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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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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Transportation
3:27 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Proposed Missouri Transportation Tax Heads To Ballot

Credit File photo

Missouri voters will be asked this fall to consider a three-fourth-cent sales tax to pay for highway improvements, but even supporters are pessimistic about its chances.

The Missouri House voted Wednesday to approve the ballot proposal, accepting the state Senate’s language that reduced the proposed sales tax from the initial one-cent proposal.

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Missouri General Assembly
1:24 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

General Assembly Puts Early-Voting Proposal On Ballot That Would Block Rivals

Credit (via Flickr/voxefxtm)

The Missouri House has given final approval to an early-voting ballot proposal that includes a provision aimed at knocking out a more-generous rival proposal that also may be on the same ballot.

Opponents call the Republican-backed measure “a sham,’’ while backers say it’s a reasonable compromise.

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Missouri General Assembly
11:03 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Dispute Among Republicans May Once Again Kill Gun Bill

Credit (via Flickr/kcds)

Differences between the Missouri House and Senate may once again kill an effort to nullify federal gun laws.

The Missouri House voted Tuesday evening by a veto-proof margin, 109-42, to approve a conference committee’s proposed final version of the bill, officially known as the “Second Amendment Preservation Act.”

But the chief Senate sponsor, state Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, declined to sign the panel’s compromise and told reporters that he may not bring up the version for a final Senate vote before this session ends on Friday. The result would be to kill the bill.

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Politically Speaking
12:33 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Politically Speaking: House Speaker Tim Jones Assesses Session And His Future

Tim Jones and Jason Rosenbaum
Credit Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

This week, the Politically Speaking podcast team – Chris McDaniel, Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies – host state House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, who is completing his final legislative session.

Note: You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Rosenbaum joined Jones in Jefferson City, while McDaniel and Mannies were in St. Louis.

Jones offered his assessment of the session’s final days, leading up to Friday’s adjournment.

Among his observations:

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Missouri General Assembly
5:13 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Fight Over Electric Car Provides Jolt To Final Week of Legislative Session

Craig Huegen of Carlisle Lake, Ill., drove his Tesla electric car Monday to the Missouri Capitol
Credit Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 10:20 a.m. Tuesday, May 13)

With Tesla electric cars parked in front of the Missouri Capitol, legislators have found themselves in an unexpected battle over a provision in a Senate bill that the automaker says would effectively kill its Missouri operations.

The provision would prohibit vehicle manufacturers, such as Tesla Motors, from selling products directly to customers -- requiring them instead to set up dealerships.

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Missouri 2014 Legislative Session
10:21 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Missouri Lawmakers Face Last-Minute Load Of Bills, On Topics Old and New

Inside the dome of Missouri Capitol
Credit (via Flickr/jimbowen0306)

With fights over tax cuts and budgets out of the way, the Missouri General Assembly appears poised to spend its final week focusing on some familiar topics: guns, abortion and voting rights.

    

Measures to restrict enforcement of federal laws, triple the waiting period for an abortion and to ask voters to mandate photo IDs at the polls are among the hot-button proposals expected to eat up some of legislators’ precious floor time during the final five days.

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