Mallory Daily | St. Louis Public Radio

Mallory Daily

Mallory Daily is the 2016 statehouse reporting intern for St. Louis Public Radio. She previously worked as associate producer of a religion news show in Washington, D.C. called Interfaith Voices. After the legislative session ends, she's heading to El Salvador to freelance and develop social entrepreneurship projects.

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ID checks might be more difficult for residents of Missouri, Illinois and two other states.
Department of Homeland Security

Missouri IDs do not meet the federal standard, and lawmakers are dragging their feet to do something about it. 

After 9/11, Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 as an extra security measure in airports and military facilities. The Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Driver’s Licenses web page includes a quote from The 9/11 Commission Report, “For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons.”

Current and Jacks Fork rivers
National Parks Service

Legislation now before Gov. Jay Nixon could give corporate agriculture more input into the state’s water resources. It could lead to more industry representatives, which would mean fewer public voices on the Missouri Clean Water Commission.

Near the end of session, it’s not unusual for controversial amendments to be tacked on to bills. This change, sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, fits that description.

Missouri farmers grow rice mostly in the state's Boo theel.
USDA

Gov. Jay Nixon is working to strengthen a trade agreement with Cuba to export Missouri goods. On Wednesday, Nixon returned from Cuba, where he led a delegation of the state's agriculture and business leaders.  

cigarette closeup
G.Arands | Flickr | Creative Commons license

Updated with MNEA decision - One of two ballot initiatives that would increase Missouri’s cigarette tax may be in trouble. A Cole County judge has said the fiscal note on a 60-cent-a-pack proposal overestimates the revenue that would be raised. He has directed the auditor to review the projection, and that would invalidate the petitions turned in by Raise Your Hand for Kids.

The organization has said it will appeal.

Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston
File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s failure to set up a statewide prescription drug monitoring program during the 2016 legislative session will continue to affect other states. 

Each of the eight states bordering Missouri already has a program that notifies doctors when their patients have been prescribed dangerous amounts of addictive painkillers from multiple providers. Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, says without a program of its own, Missouri is negatively affecting the efforts of others to stop drug dealers and prevent addiction.

St. Louis businessman and financier Rex Sinquefield says he’s disappointed that state lawmakers did not prioritize eliminating Missouri’s state income tax before adjourning the legislative session on Friday.

Sinquefield, who has funded numerous efforts to cut the tax, discussed Missouri’s economy Tuesday in Columbia with members of Show-Me Institute, a conservative think-tank.

After Sen. Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis started to filibuster, Sen. Bob Dixon withdrew his crime bill.
Jason Rosenbaum | St Louis Public Radio

Updated with final House action - The Missouri House has sent to Gov. Jay Nixon a broad version of what’s called a Stand Your Ground law, that would allow a law-abiding person to use deadly force in any public place, even if they are not under immediate threat of harm.

The bill also expands concealed-carry rights.

The House's final 114- 36 vote was comfortably above the 109 votes needed to overturn a possible Nixon veto. The Senate's 24-8 vote, taken earlier Friday,  had two supportive votes more than needed to override the governor.

Passage makes Missouri the first state to pass such a law in years. Backers say the Stand Your Ground provision is needed for protection. Opponents contended the measure would legalize murder.

St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Updated at 2:20 a.m. with override failure - A photo ID proposal will definitely be on the ballot, and it will be up to Gov. Jay Nixon to decide if more cold beer is on the way.

But the surprising news actually came early Friday morning: The Senate failed to override Nixon's veto of the paycheck protection or — depending on your position on the measure — the deception bill.

A kit containing the opioid overdose antidote naloxone.
File Photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Missourians working to reduce the impact of the opioid crisis are close to scoring one victory this legislative session: a measure expanding access to the opioid overdose antidote is on its way to the governor’s desk.

But with one day left in the session, another tool many consider vital in the fight against opioids appears out of reach. Missouri is likely to remain the only state in the nation without a prescription drug monitoring database.

File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Several high priority bills moved forward as lawmakers work to push their agendas over the last remaining hurdles before Friday the 13th arrives — which this year happens to be the final day of the 2016 legislative session.

Here's a quick rundown of what got accomplished Tuesday.

The Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City, Mo. Legislative action here on Thursday by Sen. Jason Crowell would refer the "right-to-work" issue to voters next year.
File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The only task the Missouri General Assembly is required by law to accomplish has been accomplished and, for the second year in a row, accomplished two weeks before deadline.

Lawmakers have sent a roughly $27.2 billion state budget to Gov. Jay Nixon that increases spending on higher education as a whole, while specifically cutting funding from the University of Missouri System.

FDA | file photo

Prescriptions for opioids like hydrocodone and Vicodin that have been dispensed have quadrupled since 1999. Because these drugs are highly addictive, 49 states have implemented a drug monitoring program to ensure doctors don’t over-prescribe their patients. 

Just one state lags behind: Missouri.

State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, who is running for state attorney general, speaks during the Pachyderm Attorney General Forum on Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Days.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has voted to required the director of Planned Parenthood for St. Louis and Southwest Missouri to explain why the organization hasn’t released subpoenaed documents relating to the disposal procedures of aborted fetal tissue.

paper ballot voting places
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Updated on Wednesday with comments from state lawmakers: In Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander’s view, what happened last week in St. Louis County was an “inexcusable” event that prevented eligible voters from casting their ballots.

The Democratic official launched an investigation into why roughly 60 polling places ran out of ballots during last week’s municipal elections. His findings largely matched up with what St. Louis Board of Elections director Eric Fey said: There were errors in a database detailing the number of ballot types needed at certain polling places.

Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

Working to pass Missouri's state budget ahead of schedule seems to be the new normal.

Usually at this point in the legislative year, the 13 bills making up the state budget would have barely been in the Missouri Senate's hands for a week. But on Thursday the upper chamber passed 12 of the 13 bills, sending them back to the House to set the stage for final negotiations.

Mary Kogut
Provided by Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, is initiating contempt proceedings against Mary Kogut, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, for failing to release subpoenaed documents.

Last November, the Missouri Senate demanded six years of documentation about Planned Parenthood’s disposal procedures for fetal tissue. On Tuesday, a state Senate panel discussed two resolutions sponsored by Schaefer (SR 1794 & SR 1793) that summon Kogut and Dr. James Miller, owner of a pathology lab that analyzes fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood, to testify before the Senate chamber at 10 a.m. on April 18. If charged with contempt before the Senate, they could face up to 10 days in jail.

The Missouri Senate Chamber
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

The Missouri Senate will take up the state budget when it reconvenes from spring break.

The $27 billion budget was passed by the House the same week Democratic senators orchestrated a 37-hour filibuster to stop a vote on a bill that would provide legal protections for businesses that refuse wedding-related services to same-sex couples. Due to the high tensions that resulted, Senate leaders decided to wait until after vacation to start discussing the budget.

On the Eleven Point
Charlie Llewellin | Flickr

In the wilderness of southern Missouri, 44 miles of the Eleven Point River is part of the National Wild and Scenic River system. Part of the river is nestled between the Mark Twain National Forest and a historically rich parcel called the Irish Wilderness. As the river descends to the Missouri-Arkansas border, cattle grazing intermingles with the edge of the forest.

Now, Missouri is considering developing the southern part of the river into a state park. But the park has become controversial -- both for its very existence and for the money used to buy it.

Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

A Missouri Senate Committee is considering legislation (SB 1036) that sets up a pilot program to reduce and prevent violent crime in St. Louis. Sen. Joseph Keaveny, D-St. Louis, says the city needs a comprehensive approach.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, has become one of the loudest critics of University of Missouri decision-making in recent months.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

A Missouri Senate committee is considering legislation to create an appointed, eight-member Review Commission for the University of Missouri System. The sponsor, Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, says this panel will help sort out a recent lack of leadership.

State Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A Senate-sponsored constitutional amendment that would shield businesses in the wedding industry from legal repercussions if they denied their services to same-sex couples is headed to the House. The amendment passed 23-7.

St. Louis County Councilman Sam Page is a strong supporting of a prescription drug monitoring program.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

With a statewide prescription drug monitoring program likely to run into intractable legislative opposition, the St. Louis County Council decided not to wait.

The council gave final approval without opposition to legislation that would set up a database tracking when certain prescription drugs are dispensed. It’s aimed at stopping someone from getting narcotics at multiple pharmacies.

A kit containing the opioid overdose antidote naloxone.
File Photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would expand access to Narcan, a medicine that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, is being weighed by a Missouri Senate committee. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Steven Lynch, R-Pulaski County, says this is just one aspect of statewide drug policy reform.

“Narcan is not a solution for this epidemic, it is a rescue remedy to keep people alive until we can figure out how to deal with the complex problem of drug addition, use, and treatment,” said Lynch.

An HD camcorder
Nebrot | Wikipedia

The Missouri Supreme Court is weighing a lawsuit that accuses state senators of violating the Sunshine Law. Progress Missouri filed suit after being kicked out of Senate hearings on multiple occasions while videotaping proceedings.

The group's appeal to the state Supreme Court comes after the circuit judge of Cole County sided with the Senate. The high court heard arguments from both sides on Wednesday.

c_ambler | Flickr

Members of public employee unions would have to provide written consent each year to have union fees deducted from paychecks, according to legislation passed by the Missouri House Thursday.

"This is historic," said state Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Charleston and the bill's sponsor. "I think it's great labor reform. ... It makes the union leader provide a service to the worker." Because people would have to affirm the deduction, the legislation has been called the paycheck protection act.

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, speaks at a Wednesday press conference Lesley McSpadden. McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, wants the legislature to help expand the use of body cameras for law enforcement.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

When then-Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, the policeman wasn’t wearing a body camera. And the uncertainty that followed provided a spark of sorts for programs to help law enforcement get the devices.

But Missouri did not pass legislation last year that would assist local police departments pay for body cameras – and provide guidelines for when footage is released. On Wednesday the issue returned with lawmakers receiving encouragement from Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown.

Ashland Elementary School Principal, Lisa Brown, helps students work through a classroom assignment using iPads.
Tim Lloyd | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Board of Education is extending the governance period for the St. Louis Public School District’s Special Administrative Board for three more years. But it also asked its staff to present a transition plan at the April meeting.

“A review of the district performance shows steady increase in student performance on the MAP (test) since 2006," said Margie Vandeven, Missouri commissioner of education. "Although, there is still a long way to go as a whole for the students of this district."

The Missouri Senate is poised to pass the first major set of bills of the season: Six ethics bills are scheduled for a vote on the Senate floor Monday.

Sen. Jill Schupp, at the podium, introduces The Missouri Earned Family and Medical Leave Program.
Mallory Daily | St. Louis Public Radio intern

Two Democratic legislators from St. Louis County, Rep. Tracy McCreery and Sen. Jill Schupp, are introducing The Missouri Earned Family and Medical Leave Program. 

President Bill Clinton’s Family and Medical Leave Act has been around for 23 years. And these two legislators think it’s time for a change. 

The Missouri Senate Judiciary Committee is weighing a series of new bills that aim for criminal justice reform. One would increase educational and job opportunities for inmates.

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