Jo Mannies

Political Reporter

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter.  She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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Politics & Issues
1:26 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Missouri Property Rights Advocates Laud End Of Blueways Program

U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem
Credit Courtesy of Jason Smith's campaign.

Updated 3:40 p.m. Jan. 7:

Missouri opponents of the National Blueways System – a designation granted to the White River and its watershed in Missouri and Arkansas – praised its demise on Monday. Federal officials had announced the news over the weekend.

U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem, was among the critics who said that the riverways designation threatened property rights and could lead to “land grabs.”

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Politics & Issues
11:30 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

As Session Opens, Missouri Legislature May Refight Old Battles But Resolve Some New Ones

Missouri state capitol
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

As the Missouri General Assembly prepares to open on Wednesday for its five-month session, those involved – in and out of the state Capitol – say the big unknown about this year’s proceedings centers on one major question:

Will the session be about the past – the continued debates over Medicaid expansion and tax cuts? Or will it be controlled by new matters – notably, the unrest over student transfers from failed districts and the looming 2014 elections?

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Politics & Issues
6:22 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Shoppers Fuel Huge Increase In Missouri's Sales Tax Collections

Credit dleafy | sxc.hu

Missourians flocked to the stores in December, causing a huge increase in the state’s sales tax collections that, in turn, has helped fatten the state government’s coffers more than expected.

State Budget Director Linda Luebbering on Thursday credited a rosier public mood – which apparently led to more holiday shopping – for a  25.9 percent increase in Missouri’s sales tax collections in December, compared to December 2012.

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Politics & Issues
11:33 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Missouri House Speaker Launches Tour to Promote 2014 Agenda

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones
Credit Tim Bommel, Mo. House Communications

Despite the bad weather,  Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones hit the road early Thursday to begin his three-day tour through southern Missouri to highlight his “4G Agenda” for the new legislative session, which begins next week.

Jones’ planned focus includes revisiting the tax cuts that dominated much of the 2013 session as well as his push to revamp public education, promote energy production and examine such issues as “right to work,’’ which bars unions and employers from requiring all workers to become members when a majority votes for union representation.

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Politically Speaking
3:44 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Politically Speaking: Top Stories Of 2013, Looking Ahead To 2014

The Politically Speaking podcast team -- Chris McDaniel, Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies -- discuss the top political stories of 2013 and what lies ahead for 2014.

Among the key points:

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Politics & Issues
12:19 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Sinquefield Donates $750,000 To End Teacher Tenure

Rex Sinquefield
Credit (UPI file photo, Bill Greenblatt)

Financier Rex Sinquefield, Missouri’s largest political donor, has given $750,000 to jumpstart the initiative petition drive for a ballot measure to end teacher tenure.

According to the Missouri Ethics Commission, the money was donated on Christmas Eve to “Teachgreat.org,” the campaign committee set up to oversee the effort.

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Politics & Issues
12:24 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

McCaskill's Family Has Purchased Another Private Plane

Sen. Claire McCaskill
Credit (via Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

(Updated 3:10 p.m., Friday, Dec. 27, 2013)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill – or rather, her husband -- has bought another plane. But this time, she’s taking steps that she hopes will prevent another political uproar.

Any flights that she takes on it will be totally on her own dime. And St. Louis County’s property taxes will be paid – and on time, she says.

Still, the news has the potential of becoming another political controversy. The Missouri Republican Party already is paying close attention.

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Politics & Issues
2:56 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Missouri's Minimum Wage Set To Go Up On Jan. 1

Credit (via Flickr/Tracy O)

Missouri’s minimum wage will increase on Jan. 1 to $7.50 an hour -- 25 cents higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Missouri’s minimum wage is increasing by 15 cents an hour, compared to 2012, because of an escalator clause in the 2006 state law – overwhelmingly approved by voters – that allowed for separate increases in the state’s wage law, rather than linking it to the federal wage.

For tipped employees, the new minimum wage is going up 12 cents, to $3.75 an hour.

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Politics & Issues
2:08 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Critics of City-County Merger Launch Effort To Block It

Opponents of any sort of city-county merger say they are organizing to block the effort.
Credit St. Louis Public Radio

Some opponents of the effort to merge the city of St. Louis with St. Louis County have announced a new group – Common Sense for St. Louis – to fight any sort of ballot measure.

“We’re truly grassroots,’’ said spokeswoman Jennifer Bird. “We’re not funded by a billionaire.’’

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Politics & Issues
11:22 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Nixon Makes Christmas Eve 'Gift' By Releasing $40 Million For Spending

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon
Credit (UPI file photo/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013

In a spirit of Christmas Eve,  Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that he was releasing about $40.1 million in withheld budget allocations for a variety of projects – most notably $18 million for repairs and improvements to the state Capitol building and $5 million for projects at Missouri state parks.

Another $38 million, sought by legislative leaders to buy a new office building, remains withheld.

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