veto session in the Missouri Legislature was one to watch.

We had a live blog during all of the developments, which you can read through still below our summaries. Here are a few things to take away:

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Politics
5:35 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Missouri's 2013 Veto Session Begins Wednesday

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 11:24 am

The showdown between Missouri's Democratic Governor and the Republican-led General Assembly finally arrives this week, as lawmakers return to Jefferson City for their annual veto session.  Governor Jay Nixon struck down 29 bills this year, with most of the post-veto attention falling on two bills in particular, a controversial tax cut proposal and an even more controversial attempt to nullify federal gun control laws.  St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin takes a look at what may or may not happen on Wednesday.

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Politics
7:53 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Cell phone tower regulation bills halted by injunction

Credit kalleboo / Flickr

A Missouri judge has temporarily blocked a pair of new state laws that would have limited the ability of governments to regulate cell phone towers.

Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce issued a preliminary injunction barring the laws from taking effect as scheduled on Wednesday.

At issue are bills imposing a wide-ranging list of things that cities, counties and the state cannot do when regulating cell phone towers.

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Politics
8:44 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Heads up, Missouri drivers: New traffic laws affect you

Several new Missouri laws regarding traffic and roadways are going into effect soon. KSMU’s Jennifer Davidson has more.

Captain Tim Hull with the Missouri State Highway Patrol just completed his annual training on the new laws.  Each year, the patrol briefs its troopers on new laws, or changes to existing laws – and it’s also trying to educate the public about them.

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Politics
4:33 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Nixon Sharply Denounces Bill That Would Allow Some Sex Offenders Off The Registry

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 3:18 pm

Updated 8-21-13 4:01 p.m.

In St. Louis Wednesday, Gov. Jay Nixon sharply criticized a bill he vetoed that would allow juvenile sexual offenders to be removed from the sex offender registry. The Democratic Governor said overriding his veto would undermine public safety and weaken victims' rights.

He stood next to a gallery of mugshots and distributed information on several individuals who could be removed from the website if the bill passes.

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Science, Health and Technology
7:58 am
Thu August 15, 2013

State Senate panel hears from health care professionals on issue of Medicaid

Credit Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate interim committee looking into the state's Medicaid system heard from several doctors and other health care providers Wednesday at a hearing in Jefferson City.  

Among those testifying was Thomas Hale, M.D., a St. Louis-based physician working with Sisters of Mercy.  He told the panel that Medicaid needs to be expanded to make up for the pending loss of federal reimbursements to hospitals, known as DSH payments ("dish").

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Science, Health and Technology
3:23 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Health care advocates welcome state regulations for ACA marketplace navigators

Credit Alan Cleaver / flickr

The Department of Insurance has issued an emergency rule for licensing people who will help Missouri residents explore their insurance options in the new health marketplace. The federal government is regulating these helpers, also called navigators. A bill signed by Gov. Jay Nixon earlier this month added state regulations for the navigators.

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Politics
10:05 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Mid-Missouri residents can weigh in on Medicaid reform this weekend

Republicans in the Missouri Senate want to make sure the governor doesn't create a health care exchange without their consent.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

The House interim committee on Medicaid reform is holding a hearing in Columbia on Saturday. The hearing will be the third in a series of six throughout the state where the public is encouraged to give personal testimony about the state’s Medicaid program.

Republican Rep. Noel Torpey of Independence is the committee chair. He says every testimony the group has received so far has been in favor of Medicaid expansion.

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Politics
8:05 am
Tue July 23, 2013

State House committee tackles Department of Social Services, hears allegations of abuse

Credit Marshall Griffin- / St. Louis Public Radio

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.

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Politics
11:16 am
Fri July 19, 2013

House committee hears wide variety of ideas for downsizing state government

The Missouri House Committee for Downsizing State Government met in Jefferson City on July 18, 2013
Credit Andrew Nichols / KBIA

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.

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Politics
4:48 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

In St. Louis, Nixon Goes On Offensive Against Income Tax Bill

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 8:37 am

Expect to see a lot of ads leading up to September, paid for largely by one man. Libertarian Rex Sinquefield has given nearly $2.4 million to groups backing a possible cut to Missouri's income tax.

In response, Democratic Governor Jay Nixon has gone on the offensive, attacking the income tax bill and defending his veto.

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Politics
7:47 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Vetoes By Nixon Set Table For Hectic Mo. Veto Session In September

Tim Bommel, Mo. House Communications

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 7:05 pm

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.

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Politics
4:28 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Nixon reinstates local taxes on vehicles purchased out-of-state

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.

Politics
8:14 am
Wed July 3, 2013

McCaskill criticizes Missouri lawmakers for failing to pass a transportation bill

en. McCaskill is provided a tour of Springfield's Transportation Management Center by Traffic Engineer Jason Haynes Tuesday/Credit: Scott Harvey
Credit Scott Harvey / KSMU

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.”

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Politics
7:55 am
Thu June 13, 2013

A bill for home brewers one of seven bills signed by Nixon

(via Flickr/Mooganic)

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 12:54 pm

Governor Jay Nixon (D) Wednesday signed eight bills into law that were passed this year by Missouri lawmakers.

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Politics
7:43 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Mo. House to study its own operations

Credit File / KBIA

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.

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Politics
7:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Nixon weighs gun legislation

Credit File Photo / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is deciding whether to sign recently passed legislation that would bolster gun rights.

The legislature approved measures that would tackle federal gun laws, allow certain trained school personnel to carry a concealed weapon and change the process for issuing concealed gun permits.

Nixon has until mid-July to sign the bills, veto them or allow them to take effect without his signature.

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Politics
7:26 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Various Mo. state fees may increase

Credit Jacob Fenston / KBIA

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.

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Politics
5:39 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Mo. lawmakers to continue work during interim session

Credit File Photo / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers will continue working on several issues after last month’s end of the 2013 regular session.  House Speaker Tim Jones has announced the formation of an interim committee to examine the state’s election laws.  It’s being chaired by fellow Republican Sue Entlicher, who formerly served as Clerk of Polk County:

“We’re looking for anything to keep the statutes up to date and not repeat anything…then also we’re going to comprise, hopefully, a plan to take care of any of the voting machines that need to be updated or need to be replaced,” Entlicher said. 

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Politics
8:07 am
Thu June 6, 2013

How the income-tax issue is about more than Missouri and its governor

(via Flickr/StockMonkeys.com)

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 4:54 pm

Governor Jay Nixon vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have cut Missouri’s income tax rates for the first time in 90 years.

The Republican-led General Assembly passed the bill in large part pointing to neighboring Kansas which already has slashed its personal and corporate income taxes.

But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman reports, the Democratic governor says the cuts would hurt Missouri education and other state services.

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