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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Veterans Administration
4:26 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Wagner, Luetkemeyer Call For Shinseki To Step Down

Ann Wagner
Credit (via Wikimedia Commons/ United States Department of State)

The two Republican members of Congress who represent the St. Louis area – Ann Wagner and Blaine Luetkemeyer – are calling for the resignation of  U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Their declarations come as several of the nation’s VA facilities, including Cochran Medical Center in St. Louis, have been accused of improper or delayed care to military veterans.

Wagner, R-Ballwin, said that Shinseki – in office since 2009 -- had “failed to provide timely services and care for our veterans.  Secretary Shinseki has failed to fulfill his mission at the VA.”

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Politically Speaking
10:33 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Politically Speaking: Rep. Smith Details Opposition To Transfer Bill

Rep. Clem Smith, D-Velda Village Hills
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

This week, St. Louis Public Radio's state Capitol reporter Marshall Griffin joins Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk with state Rep. Clem Smith.

The Velda Village Hills Democrat represents a number of small municipalities in St. Louis County, including most of the cities within the embattled Normandy School District. 

Note: You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

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Veterans Administration
6:41 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

McCaskill, Blunt Demand Better Care For Military Veterans

Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill
Credit Blunt – Flickr/Gage Skidmore , McCaskill – Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is releasing the latest results of a survey of Missouri military veterans who have received care at Veterans Administration’s facilities around the state, including Cochran and Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis.

While not disclosing any details, McCaskill told reporters Tuesday that “every year we’ve done it, the VA has done a little better. I’m particularly pleased this year because we’ve had even more responses this year than we had last year.”

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2016 Election
1:31 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Luetkemeyer Getting Strong Encouragement To Jump Into GOP 2016 Field For Governor

Blaine Luetkemeyer
Credit Congressional office

Missouri’s Republican field for governor in 2016 may be about to get more crowded, as some party activists are urging U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, to enter the race.

If he were to jump in, Luetkemeyer would face former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, a Republican from west St. Louis County who already has declared her candidacy, and possibly state Auditor Tom Schweich, a St. Louis native who is running for re-election this fall with no major opposition.

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Missouri General Assembly
10:27 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Nixon Blasts Legislative Session As 'Abysmal,' While GOP Leaders Call It 'Historic'

Missouri House celebrates the end of the 2014 session with its traditional paper toss.
Credit Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House and Senate each spent the waning minutes of the legislative session embroiled in debate over a bill to nullify most federal gun laws.

But afterward, it was Gov. Jay Nixon who fired off the first post-session shots. His target was the General Assembly’s final-day spending spree.

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Politics & Issues
2:04 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

General Assembly Approves Bill Expanding Gun Rights, Lowers Concealed-Carry Age

Credit (via Flickr/ M Glasgow)

Just hours before adjournment, the Missouri General Assembly has approved a bill that lowers the state’s legal age for carrying concealed weapons to 19 and allows the open carrying of firearms by any person with a valid concealed-carry permit.

The bill also allows schools to designate teachers or administrators as "school protection officers" who can carry a concealed firearm or self-defense spray device. But school districts authorizing the armed officers are required to hold a public hearing on the matter.

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Education Alternatives
8:58 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Missouri House Sends Student Transfer Bill To Nixon With 'Private Option' Intact

Credit UPI/Bill Greenblatt

(Updated 10 a.m. Friday, May 16)

The Missouri House has passed the so-called student transfer fix, sending it to Gov. Jay Nixon one day before the end of the 2014 legislative session.

Senate Bill 493 would allow for individual school buildings to be accredited instead of the district as a whole, and it would create regional authorities to oversee student transfers.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, praised the bill late Thursday as "the most far-reaching education reform measure in decades."

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Missouri General Assembly
4:34 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Many Bills On 'Death Watch' As Adjournment Looms

Once hot-button issues, such as "right to work," now seem headed to the legislative graveyard.
Credit Wikipedia

Barring last-minute resurrections before 6 p.m. Friday, several hot issues before the Missouri General Assembly this session are stone cold and legislatively buried.

After several days of vigorous debates and votes this week, leaders of the state House and Senate have had to make tough choices on which issues they have time to handle before adjournment -- and which ones they must jettison until next year.

Here are the most likely casualties:

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Reproductive Rights
10:10 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Missouri House Sends Abortion 72-Hour Waiting Period To Governor

Floor of the Missouri House on May 14, 2014 during abortion debate.
Credit Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 11:40 a.m Thursday, May 15)

After more than an hour of emotional – and often loud – debate, the Missouri House voted to send to the governor a bill that would triple Missouri’s waiting period for abortions to 72 hours from 24 hours.

If approved by Gov. Jay Nixon, the measure would make Missouri only the third state in the nation to mandate a 72-hour wait – and possibly set the stage for a legal challenge.

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State Spending
5:11 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Legislators, Governor Spar Over Dues To Governors Group

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

Missouri House and Senate budget chiefs are accusing Gov. Jay Nixon of misusing state money because his office has paid dues to the National Governors Association for the past three years out of the Department of Social Services’ budget.

“He basically misspent the money,’’ said House Budget chairman Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, during a news conference Wednesday. He was joined by House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, and state Rep. Sue Allen, R-Town and Country, who heads the House panel that oversees social-service spending. Senate leaders fired off similar complaints.

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