missouri legislature

UM System students take their case to Jefferson City

Apr 12, 2013
Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

Legislation for campus capital improvements and student curators are key issues the Associated Students of the University of Missouri brought to legislators at the capitol Thursday.

About 50 students from all four University of Missouri campuses gathered to talk to state legislators at the Make a Stand Rally.

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In his proposed budget, President Barack Obama wants to delay cuts to federal payments to hospitals, keeping the payments intact for an extra year. That could affect the debate over expanding Medicaid in Missouri.

Through what’s called the disproportionate share hospital payments or DSH payments, the federal government gives money to hospitals that provide a lot of free care to patients who are uninsured and can’t afford services. The Affordable Care Act, though, includes significant cuts to DSH payments.

Alexandra Olgin / KBIA

In November we told you about the debate in the Missouri legislature over including sexual orientation and gender identity in the Human Rights act. It would offer protection to make sure LGBT aren’t discriminated for housing and employment discrimination. There are two groups trying to achieve the same goal in two different ways. One organization is trying to get the state legislature to change policy, while another wants to leave the decision to voters on the ballot in 2014.

Missouri’s budget for the next fiscal year has been passed by the State House.


While Medicaid expansion has dominated most of the debate, spending hikes were approved in other areas.  There’s an extra $65 million for K-12 schools, although the increase still falls short of fully funding the state’s public school formula.  Republican Mike Lair of Livingston County chairs the Appropriations committee on Education.

File / KBIA

Supporters and opponents spent several hours Monday testifying on an alternate Medicaid proposal being floated by House Republicans.

File / KBIA

The Missouri House will begin debate Tuesday on the 13 bills that make up next year’s state budget.

The three bills that encompass the state’s Medicaid program don’t include Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) proposed expansion, although House Democrats may try to offer amendments to change that.  Budget chairman Rick Stream (R, Kirkwood) says the state should have more of a say in how Medicaid dollars are handled.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

Missouri state legislators return to the Capitol today with a to-do list that includes the budget and various legislative priorities such as taxes, economic incentives and a fund for injured workers.

The Legislature recessed this past week for its midsession break. Lawmakers are scheduled to resume debate today.

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Missouri power companies would track costs for operations and maintenance for their next rate case under proposed state legislation.

The new tracker would be used to compare the difference between the costs factored into electric rates and the expenses actually incurred. The differences would be included in the calculation for electric rates when the utility files its next case with the Public Service Commission.

Legislation in the Missouri House would permanently adopt Daylight Saving Time as the new Standard Time, but only if 20 other states also agree to do so.


House Bill 340 would create a pact with other states to “eliminate” Daylight Saving Time by renaming it the new “Standard Time.”  And once 20 or more states join the pact, they’ll spring forward one hour and permanently remain there.  It’s sponsored by State Representative Delus Johnson (R, St. Joseph).

Cows at MU Farm
File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a measure that supporters say will help protect farmers.
The proposed state constitutional amendment would prohibit laws that limit what it calls modern farming and ranching practices unless they're passed by the Legislature. The measure would add that the right to engage in modern farming and ranching practices are "forever guaranteed."

House members endorsed the measure Wednesday. It needs another vote before moving to the state Senate. If it passes the Legislature, the amendment would go to a statewide vote.

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Missouri lawmakers are looking for ways to collect taxes from some online and out-of-state retailers.
State budget officials estimate that Missouri could gain about $10 million annually in tax revenues if legislation filed in both the House and Senate were to pass.

The bills address two areas that traditional retail stores contend put them at a disadvantage. One provision would require Missouri taxes to be collected on out-of-state retailers that personally deliver products like furniture and appliances to Missouri homes.

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  Many of Columbia and Jefferson City’s official meetings have been canceled tonight due to the winter storm.

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Missouri legislators are cutting their work week short because of concerns about a winter storm.

The House and Senate usually meet from Monday until mid-day Thursday each week. But the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch from late Wednesday through Thursday for most of Missouri. The forecast calls for a mixture of ice and snow, depending on the location.

selbstfotografiert / Wikimedia Common

Advocates for child sex abuse victims are urging the Missouri Legislature to renew a funding increase for their social services.

At issue is an increase of more than 20 percent in funding for child assessment centers that was included in the 2013 budget. That $500,000 increase brought the total funding for the centers to $2.8 million.
The centers conduct forensic interviews and sexual assault exams on children that can help make a legal case against their perpetrators.

