Politics

Politics
8:01 am
Wed May 21, 2014

McCaskill, Blunt Demand Better Care For Military Veterans

Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 1:58 pm

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is releasing the latest results of a survey of Missouri military veterans who have received care at Veterans Administration’s facilities around the state, including Cochran and Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis.

While not disclosing any details, McCaskill told reporters Tuesday that “every year we’ve done it, the VA has done a little better. I’m particularly pleased this year because we’ve had even more responses this year than we had last year.”

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Politics
7:40 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Despite Setbacks, Bond Isn't Giving Up Medicaid Expansion Fight

Former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., and his wife Linda talk to reporters at an event Monday at the Danforth Plant Science Center. Bond was hired by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce to press for Medicaid expansion.

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 3:43 pm

Former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond was tapped by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce to get Medicaid expansion across the finish line. 

He didn’t succeed. Despite the attempts of several Republicans in the House and Senate to pass some form of expansion this year, Bond told St. Louis Public Radio on Monday that “we were just a few filibustering senators short of getting it done.”

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Media Talk From the Missouri School of Journalism
6:00 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Views of the News: Jill Abramson's exit from the New York Times

Credit via Wikimedia user Haxorjoe

Watch this week's full program  

Why was Jill Abramson fired as executive editor the New York Times? Her story doesn’t mesh with that of Publisher Arthur Sulzberger. Was it over a pay dispute as she claims or about a management style Sulzberger says didn’t fit the newsroom?

Ken Auletta, New Yorker: “Why Jill Abramson was fired

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Politics
8:28 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Candidates emerging for Missouri 2016 governor's race

Credit KBIA

Missouri Congressmember Blaine Luetkemeyer says he will consider a 2016 run for governor after his re-election bid this year for the U.S. House.

The Republican from Missouri's 3rd Congressional District said Monday he has been encouraged by party members, donors and friends to consider running for governor.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is barred by term limits from seeking re-election. But others already are positioning to succeed him.

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Politics
8:22 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Range of issues from legislative session headed to voters and ballots

Credit Sullivan Fox / KBIA

Missouri voters will have a lot to think about this year when they look at their election ballots. There will be choices about farms, guns, lottery tickets and taxes, to name just a few.

That's because lawmakers have referred an unusually large number of constitutional amendments to the ballot for voters to decide.

During the session that ended last week, lawmakers voted to place six measures on the ballot. They referred an additional two to this year's ballot during their 2013 session.

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Politics
4:28 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Nixon holds firm on plans for execution

Credit hitthatswitch / flickr

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is standing firm with plans to execute Russell Bucklew this week, despite claims from the condemned man's attorneys that he could suffer during the process because of a rare medical condition.

Bucklew is scheduled to die by a lethal dose of pentobarbital at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing a southeast Missouri man during a violent crime spree in 1996.

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Politics
4:26 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Missouri lawmakers send 8 issues to voters

Credit Marjie Kennedy / Flickr

Missouri voters will have a lot to think about this year when they look at their election ballots. There will be choices about farms, guns, lottery tickets and taxes, to name just a few.

That's because lawmakers have referred an unusually large number of constitutional amendments to the ballot for voters to decide.

During the session that ended last week, lawmakers voted to place six measures on the ballot. They referred an additional two to this year's ballot during their 2013 session.

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Politics
4:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Nixon announces plans for 5 more safe rooms

Gov. Jay Nixon.
Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Plans are in the works for tornado safe rooms at five Missouri schools.

Gov. Jay Nixon was in Troy Monday to announce that community safe rooms will be built at schools in Lincoln, St. Charles, Stoddard, Texas and Webster counties.

The safe rooms are designed to provide tornado shelter for those who don't have basements or other means of shelter at their homes, and for students, faculty and staff at schools. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides 75 percent of the funding. The remaining 25 percent is paid for locally.

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Politics
8:21 am
Mon May 19, 2014

We Asked Five Questions About Missouri's Legislative Session; Here Are The Answers

This year's legislative session is in the books. But it's possible that a veto of the school transfer bill could put this year's session in to overtime.
Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:18 pm

Few could accuse the Missouri General Assembly of languishing during its last few days of session.

In fact, the legislature’s last dash was something of a whirlwind: It featured fierce debates over bills about student transfers and abortion restrictions. Lawmakers also sent proposals on a transportation tax and early voting procedures to the November ballot. Other efforts fizzled out, including last-minute pushes to expand and reconfigure the state’s Medicaid system.

