Politics

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Eighty municipal courts in St. Louis County have agreed to levy identical fines and court fees for charges like speeding or driving without insurance.

Legislation designed to aid some delinquent taxpayers in Missouri is on its way to Gov. Jay Nixon's desk.

The House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed HB 384, the "tax amnesty" bill, which would allow people behind on their state income taxes to pay them off without additional penalties or interest.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A bill providing an additional $120 million dollars in general funds for the 2015 fiscal year is moving forward in the Missouri House.

In Missouri, two political suicides have stunned the Republican Party. In February, state Auditor Tom Schweich, a leading candidate for the party's nomination for governor, shot himself. Then just last month, his press secretary, Spence Jackson, took his own life. The tragedies have sparked fresh scrutiny of Missouri's increasingly bruising political system.

Schweich launched his campaign for governor with a scathing broadside against the state's Republican Party establishment.

  Who is to blame for the journalism malpractice at Rolling Stone? The reporter? The editors? The fact-checkers? Jackie? Columbia Journalism School’s report into to “A Rape On Campus” is out, and it’s scathing. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean will talk about how it happened, why it happened and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.


j. stephenconn / Flickr

Missouri senators have narrowly passed a budget for state social services despite hours of late-night debate and filibusters.

The budget passed with the minimum 18 votes needed early Wednesday. Fifteen lawmakers voted against it.

In a first, the City Council in Ferguson, Mo., is now half white and half black, after voters added two more African-Americans to the six-member group. Voter turnout was reported at 30 percent in the majority-black community.

The voter turnout "surpasses recent municipal elections in Ferguson — and nearly doubles the roughly 16 percent turnout in the rest of St. Louis County," St. Louis Public Radio reports.

Betsy Peters Elected Sixth Ward Columbia Councilperson

Apr 8, 2015

In a tight Columbia city council race between Sixth ward candidates Betsy Peters and Ryan Euliss, Peters edged out Euliss by a mere 35 votes. Although the candidates ran on similar issues, like increasing the amount of safety personnel and improving infrastructure, they differed in their approach to representing the Sixth ward.

Euliss who took a city-wide approach said the issues that the Sixth Ward faces are similar to the Columbia’s as whole.


Voters accepted Columbia Water and Light’s request to increase electric utility taxes by 6% over the next five years along with the stormwater utilities suggested rate adjustment to address failing and inadequate storm water systems.

Mitch Richards is the spokesperson of Boone County for Liberty, which according to its website is a Missouri based Political Action Committee whose purpose is the advocacy of economic and civil liberties.

Tergin Wins Jefferson City Race for Mayor

Apr 7, 2015
Mary Kate Metivier

Jefferson City has a new mayor-elect after Election Day yesterday. Carrie Tergin celebrated her win during a watch party last night at Revel Catering and Events in downtown Jefferson City, with close friends and supporters. Tergin won the race for mayor with 41 percent.

Tergin said she was proud of the large amount of support she received from voters.

“To see the wide margin that I was able to achieve just really showed that this community does want to move forward,” Tergin said. “It shows they want leadership that sees the positive in Jefferson City and sees the opportunities that we have – and not to stay the same but to get better and move forward – and that’s what I’m about.”


Ruffin Wins First Ward City Council Seat, While Strong Campaigners Trail Behind

Apr 7, 2015
University of Missouri Department of Theatre

  Clyde Ruffin won the vacant First Ward Columbia City Council seat by a margin of 100 votes with 327 total votes. The race was highly contested with nine candidates running for the position.

Ruffin said there’s work to be done before he is sworn in on Monday, April 13.

He said his top priority once he’s sworn in is to prepare for his role on the city council.


    

Michael Trapp was reelected as the ward 2 councilmember with 52% of the vote.  He defeated Paul Love who also ran for Columbia mayor in 2010.  Trapp said he ran this campaign on his process of listening to all points of view before he makes a decision.  He knows there will always be critics but believes as a whole, the people of Columbia are happy. 

Jim Collier fills out his School Municipal Election ballot at the Columbia Public Library on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Edit | Remove

Polling locations around Columbia had varying turnout for the School Municipal Elections on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. As of 3 p.m., some polling locations had several hundred voters while others had less than a hundred.

Nono Jost, an election official at the Columbia Public Library, said 280 voters had turned out so far.

Get the latest from KBIA's reporters on this election Tuesday. Follow our live blog as the results come in tonight. 

