Jefferson City, MO – Missouri lawmakers are considering barring felons from running for public office. The legislation is apparently aimed at stopping a repeat of last year, when Al Hanson ran for State Auditor (Hanson was convicted of fraud in the 70s).
The measure would apply to all felons, whether they were convicted or whether they pleaded guilty or no-contest. Hanson says such a law would be unconstitutional because people regain their individual rights when they get out of prison.
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's chief justice today announced a new commission, to recommend changes to the state child welfare system.
Chief Justice Stephen Limbaugh Junior says he's responding to what he calls a "crisis in juvenile justice."
In his annual State of the Judiciary address this morning, Limbaugh said the new panel will include people from the judicial, legislative and executive branches. He also announced a series of court changes intended to improve state juvenile courts.
Jefferson City, Mo. – There's an effort to make Missouri the next state to halt executions. A group of clergy, activists, and social workers has sent a letter to Missouri Gov. Bob Holden, asking him to issue a moratorium.
The coalition also wants Holden to set up a commission to study the state's death penalty system. That's something former Illinois Gov. George Ryan did when he issued his moratorium in 2000.
Missouri has executed 59 men since the state brought back capital punishment in 1989.
Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri has two months to come up with a way to pay those who provide foster care.
A federal judge says the state has simply been diving whatever money is in the budget among its foster care providers. The judge says that's illegal because federal law requires states to cover costs of things like food, clothing, and shelter.
Missouri has 60 days to present a method for determining payments based on that law.
St. Louis, MO – A coalition of interest groups ranging from parents and teachers to business and civic groups is touting four candidates whom it will back in the St. Louis school board election in April. Those candidates are former St. Louis mayor Vincent Schoemehl; Missouri Historical Society president Robert Archibald; Barnes Jewish Hospital's M. Darnetta Clinkscale and Ronald Jackson with St. Louis for Kids. The candidates support a reformist platform that they say will greatly improve the quality of education in the city.