Jason Rosenbaum

Political Reporter

Since entering the enticing world of professional journalism in the mid-2000s, Jason Rosenbaum dove head first into the world of politics, policy and even rock and roll music. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Rosenbaum spent more than four years in the Missouri State Capitol writing for the Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri Lawyers Media and the St. Louis Beacon. Since moving to St. Louis in 2010, Rosenbaum's work appeared in Missouri Lawyers Media, the St. Louis Business Journal and in the Riverfront Times' music section. He also served on staff at the St. Louis Beacon as a politics reporter. Rosenbaum lives in St. Louis City with with his wife Lauren Todd, an engineering librarian at Washington University. Their son, Brandon Todd Rosenbaum, was born in February 2014.

Members of the House and Senate budget committees hash out their differences earlier this year. While the budgetary process in Missouri isn't always pretty, it's a picnic compared to what's going in Kansas and Illinois.
Tim Bommel I House Communications

Missouri lawmakers just wrapped up an, um, unusual legislative session. But they did manage to avoid some pitfalls that have recently plagued Kansas and Illinois, including:

Alderwoman Lyda Krewson, D-28th Ward, is sponsoring a big overhaul of the city's business regulations.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen are trying to streamline how the city licenses and regulates businesses.

But the St. Louis’ license collector is strongly opposing some aspects of the legislation, contending it will drain the city’s coffers.

(Flickr/Creative Commons user SuperFantastic)

If there’s one constant about the sometimes-unpredictable St. Louis County Council, it’s that a bid to expand the county’s smoking ban will always be tabled. 

That’s not hyperbole. Members of the council have held Councilman Mike O’Mara’s proposal at every meeting since February 2013 – a pretty significant length of time to table a bill in any legislative chamber.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III meets the press on Wednesday. He announced Police Chief Tom Jackson was stepping aside.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Petitioners seeking to oust controversial Ferguson Mayor James Knowles from office haven't gathered enough valid signatures to trigger a recall election.

Eric Fey, the Democratic director of elections at St. Louis County Board of Elections, told St. Louis Public Radio that petitioners had gathered 1,008 valid signatures. They needed 1,814 to trigger a recall.

Lawmakers in Texas approved a bill providing money and setting guidelines for police body cameras.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

At first blush, Texas state Sen. Royce West didn’t seem to have the most hospitable environment to pass legislation providing body camera grants to local law enforcement agencies.

After all, the Texas legislature isn’t brimming with Democrats like West these days. And in contrast to Missouri’s divided government, GOP officials occupy every single statewide office throughout the Lone Star State.

Attorney General Chris Koster parts ways with the Missouri Democratic Party on the issue of campaign donation limits. His position on the issue may make already difficult road to capping donations impossible if he becomes governor.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Sen. Rob Schaaf probably wouldn’t be classified as bleeding heart liberal.

Throughout his tenure in the Missouri General Assembly, the St. Joseph Republican took sometimes-provocative conservative positions in battles over Medicaid expansion and unemployment benefits. He's encountered rightward plaudits and gubernatorial jeers for his latest stance against a St. Louis stadium funding plan.

But Schaaf parts ways with his party on campaign donation limits.

Rep. Stephen Webber
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome state Rep. Stephen Webber to the show for the first time. Carrying on a tradition started by state Rep. Caleb Jones, R-Columbia, and state Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, the Columbia Democrat drove from mid-Missouri to our headquarters at Grand Center to tape the show.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay wants to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. But the big could run into legal problems if Gov. Jay Nixon doesn't sign a bill authorizing increases before August 28.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ political leadership will make a quick attempt to raise the city’s minimum wage, a public policy initiative they contend is economically and morally just.

But whether the city possesses the authority to raise its minimum wage is something of a moving target – and could depend on whether a bill that many Democrats despise is enacted into law.

Former House Speaker Steve Tilley
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s extra edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back former Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley to the show.

The Perryville Republican – who now has a residence in Chesterfield – was previously on the show in 2013, and provided candid insights into his tenure as speaker.  We asked him back to discuss two big stories percolating throughout the Missouri political universe – the resignation of Republican House Speaker John Diehl and the fight over “right to work.” 

