Missouri Senate

(Updated 8:35 p.m., Wed., Sept. 10)

The Missouri House and Senate have voted overwhelmingly to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s line-item vetoes of more than 50 items in the state's current budget, although both sides agree the overrides may not be enforceable.

The House spent more than six hours dealing with the issues. The Senate swiftly followed suit with a barrage of votes Wednesday night.

The Missouri Senate had seven new members after the smoke cleared from the 2006 election cycle. Only two served for the maximum time allowed under term limits – Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, and state Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah.

The two lawmakers are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. Justus entered the General Assembly as a combative fighter who fought tooth-and-nail against the Republican majority. Lager, who was arguably more conservative than his Republican counterparts, seemed on a course for higher office.

Northwest Missouri will have a new state senator next year, as Brad Lager prepares to leave office.

The Republican from Savannah can't run again because of term limits, but he says he's ready for the next chapter in his life -- which for now does not include politics. 

Lager sat down recently with St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin to talk about his time in office and about what he considers to be roadblocks toward making Missouri better. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers have passed a budget that would restore Medicaid benefits cut a decade ago and boost spending on public education.

missouri capitol
File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has endorsed a construction funding bill that includes projects on college campuses and for the Highway Patrol.

Missouri Capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Missouri's Republican-led Senate has defeated a rape and incest exemption to the state's abortion waiting period.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has halted debate on legislation that would curb the ability of public employee unions to collect and spend fees automatically deducted from workers' paychecks.

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

  Twenty-three Clergy members were arrested Tuesday during a rally at the capitol. The rally, by the group Missouri Faith Voices, was meant to get state senators to expand Medicaid eligibility.

Over 300 members of Missouri Faith Voices gathered in the rotunda for a rally before certain clergy members moved into the Senate Gallery. While, other members showed support outside of the gallery, the select clergy members sang and prayed out loud for about an hour before police arrested them.

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Vitualis / Flickr

A new report says more than 150,000 Missouri residents signed up for health insurance policies through a federally run website.

File Photo / KBIA

Missouri senators passed legislation that could pave the way for the state to dump new benchmarks for student achievement known as the Common Core Standards.

LancerenoK / Flickr

Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would allow use of a cannabis extract by people whose epilepsy isn't relieved by other treatments.

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File Photo / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he will veto an income tax cut that he considers to be "an unfair, unaffordable and dangerous scheme."

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Drab Mayko / FLICKR

Missouri senators have passed legislation that seeks to nullify some federal gun laws and punish federal agents who enforce them.

The Missouri Senate has passed a proposed constitutional amendment to create a temporary sales tax to fund transportation needs around the state, but not before scaling it back.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

  The Missouri Senate passed the rest of the state budget Tuesday April 29, after taking care of the first 5 bills on Monday.  Democrat Paul LeVota of Independence made an indirect attempt to expand Medicaid. He offered an amendment to create a line item in the Department of Social Services’ budget for extra Medicaid dollars to be drawn down if lawmakers ever decide to expand Medicaid.  Republican Kurt Schaefer of Columbia opposed the amendment.

The Missouri Senate has so far passed five of the 13 bills that make up the state budget for next year.

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edenpictures / flickr

Some lawmakers hope to make Missouri the second state to drop new education benchmarks and write its own student performance standards.

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Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

After several years of work and two major legislative pushes, Missouri lawmakers have finally passed legislation to update the state’s criminal code. 

Stethoscope
File Photo / KBIA

County officials could compile lists of residents with health problems under a Missouri bill intended to identify people in need of help during disasters.

cindyt7070 / Flickr

On April 8, the Missouri Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 39, which would appropriate $71.1 million for 47 repair and maintenance projects for the University of Missouri System. That money is part of a larger proposal to borrow $600 million for capital projects at universities statewide.

Missouri Department of Tourism

Missouri senators have endorsed legislation that could lead to the development of a preschool rating system by private or nonprofit groups.

The bill given initial approval Wednesday comes two years after a law was enacted barring the creation of a preschool rating system by the state, higher education institutions or quasi-governmental entities.

The new legislation leaves intact the prohibition on government involvement but would allow publicly funded preschools to participate in a rating system run by a private or nonprofit group.

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

A Missouri Senate committee is preparing to consider the final sticking points to conclude its work on the state's operating budget.

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Dreamstime

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has confirmed a longtime employee of the Missouri Department of Social Services to be the agency's new director.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri House and Senate have each passed bills that would prevent people younger than 18 from purchasing electronic cigarettes.

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has temporarily set aside debate on ethics legislation that would curb lobbying.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

  Legislation to reorganize Missouri's criminal laws also would give longer prison stints to people who sexually abuse or abandon children.

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers are hearing the pros and cons of whether it makes good business sense to grant discrimination protections based on sexual orientation.

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v1ctor Casale / Flickr

The Missouri Senate has given preliminary approval to legislation that would overhaul the state's criminal laws and create new punishment ranges for felonies and misdemeanors.

Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would require public employees to give annual written authorization for unions to spend money automatically deducted from a person's paycheck.

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