missouri legislature

missouri capitol
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Snow, bitter cold and high winds are not enough for a snow day at the Missouri Capitol.

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Some cancer patients want Missouri legislators to make chemotherapy pills more affordable.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has swiftly attacked a state Senate panel’s action to approve a phased-in tax cut that he estimates will cost the state $1 billion a year when fully implemented.

Nixon called it a “fiscally irresponsible tax experiment.”

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.

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.

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?

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.

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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

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.

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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").

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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.