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Politics
5:13 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Missouri lawmakers pass university funding changes

Credit cindyt7070 / flickr

Missouri's public universities and community colleges would need to implement performance-based funding under legislation given final approval by the Legislature.

Under the bill, the schools would work with the Department of Higher Education to develop goals that would then be used to determine part of their funding. Colleges also would be required to develop a performance criteria related to student job placement.

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Politics
5:10 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Missouri lawmakers pass gun rights legislation

Credit ~Steve Z~ / flickr

Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that could allow specially trained teachers and other school personnel to carry concealed weapons.

Supporters say the measure would protect schools from intruders, but opponents say it could compromise safety by having firearms in classrooms.

The bill sent to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday would also lower the minimum age required to get a concealed weapons permit to 19 from 21. The House voted 111-28 in favor of the bill. It cleared the Senate a day earlier.

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Politics
5:04 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Columbia city manager: Infrastructure priority for next budget

Credit File Photo / KBIA

    

Officials with the city of Columbia will be taking a hard look at improving infrastructure during budget meetings this year.

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Politics
9:07 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Suits Challenge Missouri Over Secrecy About Execution Procedures

Chris McDaniel

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 9:55 pm

Two suits were filed Thursday in Jefferson City challenging Missouri officials for failing to disclose information about the drugs the state uses in lethal injections.

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Politics
9:03 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Why some of Missouri's black politicians are reacting to Nixon's handling of student-transfer bill

Missouri Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal says "minorities have been grossly disappointed" by the impact some of Gov. Jay Nixon's past actions.
Credit Missouri Senate

A long-simmering feud between Gov. Jay Nixon and some black politicians, going back to his days as Missouri’s attorney general, flared up again in Jefferson City this week, fanned by the debate over school transfer legislation.

But not all African-American officials are taking sides against the governor. Some, especially in the state House, are urging Nixon to veto the student transfer bill, because they consider its changes in the transfer law harmful to black students.

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Politics
8:29 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Student-transfer bill on its way to Nixon, 'private option' intact

Rep. Clem Smith, D-Velda Village Hills, who represents part of the Normandy school district, calls the bill "experimentation on kids that look like me."
Credit Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed the so-called student transfer fix, sending it to Gov. Jay Nixon one day before the end of the 2014 legislative session.

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Politics
5:12 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Missourians to vote on new veterans lottery ticket

Credit KBIA file photo

  Missouri voters will decide whether state lottery officials should create a separate ticket to fund veterans' programs.

The Senate voted 27-4 on Thursday to send the proposal to the November general election ballot. It passed the House earlier this year.

Supporters say revenue from sales of the lottery ticket would provide a dedicated funding source for cash-strapped veterans' homes. Opponents question whether the new ticket will siphon revenue from education, which currently is the sole beneficiary of Missouri lottery proceeds.

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Politics
4:57 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Student transfer fix sent to Governor Nixon

Credit david shane / flickr

  The proposed student transfer fix is now on its way to Governor Jay Nixon.  In addition to allowing individual school buildings to be accredited instead of districts as a whole, the bill would also allow some students to transfer from unaccredited public schools to private, nonsectarian schools.  Republican Rick Stream of St. Louis County handled the bill in the House. 

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Politics
8:23 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Missouri House Sends Abortion 72-Hour Waiting Period To Governor

Floor of the Missouri House on May 14, 2014 during abortion debate.

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 12:28 pm

(Updated 11:40 a.m Thursday, May 15)

After more than an hour of emotional – and often loud – debate, the Missouri House voted to send to the governor a bill that would triple Missouri’s waiting period for abortions to 72 hours from 24 hours.

If approved by Gov. Jay Nixon, the measure would make Missouri only the third state in the nation to mandate a 72-hour wait – and possibly set the stage for a legal challenge.

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Politics
8:19 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Fellow Democrats call on Nixon to pass controversial student-transfer bill

Mo. Senators Jamilah Nasheed (left), D-St. Louis, and Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, call on Gov. Nixon to sign the student transfer bill into law.
Credit Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has passed the final version of legislation designed to ease the burden of the state's school transfer law. It includes a provision that would end free transportation for transfer students -- a provision that would make it harder for students from failing schools to actually attend other districts.

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Politics
5:19 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Tax-limits champion honored at Missouri Capitol

Credit United States House of Representatives

A southwestern Missouri man who led a petition effort limiting state revenues and local taxes has been inducted into the Capitol's Hall of Famous Missourians.

Mel Hancock was a businessman when he developed a Missouri constitutional amendment passed by voters in 1980. Now known as the "Hancock Amendment," it establishes a state revenue limit, bars state government from imposing unfunded mandates on local governments and requires voter approval for local tax increases.

