missouri legislature

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.

Medicaid Expansion

File / KBIA

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

Joe Gratz / Flickr

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.

Lawmakers are returning to Jefferson City for their annual veto session, which begins Wednesday at noon.

House and Senate leaders will attempt to override Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) veto of a bill that levies local sales taxes on out-of-state vehicle purchases.  The issue has heated up, as Nixon’s supporters are running radio ads urging Missouri citizens to call their lawmakers and tell them not to override the Governor’s veto.

Nixon calls the bill a retroactive tax hike on anyone who’s bought a vehicle outside of Missouri this year, while GOP leaders say it will provide much-needed revenue to local police and fire departments and encourage car and boat buyers to shop in Missouri.  Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard) admits the chances of overriding the veto of the vehicle sales tax bill are slim.

KBIA file photo

Missouri Democratic Governor Jay Nixon was busy Thursday, making decisions on 22 bills the legislature put on his desk.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • A wrap of of the legislators' final actions of the 2012 Missouri legislative session
  • Attorney General Chris Koster puts pressure on the MO Supreme Court to schedule executions

Missouri lawmakers continue debating bills in the closing minutes of the 2012 regular session.

Among the bills passed so far today is one that would require legislative approval before a health care exchange can be created in Missouri.  State Rep. Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) accused Governor Jay Nixon (D) of trying last year to create an exchange via executive order.

Newscast for May 18, 2012

May 18, 2012

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including :

  • State Supreme Court urged to set dates for 19 death sentences
  • End of session will lack drama, but not fireworks
  • Columbia business owner sentenced for Iraq donations

It's the final day of the regular legislative session for the Missouri General Assembly.

Lawmakers have spent the past week clearing a backlog of bills that accumulated during a showdown over the state budget.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Movement on bills in the Missouri House and Senate 2 days before the legislative session closes
  • A report on the $750 million in taxes Missouri and Kansas have given up in the battle for Kansas City jobs
  • A report shows the frequency of severe storms across the Midwest has doubled in the past 50 years

The Missouri Senate has passed a tax credit measure after hammering out an agreement between GOP leaders and fiscal conservatives who’ve been trying to reign in tax breaks for years.

The agreement would cap historic preservation tax credits at $75 million per year, give a one-year extension to food pantry and other charitable tax breaks, and create incentives to draw amateur sporting events to Missouri.  State Senator Eric Schmitt (R, Glendale) urged the chamber to pass it before time runs out on the regular session.

Most of the big issues this legislative session were tied to the state budget, which has been passed and sent to Governor Jay Nixon.  That has many political pundits wondering if the last week of the 2012 session will be anticlimactic.  But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin tells us, there are still a few hot-button items left to fight over.

Workers' comp

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • A judge throws out a voter ID proposal
  • A new plan for managing Hinkson Creek
  • State Senators attempt to override a Governor's veto

The Missouri Senate today overrode a veto by Governor Jay Nixon (D) that would make changes to the state’s workers’ compensation system.

But the likelihood that the House will also override the Governor’s veto is virtually nonexistent, according to Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka).  He says they just don’t have the votes, even within their own party.

“We would have to first convince our caucus," Jones said.  "And even if we did, we’re still simply three votes short on a bill that no Democrat, I believe, has supported to this point…that’s a tough vote.”

Bill would require coverage of eating disorders

Feb 29, 2012
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

In 1995, Rick Stream's 18-year-old daughter died in bed. For several years she'd been struggling with bulimia and that night her heart finally heart stopped beating, weakened from low potassium levels. Now, Stream is a state representative, and he's sponsoring a bill in the Missouri House that would require health insurance companies to cover treatment for eating disorders -- treatment he says could have saved his daughter's life if his insurance had paid for it.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • The Senate passes a bill to push back Missouri's party primary filing deadlines
  • More talk of how to fund reconstruction of I-70
  • Changes to workplace injury laws are making their way through the Missouri legislature
File photo / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has unanimously passed legislation to move the filing period for the state’s party primaries back by one month.  The bill is moving rapidly because the filing period is currently set to begin February 28th and end in late March.

flickr / the clyde

The Missouri Senate has passed legislation that would prohibit employees from suing co-workers for injuries they sustain on the job.

missouri capitol
File Photo / KBIA

The state Senate is moving quickly to try to postpone Missouri's candidacy filing period because of uncertainties over the state's new legislative districts.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • The state Supreme Court tosses out ethics rules passed by the legislature in 2010
  • Derrick Washington pleads guilty to assault
  • A trial judge throws out a lawsuit concerning the new congressional house districts
  • Attorney General Chris Koster writes to the SCOTUS concerning the federal health care mandate
gavel
Flickr / steakpinball

Wide-ranging ethics rules that were passed by Missouri lawmakers two years ago were tossed out Tuesday by the State Supreme Court.

KBIA file photo

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls. 

The Thursday vote split exactly along party lines.

Democrats hammered away at Republicans’ arguments that the bill would combat voter fraud, saying there hasn’t been a documented case of voter fraud in decades – and that the bill does nothing to deal with voter registration fraud.  GOP House Member Todd Richardson of Poplar Bluff disagreed.

The head of Missouri’s Higher Education Department has a good-news prediction for the state’s colleges and universities: a downplay in funding cuts from legislators. By Kirk Wayman in Maryville.

David Shane/Flickr

Regional news form the KBIA newsroom, including:

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