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
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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Politics & Issues
3:42 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Kinder, Black Caucus Up Ante In Low-Income Housing Fight With Nixon

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (tan suit) join other low-income housing supporters at news conference to blast Gov. Jay Nixon.
Credit Jo Mannies

State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, chair of the Missouri General Assembly’s Black Caucus, is threatening to block Senate action on several of Gov. Jay Nixon’s key appointments because of the governor’s action to delay state tax breaks for several low-income housing projects.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, joined Nasheed and several St. Louis officials at a news conference Monday to attack the governor’s participation in a deal to defuse Republican filibuster threats during the recent special legislative session in which tax breaks were approved for Boeing Co.

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Politics & Issues
2:03 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Politically Speaking: Alderman Ogilvie On Complete Streets, Donation Limits and Transportation Taxes

Credit Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel joins Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics. 

On this holiday edition of the podcast, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum welcome St. Louis Alderman Scott Ogilvie, I-24th Ward to the show. Chris McDaniel is on assignment this week.

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Politics & Issues
4:58 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Missourians Taking Advantage Of New Online Voter Registration Tool

Secretary of State Jason Kander
Credit (Mo. Sec. Of State website)

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander reports that 193 people had signed up in the first 24 hours after his office launched a new online voter-registration service.

The online tool, unveiled Thursday, allows Missouri residents to fill out a voter registration form online at the secretary of state’s website,  www.sos.mo.gov/votemissouri.

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Politics & Issues
12:02 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Blunt Joins With Actress Glenn Close To Highlight Mental Illness

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is seeking expand access to mental health services.
Credit (via Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is optimistic that actress Glenn Close may help his cause to expand government access to treatment for those dealing with mental illness.

“I’m hopeful this is something we can get done,’’ Blunt told reporters in a conference call this week.

Mental health, he contended, has been shortchanged.  Unlike other medical issues,  mental health “has not been looked at as a society or government as something we want to deal with.”

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Politically Speaking
5:15 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Politically Speaking: Rep. Curtman On Downsizing Government, Boeing And Taxes

Credit Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio and The Beacon's Chris McDaniel joins Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics. 

State Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific, is this week’s guest on the Politically Speaking podcast, which this week features regulars Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies as hosts. Chris McDaniel is on assignment.

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Politics & Issues
5:13 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Nixon, Legislative Leaders Battle Over State Budget Estimates

Missouri Capitol
Credit (St. Louis Public Radio/Marshall Griffin)

(Updated 1:20 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20)

Missouri legislative leaders and Gov. Jay Nixon are disagreeing on what revenue estimates should be used in drawing up the state budget for the coming fiscal year – an argument that could affect the General Assembly’s deliberations when it goes back into session in a few weeks.

But the specifics of the budget dispute aren’t clear because most of the parties involved are commenting only through press releases and offering -- at least so far -- few additional details.

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