Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would link the duration of jobless benefits to the state's unemployment rate.
Workers who lose their jobs currently can collect unemployment benefits for 20 weeks. Under the bill, 20 weeks of benefits would be available if the state's average unemployment rate is at least 9 percent.
The maximum duration of jobless benefits would decrease one week for each one-half percentage point drop in the unemployment rate. The minimum duration would be 13 weeks when the jobless rate is less than 6 percent.
The issue of abortion in Missouri seems like old news. But it's an issue that remains very much at the forefront of Missouri politics this year. In this year's legislative session, there are over thirty pieces of legislation touching the issue.
Clippers owner Donald Sterling, banned from basketball for life for making racist comments. How did TMZ get the scoop that rocked professional sports? E-mails between producers of ‘Chicagoland’ and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office show some storylines on the CNN docu-series may have been staged. Also, Indy Star’s #ShowUsYourGuns and a look back at NPR’s first foray on the internet. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Mike McKean and Earnest Perry: Views of the News.
The Opus Group announced plans to drop the threat of legal action surrounding its controversial downtown Columbia student housing project. The real estate group had been granted permission to begin construction on a new high rise apartment complex, but concerns from some Columbia residents cast the future of the building into doubt.
The Missouri Senate passed the rest of the state budget Tuesday April 29, after taking care of the first 5 bills on Monday. Democrat Paul LeVota of Independence made an indirect attempt to expand Medicaid. He offered an amendment to create a line item in the Department of Social Services’ budget for extra Medicaid dollars to be drawn down if lawmakers ever decide to expand Medicaid. Republican Kurt Schaefer of Columbia opposed the amendment.
In Springfield Tuesday, Governor Jay Nixon continued to rally support for his expected veto of an income tax cut bill. He questioned the credibility of outside interests that are campaigning for a veto override. The Democratic Governor’s statements came a day after Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist joined Republican House Speaker Tim Jones to challenge Nixon’s arguments on SB 509, which was passed two weeks ago.
Missouri House members have endorsed a proposal for funding a new facility on the Fulton State Hospital campus.
The hospital is Missouri's only maximum-security psychiatric facility and the oldest public mental health facility west of the Mississippi River. Patients include those committed by the courts for evaluation and treatment, and people found not guilty or unable to stand trial because of mental disease.
Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 11:01 pm
In the final weeks of the legislative session, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has made a last-ditch effort to resurrect a push to expand Missouri’s Medicaid program and accept roughly $2 billion a year in federal money.
The governor, a Democrat, unveiled his “Missouri Health Works’’ program before business leaders Monday in Cape Girardeau. By coincidence or design, state House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka and an opponent of Medicaid expansion, was also in Cape on Monday with conservative low-tax icon Grover Norquist to highlight a different issue.
Columbia’s city clerk has until Tuesday evening to decide whether the petition known as Repeal 6214 has enough signatures and is valid - and whether the city can continue with its plans, approved last March, with the developer the Opus Group. If you’ve been following this story, you know that this is about another student housing complex planned for downtown Columbia. Those in favor of the plan - including the mayor and a majority of city council members - say increasing the housing opportunities and investment downtown is a good thing.
In March, the Missouri House approved a bill that would extend the state's abortion waiting time to 72 hours from 24 hours. If the measure, HB 1307, becomes law, it would put Missouri in company with South Dakota and Utah as the only states with a 72-hour waiting period.
Listen to this week's of edition of Talking Politics, and Meredith Turk's report on abortion legislation in Missouri:
Proponents of the bill, argue 72 hours is not too much to wait to receive such a procedure.
“I don’t think 72 hours, 3 days is too much time to bring another life into this world or not," said Tim Jones, Missouri Republican Speaker of the House. Elizabeth Nash, State Issues Manager at the Guttmacher Institute, said it is too much to ask.
Missouri has just one abortion service provider in St. Louis after Planned Parenthood of Mid-Missouri lost their doctor, who could perform abortions, in 2011. Having just one location where women may receive abortion care, Nash argues the 72-hour wait time would exacerbate the logistical burden on women who need to travel for abortion services, such as travel, day care, housing and taking off work.
"It is probably not going to sway a woman or affect her decision-making, but it can impact her ability to access abortion care entirely," said Nash.