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.
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.
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:
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.