missouri legislature

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.

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.

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.

Legislature floor
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.

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.

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

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.

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:

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.

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.

Heads up, Missouri drivers: New traffic laws affect you

Aug 23, 2013

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.

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.

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").

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.

missouri capitol
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.

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.

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.

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