With the 2014 Missouri legislative session at an end, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jo Mannies, Dale Singer and Marshall Griffin discussed the results with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and University of Missouri-St. Louis political science professor Terry Jones.
The first topic of discussion was the tax cut bill. Nixon vetoed the bill, but was overridden by the Republican-led state house and senate.
“That means that the state is going to have much less reliance on income taxes over the next 6 to 8 years, and when the provisions are fully in effect that means $600 to $700 million less coming from income taxes into the state treasury,” said Jones. “It doubles down on the economic development philosophy that low tax low service is the way to increase the number of jobs in the state. It’s a dubious proposition but it’s one that’s public policy in Missouri.”
The Republicans were the big winners for the session, said statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin.
“But they had to do a little bit of horse trading to advance two of their priorities,” he said. In order to pass their version of the early voting bill and the bill requiring a 72 hour waiting period before abortions, the Republicans gave up the paycheck protection bill and the voter ID bill.
In a news conference Friday, Governor Nixon focused on the tax cut bill and the tax break bills the legislature passed in a flurry earlier that day.
“You got a glimpse of the old Nixon from twenty-five years ago, the hothead,” said political reporter Jo Mannies when describing the conference. Mannies also noted that the actions of both Nixon and many of the legislators were motivated in part by political aspirations. See her story on the conference for more.
Education reporter Dale Singer outlined the possible next steps for the school transfer bill, now that both houses of the state legislature have approved it. If Nixon vetoes the bill, he could call for a special session to rewrite the bill.
State legislators also approved funding for preschool and struck down common core standards for the state, instead requiring the state to come up with its own standards. For more on the education bills of note, see Singer’s latest article on the topic.
Other issues discussed during the show included the revised criminal code, the abundance of ballot initiatives that will go before voters in November, and the two gun bills proposed during the session (only the ballot issue affirming the right to bear arms passed).