Courtesy Rolling Stone

The Columbia Journalism School issued a 12,600-plus word indictment of Rolling Stone's story, "A Rape on Campus."  The months-long investigation revealed a breakdown in the reporting, editing and fact-checking processes -- as reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely put too much emphasis on an account provided to her by a single source, "Jackie." It also pointed to fatal flaws in the verification of her story prior to publication.

Rader Puts Final Campaign Effort into Greektown

Apr 7, 2015
Emerald O'Brien / KBIA

Dan Rader spent the final 12 hours of campaign time trying to get his name out, although in a less than conventional manner. Rader is running for Columbia’s First Ward City council seat against six other candidates, and he used bright blue shirts, buses touting signs and a man in a gorilla suit with a megaphone to set himself apart.

He and his campaign seemed focused on MU’s campus, and specifically Greektown.

This week’s Politically Speaking breaks some new ground. Through the magic of radio, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies joined with KBIA’s Bram Sable-Smith to interview state Rep. Caleb Rowden.

The Columbia Republican and Rock Bridge High School graduate was first elected to the Missouri House in 2012. Rowden had a somewhat unconventional road to Missouri state politics: He was a successful Christian rock musician before running for a vacant House seat in 2012.

I've rarely seen President Obama speak in such definite terms on a thorny issue as he did yesterday about the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Updated at 11:39 a.m.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his son Jeb Bush Jr. have responded to a news report that the likely Republican presidential candidate self-identified as Hispanic in a 2009 voter-registration application.

jay nixon
File Photo / KBIA

Governor Jay Nixon has issued his first veto of the season on a measure he says would unfairly penalize experienced school administrators.

The bill Nixon vetoed Friday would have barred former school superintendents from serving on school boards in the same district where they worked.

Updated at 11:30 p.m. EDT

A report commissioned to determine what went awry in a retracted Rolling Stone article about campus rape at the University of Virginia found repeated, fundamental errors in the magazine's reporting and editing process.

Last month, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill bringing back the firing squad as a method of execution. The state abandoned firing squads in 2004 but now, it has returned as the backup option — partly because of a shortage of lethal injection drugs, the state's default execution method.

Utah is now the only state in the U.S. that authorizes execution by firing squad.

It's not hard to reach presidential candidate Ryan Shepard; he doesn't have a media relations office or a slick-tongued press secretary.

Shepard, 40, is a bartender at Roc Brewing Co. in Rochester, N.Y., while also working toward a bachelor's degree in creative writing at nearby SUNY Brockport. He plans to enroll in an master of fine arts writing program after he graduates.

He is also just as much a candidate for U.S. president as Ted Cruz, who was billed by many as the first and only candidate to file so far.

Higher Revenues Lead Missouri Governor to Release Funds

Apr 3, 2015
nixon
File photo / KBIA

  State building repairs, technology startups, local libraries and university programs are among the recipients sharing $43 million dollars in funding released by Missouri's governor.

The Missouri House on Tuesday passed the same ethics reform bill passed two months ago by the Senate, but not before making a few changes.

An audit released Thursday takes issue with some spending decisions made by the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a budget plan that its chairman says will constrain the state's fastest-growing costs. 

Salaries for Missouri state employees rank near the bottom of the nation. To change that, some state legislators on Thursday called for making a raise a priority in coming years.

Joined by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, and state Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said they want a five-year plan to raise those salaries. They did not outline a specific plan Thursday, but said they hoped to get the discussion started.

Following a firestorm of criticism, Republican governors in Indiana and Arkansas signed revised versions of their states' Religious Freedom Restoration bills Thursday night. In Indiana the language was adjusted, and in Arkansas it was significantly scaled back to more closely align with the federal law.

Bob McCulloch Spoke on MU's Campus, But to a Select Group

Apr 2, 2015
KARA TABOR / KBIA

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch spoke at the Missouri School of Law on Tuesday about the grand jury process. McCulloch was the lead prosecutor to handle the jury during the Ferguson case that decided not to indict former officer Darren Wilson who shot and killed Michael Brown last August. 

The event was not heavily promoted. Instead, it was only open to students, faculty and staff of the MU Law School who had to register for the event. The student chapter of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys organized McCulloch's appearance, and said due to full capacity of Hulston Hall the public was not allowed in, including the media. 

Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean discuss the issue on KBIA-FM's weekly media criticism program, "Views of the News."

For more, follow Views of the News on  Facebook ,  Twitter, and  YouTube.  

 


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