missouri legislature

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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

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.

jay nixon
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.

missouri capitol
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.

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. 

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.

jay nixon
File Photo / KBIA

Some Republican lawmakers are vowing to try to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill that reduced income taxes. Shortly after the Democratic governor rejected the bill today, the leading sponsors of the legislation said they would attempt to get the two-thirds vote needed to override his veto when the Legislature convenes in September.

Republicans hold enough seats in the House in Senate to override Nixon’s veto without any Democratic support. They would have to hold all of the GOP members together in the House and could afford to have only one Republican defect in the Senate.

Joe Gratz / Flickr

Legislation that could ease the caseload of Missouri public defenders is being considered by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The measure would allow the public defender system to ask the presiding judge of a judicial circuit for a conference to discuss caseload issues. The judge could decide whether to grant relief in a particular case.

Updated 5:02 p.m. May 31

Newly released emails show that Gov. Jay Nixon's administration and legislative bill drafters each had a role in crafting an apparently inadvertent tax increase on prescription medications.

The prescription tax hike is included in a bill passed by the Legislature that cuts the state's income tax. Nixon has indicated he may veto the bill.

Teddy Nykiel / KBIA News

  Missouri state lawmakers launched an interim committee Thursday to examine the issue of Medicaid reform. Governor Jay Nixon pushed heavily for the legislature to expand Medicaid this session, and accept hundreds of millions of federal dollars to do so. But Republican legislators were worried about the long-term costs of the move, and no measure was passed. Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, a Republican member who started the committee, says accepting the federal money wouldn’t fix the problems that are inherent to the Medicaid system.

Missouri motorcycle riders had several favorable bills sent to Gov. Jay Nixon during this year's legislative session, but a big priority still did not pass.

Lawmakers passed bills that would declare May motorcycle awareness month and would prevent police from setting up "motorcycle-only" checkpoints.

KBIA

  Missouri's 2013 legislative session came to a close Friday evening after deliberation of state Medicaid expansion, tax credit reform and gun control.

File / KBIA

Legislation awaiting action by Gov. Jay Nixon seeks to comply with federal mandates for Missouri's unemployment benefits system.

The measure also could make it more difficult for workers to receive jobless benefits if they are let go after an unapproved absence or if they knowingly violate a company rule.

A Missouri lawmaker who threatened to resign unless one or both of his key bills survived the last day of the 2013 legislative session is staying put, even though both bills failed to make it out by Friday's deadline.

Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers have passed legislation consolidating four of the state's business incentives.

The newly created Missouri Works program would be modeled after the current Quality Jobs program, which would come to an end.

Classroom
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers have approved legislation that would require education officials to seek grants and donations to help children with special needs such as autism.

Financial resources could be devoted to scholarships or clinical trials for behavioral interventions. Scholarships could be used to help students attend a public school outside the student's home district or a private school.

Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri senators have given up their attempt to pass an overhaul of the some of the state's tax credit programs for businesses and developers.

Supporters of the bill set it aside Friday after Republican Sen. Brad Lager, of Savannah, spoke against it for an hour in a filibuster that could have otherwise continued until the session's mandatory end at 6 p.m. The legislation would have created tax incentives for international air cargo exports, computer data centers and investors in startup technology companies.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers have passed legislation that could patch a hole in the state budget for early childhood programs and health care for the blind.

A bill given final approval Friday would transfer $55 million from general revenues into a new fund to finance the programs. The move was necessary because the 2014 budget passed last week by lawmakers called for funding the programs with savings from the repeal of a tax break for low-income seniors and disabled residents who live in rental housing.

Missouri lawmakers have voted for a third time to reinstate local taxes on cars, trucks and boats bought from out-of-state dealers or in private transactions.

The state Supreme Court struck down such taxes in 2012 but said a local "use tax" could be levied on such purchases if local voters approved. Legislators approved proposals to reverse the ruling's effect last year and again this year. But Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed both, including the most recent one last month.

File Photo / KBIA

The top lawmaker in the Missouri Senate says there will be no vote this year on a revision of the state's criminal laws or a $1.2 billion bonding program. Both measures already passed the House. But Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey says they are too complex to bring up with just a few days remaining before Friday's mandatory adjournment for the 2013 session.

A group of educators is suing the state of Missouri over a proposed constitutional amendment requiring tenure for public school teachers be based on performance, not seniority.

The Missouri House has adopted Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) proposal announced Thursday to add $86 million to a capital improvements bill.

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would allow motorcyclists to ride without wearing helmets.

The Missouri House has formally rejected the Senate version of the state budget, setting the stage for final negotiations over the state’s spending plan for next year.

Floor debate on House Bill 372


The Missouri House has passed yet another bill that expands the rights of gun owners, less than 24 hours after passing legislation aimed at blocking the federal government from enforcing federal gun laws in the Show-Me State.

Pages