Missouri Senate

Missouri Capitol
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Debate has stalled in the Missouri Senate over legislation that would reinstate a limit on certain damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. The state Supreme Court struck down the previous cap.

The Missouri Senate has again passed legislation curbing tax breaks for developers while creating new incentives for exporters and high-tech industries.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

A Missouri House committee has adopted a measure to stop the state Revenue Department from scanning driver's license applicants' personal documents.

An alternate Medicaid expansion bill that contained some reforms sought by Missouri House Republicans is all but dead this year.

Missouri senators trying to target budget cuts at the agency that issues driver's licenses may have instead blocked funding for the registration of boats and mobile homes.

The Senate passed a budget plan late Monday that eliminates the entire $3.5 million allotment for the Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Division.

During debate, senators said the proposed cut could halt the issuance of driver's licenses. They described it as negotiating leverage to get additional information from state officials about the data collected from driver's license applicants.

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would overhaul the state’s conceal carry process.

A Missouri House committee heard testimony Monday on efforts to shift state welfare recipients onto federal disability.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri senators are considering a roughly $25 billion budget plan that may be most notable for what it doesn't contain.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri senators are considering a roughly $25 billion budget plan that may be most notable for what it doesn't contain.

Senate debate on the budget is scheduled to begin late Monday, with some of the most agreeable items up first. Those include a $66 million increase in basic aid for public schools and a $34 million increase for public colleges and universities.

Missouri senators have endorsed a plan that could provide $15 million to Joplin to rebuild street curbs and gutters that were damaged as a result of the 2011 tornado.

The bill given initial approval Wednesday would fund disaster recovery projects by redirecting money from other areas of state government. Among the entities that would lose money are the state insurance department and an agency that helps finance health and educational facilities.

The Missouri House has backed a tax credit overhaul that is sharply different from a Senate version.
A bill given initial approval 120-31 Wednesday night would set much higher caps than the Senate on the amount of tax credits that can be approved annually for the renovation of historic buildings and development of low-income housing.

Unlike a bill passed previously by the Senate, the House version would combine several existing business incentives into a new program with greater flexibility for state economic development officials to award tax credits.

Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to a bill that would require older children in foster care to visit colleges.

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The Missouri Senate has passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee farmers' rights.

The legislation originally would have barred voters from passing initiatives that would infringe on farmers' rights. But that portion was removed after opposition from senators concerned about blocking the petition process.

File / KBIA

Nursing mothers could be excused from jury duty under legislation given initial approval by the Missouri Senate.

A bill endorsed Monday would expand protections in Missouri law that already allow mothers to discreetly breast-feed in public places. The bill adds expressing breast milk to the list of protected activities and prohibits cities from enacting local ordinances restricting breast-feeding mothers.
Under the legislation, nursing mothers would be excused from jury duty upon submitting a written note from a doctor.

Nearly a full month of hearings wrapped up Monday into a Missouri Senate bill that would revise the state’s criminal code, but it may already be too late to get the bill to the Governor’s desk this year.

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A Missouri Senate panel is preparing to begin drafting its plan for the roughly $25 billion state operating budget.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has scheduled hearings throughout the week to begin work on the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The panel is also scheduled to consider the budget for the state Revenue Department, despite recent tensions between the department and Republican senators over new driver's license procedures.

Higher initiative fraud penalties passes Mo. Senate

Apr 4, 2013
Vote Here sign
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People who fraudulently sign petitions for ballot initiatives could face stiffer penalties under legislation passed by the Missouri Senate.

Senators voted 30-3 Thursday for a bill that would make petition signature fraud a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of between $1,000 and $25,000.

Violators currently can face a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The legislation now goes to the House.

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The Missouri Senate has passed legislation that would ensure that pharmacies could refuse to stock certain prescription drugs, such as emergency contraception.

The legislation passed the Senate by a 24-9 vote Thursday and now heads to the House.

Sponsoring Sen. David Sater is a Republican pharmacist from southwest Missouri who describes the legislation a business freedom issue. Sater says some states have mandated that birth control or emergency contraception be stocked by pharmacies. But he says a pharmacy — like a clothing store — should be free to sell what it chooses.

pills
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  The Missouri Senate unanimously passed a bill today allowing pharmacists to issue small prescription refills of emergency medication without a doctor's order.

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.

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The Missouri Senate has passed an unusually large number of tax cuts, credits, deductions and increases at the midway mark of the legislative session.

The bottom line could be a net gain in state revenues, if all the proposed changes become law.

A calculation prepared for The Associated Press by former legislative tax analyst Brian Schmitt shows that Missouri may reap $355 million in 2016, with that gradually decreasing to $118 million by 2019.

Mo. Senate passes union paycheck deduction bill

Mar 14, 2013
missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has approved legislation requiring public employee unions to seek annual consent to automatically deduct fees from members' paychecks.

The bill also would require the unions to seek consent for spending members' fees on political contributions.

Public safety unions representing first responders would be exempt and not have to seek consent from members under the Senate bill.

Mo. Senate passes transportation sales tax

Mar 14, 2013
File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has passed a proposed 1-cent sales tax to fund state and local transportation projects.

The tax would require approval by Missouri voters and go back on a statewide ballot after 10 years.

Officials estimate the tax would generate nearly $8 billion over a decade with 10 percent dedicated to local transportation needs.

The proposal now goes to the House after clearing the Senate Thursday on a vote of 24-10. All the opponents were Republicans.

Two sets of tax credits were passed by Missouri lawmakers Wednesday and sent to Governor Jay Nixon (D).

The Missouri Senate has given first round approval to a scaled-backed version of the so-called Paycheck Protection bill.

The original bill would have barred unions from automatically withholding dues from the paychecks of public employees, but Senate Democrats spent nearly ten hours Monday night and Tuesday morning blocking the bill. The filibuster ended when the bill was changed to allow annual consent for withholding union dues from paychecks.

Updated 12:02 p.m. Edited formatting 12:44 p.m.

Health care workers could refuse to participate in procedures or research that violates their religious, moral or ethical principles under a measure passed by the Missouri House.

The House sent the measure to the Senate Tuesday with a 116-41 vote.

Earlier story:

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The age older youth could re-enter foster care would be raised from 18 to 21 under new legislation approved by the Missouri Senate on Thursday.

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The typical Missouri household might have relatively little to gain from a Senate-endorsed overhaul of the state's tax policies.

The proposed mixture of income tax cuts and sales tax hikes could save a few dozen dollars annually for a family of four earning just slightly more than Missouri's median household income of about $45,000.

Wealthier taxpayers, particularly those running their own businesses, might save a lot more. Yet seniors reliant on Social Security benefits could pay more.

File Photo / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers could serve longer in the House or Senate but not spend more overall time in the state Legislature under a term limits proposal that has gained first-round approval.

Missouri capitol building
KBIA

The Missouri House voted Wednesday and today to approve a house bill that allows rural schools to opt out of paying prevailing wage for public construction projects.

House Republicans and Democrats held opposite attitudes on the bill, but they bill got secondary approval and now is moving to the Senate.

Prevailing wage is a wage requirement meant to protect local construction industries when public construction projects are conducted.

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