House Minority Leader Jake Hummel, D-St. Louis, and Rep. John Rizzo, D-Kansas City, meet the press after the House adjourned for the year in May. Both men voted to dissolve foreclosure mediation ordinances in 2013.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Republicans aren’t often compared to Russian communists. But that’s what happened recently after GOP members of the Missouri House helped pass legislation pre-empting cities from banning plastic bags, raising minimum wages or requiring certain work benefits. House Minority Leader Jake Hummel accused his Republican colleagues in a statement of believing that “Soviet-style central state planning is superior to local control.”

Jeff Smith
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies chat with former Missouri state Sen. Jeff Smith about his post-political life — and recent turbulence in Jefferson City. Smith was a rising political star before going to prison for lying to federal investigators.

A rendering of the proposed riverfront stadium
Courtesy of HOK

After being stuffed in the General Assembly, skeptics of a proposed riverfront stadium in St. Louis are taking their fight to court.

Six lawmakers filed a suit Wednesday in Cole County Circuit Court to, among other things, prevent Gov. Jay Nixon from “extending” state bonds paying off the Edward Jones Dome to fund the new stadium. Office of Administration Director Doug Nelson contended earlier this year that Nixon had such authority, which spurred unsuccessful bills to force either a legislative or statewide vote on the matter.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar at a press conference Thursday, Sept.4
File photo by Bill Greenblatt | UPI

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger plans to renew his push to allow unincorporated St. Louis County residents to vote on a sales tax increase for the St. Louis County Police Department. State legislation is needed to authorize such an election for the department that patrols unincorporated parts of St. Louis County, including large portions of the northern and southern parts of the county. 

State Rep. Robert Cornejo, R-St. Peters
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio’s Politically Speaking team of Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome state Rep. Robert Cornejo, R-St. Peters, as their latest podcast guest.

Cornejo, 32, represents parts of St. Charles and Lincoln counties. He grew up in north St. Louis County and graduated from Hazelwood Central High School. He got his law degree from University of Missouri-Columbia; at least eight members of that law class ended up in state government.

Northwoods Mayor Everett Thomas says a recently-passed bill curtailing municipal courts could prompt his city to cut staff or services.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Jaquin Holmes has had his share of frustration with the way municipal courts in St. Louis County operate. During a meeting of the Ferguson Commission last year, St. Louis resident talked about being treated harshly for what deemed to be minor traffic offenses.

Holmes said he’s encountered a broken system. And he wanted the Missouri General Assembly to step up.

Gov. Jay Nixon says there's a distinctioGov. Jay Nixon says there's a distinction between a gas tax increase and "trying to get some sort n between a gas tax increase and as being different "than trying to get some sort of generalized additional revenue."
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

There are some absolutes in electoral politics: Babies will get kissed. Hands will get shook. And politicians will promise not to raise taxes.

Michael Brown, Sr., (second from the right) stands in front of the temporary memorial dedicated to his son Michael Brown, Jr. The elder Brown helped dismantle the memorial on Wednesday.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

When Michael Brown Sr., came to the spot where his son — Michael Brown Jr. — was killed, he had the marker to show where a worldwide movement began.

Carrying a hefty plaque that honors his son, the elder Michael Brown placed the soon-to-be-permanent memorial on a grassy spot that separates Canfield Road and the sidewalk. With rain dripping down the bill of his Cardinals baseball cap, he declared: “This is permanent for what happened to Mike Brown and for what happened to him at Canfield.”

Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, wait out the final hours of the Missouri Senate's session. Both men were strong proponents of "right to work" legislation, which is opposed strongly by labor unions.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It wasn't particularly surprising that state Sen. Bob Onder was pushing hard to get so-called "right to work" legislation through a seemingly intractable Missouri Senate.

The Lake Saint Louis Republican campaigned last year in support of right to work, which bars arrangements that force workers to pay union dues if a majority voted to organize. He supported that measure even though the population of union members has steadily increased in St. Charles County, which may be why his two unsuccessful GOP rivals opposed right to work during the campaign.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber meets with reporters in St. Louis. Garber toured a potential stadium site near the city's north riverfront.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The commissioner of Major League Soccer was in St. Louis on Tuesday to visit the site of a potential stadium on the city’s riverfront.

But while expressing optimism that St. Louis could support a professional soccer team, the chief of the country’s most popular league emphasized it’s way too early to talk about when an expansion would happen.

Clockwise from upper left, Sen. Ron Richard, R, Joplin; Reps. Jake Hummel and Karla May, newly elected Speaker Todd Richardson at microphone, Gov. Jay Nixon
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On a “classic edition” of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Marshall Griffin take stock of one of the strangest ends to a Missouri General Assembly session in recent memory.