Legislation has been filed in the Missouri Senate that would create a temporary sales tax dedicated to funding transportation needs statewide.

The proposed constitutional amendment would create a one-cent sales tax that would expire after 10 years.  It’s co-sponsored by State Senator Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City).  He says the one-penny tax would not be levied on groceries, prescription medicine or fuel.

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A Missouri legislative committee is creating a new funding model for the state's public colleges and universities.

The Joint Committee on Education plans to release a detailed draft Monday at the state Capitol. The panel will accept public comment on the proposal until Feb. 11.

A recently approved state law requires development of a higher education funding formula similar to the one used for public school districts. Missouri now bases funding for colleges and universities largely on how much they've received in past years and how much money is available.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Democratic Missouri Governor Jay Nixon delivered his state of the state speech Monday night;  to a legislature that this year again has enough Republican members that if they all vote together, they won’t even need his signature to alter the state’s laws.

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require special elections to fill vacancies in statewide offices.


If passed, House Bill 110 would only allow the Governor to appoint a temporary placeholder who would not be eligible to run in the special election.  House Speaker Pro-tem Jason Smith (R, Salem), the bill’s sponsor, says it’s not a deliberate swipe at Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.

Legislation that would revive three benevolent tax credits in Missouri is being considered by a State House committee.


Tax breaks for food pantries, pregnancy resource centers and the Children in Crisis program all expired last year when lawmakers failed to pass any type of tax credit reform package.  Scott Baker, State Director of the Missouri Food Bank Association, testified today in favor of renewing the incentives.  He says according to the USDA, Missouri has the nation’s 7th highest food insecurity rate.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers are kicking off the state's annual budgeting process this week. The Senate Appropriations Committee will take public testimony on education and health care issues at a hearing Tuesday.

Chris Koster
Dan Verbeck / KBIA

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster plans to create a new task force to focus on urban violence. The attorney general's office says the panel could start work in late spring with meetings in Kansas City and St. Louis.

Koster, a Democrat, won a second term this past November. During his re-election campaign, he said he was considering task forces to focus on urban crime and to evaluate the annual report on law enforcement traffic stops.

Casino
loop_oh / Flickr

A Missouri House bill aims to restrict the use of cash welfare benefits at casinos and liquor stores.

Missouri lawmakers return to Jefferson City this week for the start of the 2013 regular session.  So far it appears that this year’s dominating issue will be the expansion of Medicaid, which Democratic Governor Jay Nixon has called for and which Republican leaders in both chambers say won’t happen.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at that looming battle and other issues facing Missouri lawmakers this year.

File / KBIA

Republicans who control the Missouri Legislature plan to make another attempt at revising the state's workers' compensation laws.

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A federal judge has blocked a new Missouri law requiring insurers to offer policies excluding birth control coverage because it conflicts with a federal law mandating such coverage.

Hakan Dahlstrom / flickr

The sponsor of a bill that would allow Missouri teachers to be armed in classrooms says they won’t be running around their schools with guns drawn, acting like Rambo. 

File / KBIA

More than two dozen Missouri lawmakers are backing legislation that would allow teachers and administrators with concealed gun permits to carry weapons in schools.

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Taking advantage of its close proximity to the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City, Westminster College is launching a program for students to get an opportunity to work full time in the state government. The program will begin in the spring semester of 2013.

Westminster College’s new Capital Internship Program would have students work 20 to 40 hours per week in Jefferson City. So, other than just shadowing another government officer, students will get chances to work like real state officials.

Money
File Photo / KBIA

A former Missouri lawmaker has been indicted on charges of receiving Social Security disability payments while serving in the state Legislature.

The indictment Tuesday alleges that former Democratic House member Ray Salva received about $60,000 of disability payments that he wasn't entitled to while representing the Kansas City suburb of Sugar Creek from January 2003 through December 2010.

Salva did not immediately return a telephone message Tuesday.

Updated 9/13/2012, 4:51 p.m.


A Kansas City-based labor group is seeking to block the new law allowing Missouri employers to deny health insurance coverage for birth control pills and other contraceptive procedures.


The new law took effect after the Missouri General Assembly overrode Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) veto during Wednesday’s veto session.  Attorney E.E. Keenan represents the Greater Kansas City Coalition of Labor Union Women.

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