missouri state capitol

Challiyan / Flickr

You’ve probably heard it before: rates of smoking and tobacco use in Missouri are some of the highest in the nation. Roughly 1 in 4 Missourians over the age of 18 smoke tobacco and the state ranks 50th for workplace exposure to second-hand smoke.  But what isn’t clear is why Missouri has consistently ranked so low compared with other states. I spoke with Traci Kennedy, Executive Director of Tobacco Free Missouri, who says it’s because lawmakers have made it particularly easy to be a tobacco user in the state.

Jay Nixon
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will deliver his annual State of the State address Tuesday night, during which he'll unveil his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2015.

The governor is expected to announce funding increases for both K-12 schools and higher education, along with a warning to House and Senate GOP leaders not to cut taxes.  Nixon vetoed last year's tax cut bill (HB 253) and successfully fought off an attempted veto override last fall.  The Democratic governor is also expected to make another pitch for expanding Medicaid.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Roughly 200 people braved the heat and humidity outside Missouri’s Capitol building today (Wednesday) to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  Among those speaking at the event was former St. Louis lawmaker Jeanette Mott Oxford, who now heads the Missouri Association for Social Welfare.  She told the crowd she believes King’s vision for America went beyond racial equality:

Jim Bowen / Flickr

Missouri officials are celebrating the 100th anniversary of groundbreaking for the state Capitol.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) says the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) is not forwarding information on applicants for driver’s licenses and conceal-carry endorsements to the federal government.

He became exasperated with reporters who asked questions about the controversy during a press conference today at the State Capitol.

Fried Dough / Cigarette

Missouri House Republicans are considering a policy to let lawmakers continue smoking in their offices while encouraging them to be "conscientious" and "respectful."

Smoking is barred in the House chamber and public galleries. House rules require the Republican and Democratic caucuses to establish smoking policies for legislators' private offices.

House Democrats have decided to bar smoking in their own private offices.

Legislation that would let Missouri school nurses keep asthma medication on hand and treat students for attacks is on its way to Gov. Jay Nixon.

loop_oh / flickr

Missouri lawmakers are considering a measure allowing casinos to loan money to patrons, something opponents say could make things worse for those with gambling addictions.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the House Financial Institutions Committee added the change onto a banking bill Wednesday with no debate. Committee members endorsed it by a 13-1 vote, sending the measure to the full House after the Rules Committee approves it.

Gamblers who pass a credit check would be able to borrow money and exchange it for electronic tokens and chips for wagering.

Newscast for April 26, 2012

Apr 26, 2012
File / KBIA

Regional news coverage from the KBIA News room, including:

  • Missouri senators rebuff effort to intervene in contract dispute.
  • Missouri House gives first-round approval to bill giving tax breaks to auto parts manufactures.
  • House budget leader not happy with the Senate's decision to restore millions to blind pension program.
Marshall Griffin / KWMU

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Thousands gathering for rallies in Jefferson City
  • A jobs announcement in Mexico, MO
  • The stealth bombers at a Missouri Air Force Base are getting some expensive updates