Missouri Senate

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A Missouri Senate committee has heard testimony on legislation aimed at strengthening the state's open meetings and records law.

Sponsoring Sen. Kurt Schaefer said during a hearing Wednesday one significant change focuses on complaints about violations.

Schaefer says current law puts the burden on complainants to show that a violation occurred. His legislation would require the governmental body to prove during legal proceedings that a meeting, record or vote was properly closed.

Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

All genetically modified meat and fish raised and sold in Missouri would have to be labeled as such, under legislation filed in the State Senate.  It’s sponsored by Democrat Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis. 

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers have convened their 2013 session with Republican supermajorities controlling both the House and Senate.

Republicans have made tax cuts one of their top priorities for the 97th General Assembly, which runs until May 17.

They also plan to pursue business-friendly changes to the state's legal system, a bonding proposal for colleges, job-protection changes for public teachers and potentially a new transportation funding plan.

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A joint committee of Missouri House and Senate members is considering an overhaul of how the state’s colleges and universities are funded each year.  A first draft of recommendations was released today, and it includes basing 10 percent of an institution’s state funding on performance standards such as graduation rates. 

State House proposal would ban 'Black Friday Eve'

Dec 4, 2012
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A proposal in the Missouri House would make it illegal for retail stores to open for business on Thanksgiving Day.  It’s one of several bills pre-filed Monday by state legislators ahead of next year’s regular legislative session.  The proposal is sponsored by Democrat Jeff Roorda of Jefferson County.  He says it’s in response to the ongoing push by retailers to open for business on nationally-recognized holidays: “It’s Thanksgiving Day, it’s not Black Friday’s Eve…it’s just silly what these retailers are doing to the families of folks that work for them…(it’s) supposed to be about family an

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Changes in Missouri's tax code will be near the top of the agenda for Republicans in the state Senate during the 2013 session.

Sen. Tom Dempsey, of St. Charles, is expected to be elected as presiding officer when the Senate convenes in January. He says majority party Republicans want to act quickly on legislation to provide "income tax relief." The specifics remain to be finalized but could include income tax cuts for individuals, small businesses or corporations.

KBIA’s Ryan Famuliner interviewed State Senator Kurt Schaefer, who is running for re-election in the 19th District of the state Senate. His challenger is Democratic State Representative Mary Still.

Andrew Yost / KBIA

A conservative fundraising group has endorsed Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin and is pledging to direct $290,000 to the Republican's campaign against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

McCaskill, Akin and Dine face off in first Mo. Senate debate

Sep 21, 2012
Missouri Senate Debate
Andrew Yost / KBIA

KBIA ran live coverage of today’s Senatorial debate between incumbent US Senator Claire McCaskill and US Representative Todd Akin from 10:45AM to noon. 

Democratic State Representative Mary Still will try to unseat Republican Kurt Schaefer from his 19th district Senate seat in November.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

An independent political committee focused on energy issues says it spent more than $250,000 in July to influence three primary elections for Missouri Senate.

The Missouri Senate has been shut down by one Senator over which version of legislation for veterans’ homes will be adopted.

Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) and several allies tied up the Senate for nearly 12 hours Monday night and are provoking a showdown with Senate leaders.  In addition to using a filibuster to block the veterans’ homes bill, Crowell is using several motions to block all bills from being debated.

“We have some issues that need to be resolved in the Senate before we move forward, and they’re gonna be resolved one way or the other," Crowell said.  "I will continue to make this series of motions on anything else that we do.”

House and Senate budget negotiators remain at an impasse on what’s become the main barrier to reaching an agreement: finding a way to fund veterans’ homes.

The House this week passed legislation that would fund veterans homes with gaming revenues currently designated for early childhood programs, and replace it with money from a tobacco settlement.  The Senate has so far refused to take up the measure.  House Budget Chair Ryan Silvey accuses Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer of playing games:

 

The Missouri House has approved legislation that could make it harder for employees to be shielded from retaliation by their employer for reporting wrongdoing in the workplace.

In an 86-66 vote Thursday, the House approved a measure that limits "whistleblower" status to employees who report or refuse to carry out illegal acts. The bill also caps the amount of punitive damages a person can recover if a company retaliates against the whistleblower.

Newscast for April 25, 2012

Apr 25, 2012

Regional news coverage from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

UMSL to hold an interdisciplinary conference on "consilience."

The UM System president's house needs $88,000 worth of additional repairs and renovations.

Legislation moving through the state Senate that would make cellphone companies share 911 call information.

A state Senate panel considers legislation that would make CPR a requirement for Missouri high school students.

state capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A Missouri Senate committee is considering legislation that would make CPR training a requirement for graduating from high schools.

David Shane / Flickr

Phone companies would have to help Missouri law enforcement agencies locate cellphone callers in emergency situations, under legislation moving through the state Senate.

Niall Kennedy / flickr

County assessors would have to consider the impact of foreclosures and bank sales on the real estate market when they set the value of a property, under legislation that has passed the Missouri Senate.

The Missouri Senate has passed bills that would allow for more charter schools in the state and would also allow the state to take over failing school districts more quickly.

File Photo / KBIA

 

Legislation that would tweak Missouri’s funding formula for public schools has stalled in the State Senate.  

Newscast for April 12, 2012

Apr 12, 2012

Regional news coverage from the KBIA News room, including:

  • Missouri Senate Committee approves $24 billion budget plan that cuts funding for social services.
  • Gov. Jay Nixon appoints St. Louis trial judge to serve on state Court of Appeals.
  • Legislation allowing Missourians to place their cell phones numbers on No Call List moving forward.
  • State Department of Health and Senior Services confirms seven cases of E. coli. 

Newscast for April 5, 2012

Apr 5, 2012

Regional news coverage from the KBIA News room, including:

  • Missouri employers barred from identifying workers by the last four their Social Security numbers.
  • Missouri Senate considering increasing funding for elementary and secondary schools.
  • Missouri House approves legislation designed to help students attend schools closest to them.
  • Missouri Senate gives first-round approval to double the amount of time public school teachers to earn tenure from five years to ten years. 

The State Senate is considering a budget that would increase funding for elementary and secondary schools and hold higher education funding steady. 

Missouri employers would be barred from identifying workers by the last four digits of their Social Security numbers under a bill in the state Senate.

Missouri Capitol
David Shane / Flickr

Education would be spared from cuts but fewer state employees would get pay raises under a budget plan put forth by a Missouri Senate committee.

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.”

Two rallies in Jefferson City today each called for the repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and for employers to have the right to not provide coverage for birth control.

Several hundred people attended the rally held at the State Capitol, led by several religious leaders.  Maggie Karner with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod told the crowd that President Obama’s birth control mandate is an attack on religious freedom.

“This debate is simply about us being forced to pay for products and services that are contrary to our religious beliefs, and we cannot be expected to check our faith at the door," Karner said.

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri has officially begun her re-election campaign, the first and only Democrat so far in a contest that has attracted several Republicans.

Both the Missouri House and Senate have passed bills that could shorten the sentences of some criminals who are placed on probation or parole.

The Missouri Senate has given final approval to legislation changing the rules for lawsuits over workplace discrimination.

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