Hancock later served four terms in Congress and built a reputation as a fiscal and social conservative.

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Media Talk From the Missouri School of Journalism
9:45 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Views of the News: ESPN's decision to broadcast Sam's celebratory kiss

Credit Courtesy ESPN/NFL Films

Michael Sam made history, becoming the first openly gay football player to be drafted into the NFL.  Saturday, the St. Louis Rams used their seventh round pick to take Sam, giving him a chance to make the team later this summer.

ESPN has a crew with Sam while he watched the draft and awaited word of his future.  And, when the call came from Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, the network decided to air Sam's emotional response in its entirety, live on on television.

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Politics
8:31 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Negotiations Completed Over Student Transfer Bill That Includes Private Option

Gov. Jay Nixon prepares to address reporters in his office in the Capitol on May 13, 2014.

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 4:04 pm

(Updated at 6:12 p.m.)

House and Senate negotiators have wrapped up work on a final version of a bill to ease the burden of Missouri’s student transfer law.

Senate Bill 493 would allow for individual school buildings to be accredited, instead of the school district as a whole, and it would create regional authorities to oversee transfers.

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Politics
8:27 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Nixon Allows Criminal Code Rewrite To Become Law

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 2:19 pm

  Gov. Jay Nixon has allowed a comprehensive rewrite of Missouri's criminal code to become law without his signature.

Nixon says the 645-page bill contains drafting errors that could weaken both DWI laws and laws to combat methamphetamine production.

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Politics
6:09 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

UPDATE: Mo. Legislature addresses unique food stamp ban for drug felons

Bobby and Christie Clark share a late afternoon snack of frozen chicken fingers inside their Sedalia, Mo., home on Monday, April 21, 2014. Christie and her two kids receive food stamps, but Missouri denies Bobby access because of his drug felony.
Ryan Levi and Mary Kate Metivier KBIA

 

UPDATE (Associated Press):

On May 15, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill that could potentially allow people convicted of drug felonies to qualify for food stamps under a bill passed by the Missouri Legislature.

Drug felons are currently banned for life from the aid program. But the bill would allow them to receive the benefit if they have completed or been determined by the state not to need a substance abuse program. It would not apply to people with three or more felony drug convictions.

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Politics
6:02 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Talking Politics: End of Spring Legislative Session

Credit Ryan Levi and Mary Kate Metivier / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers are scrambling this week to finalize and pass legislation before the end of the legislative session on Friday, May 16.

As Missouri senators and representatives put the finishing touches on their work, we took a look at some of the biggest bills this legislative session. This edition of Talking Politics looks into the abortion wait-time bill, the student transfer bill and the override of Nixon's veto on an income tax decrease.

 

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Politics
8:06 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Missouri Senate tackles early voting, abortion bill and voter ID in final week of session

Credit Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Republicans in the Missouri Senate succeeded in passing two of their top priorities early Tuesday morning.

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Politics
4:57 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Tale Of Two Billboards: An Ozark Town's Struggle To Unseat Hate

Several white supremacist groups have roots near Harrison, Ark. Residents believe a yellow billboard in town is a reaction to a local effort to make the town more inclusive.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:58 pm

Second in a two-part report.

The Ozark region, covering most of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, has long been a haven for white supremacists. The area is home to the neo-Nazi accused of killing three people at Jewish centers near Kansas City, Kan., in April.

The region continues to grapple with a culture that has historically turned a blind eye to bigotry. That fight is particularly concentrated in Harrison, Ark.

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Politics
4:17 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Columbia Leadership Council holds forums to inform residents and ask for their opinions

Credit File / KBIA

The government of Columbia is continuing to try and clear up questions about the future of the city.

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Education
4:14 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Legislation on failing school districts to be revised

Credit Twix / Flickr

Missouri lawmakers are trying to resolve differences on legislation to revise the law on student transfers from failing school districts.

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Politics
7:57 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Missouri Lawmakers Face Last-Minute Load Of Bills, On Topics Old and New

Inside the dome of Missouri Capitol

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 5:46 pm

With fights over tax cuts and budgets out of the way, the Missouri General Assembly appears poised to spend its final week focusing on some familiar topics: guns, abortion and voting rights.

    

Measures to restrict enforcement of federal laws, triple the waiting period for an abortion and to ask voters to mandate photo IDs at the polls are among the hot-button proposals expected to eat up some of legislators’ precious floor time during the final five days.

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