Chris Kelly

Breaking new ground is one of the trademarks of the Politically Speaking podcast, and this year was no exception. 

After three years of podcasts, Politically Speaking changed its format and put the spotlight on guests. In all, 48 episodes featured federal, state and local officials from across Missouri and Illinois – as well as a few folks who aren’t in office.

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.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri House committee has wrapped up hearings into three articles of impeachment against Gov. Jay Nixon but has yet to vote on them.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia, says he'll seek input from the rest of the committee before deciding whether to hold a vote on the three impeachment articles.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers have sent Gov. Jay Nixon a bill to rewrite the state's criminal code for the first time in more than 30 years. The wide-ranging proposal took several years and two legislative sessions to hammer out, but it's unclear whether Nixon intends to sign it.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

This week, the Politically Speaking podcast team – Chris McDaniel, Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies – host state Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, currently the longest-serving member of the state House.

Note: You can subscribe to us on iTunes now.

Flickr/Jeremy Noble

Missouri lawmakers are weighing what role bicycles should play in the future of transportation spending. 

A proposed constitutional amendment would raise the state sales tax by a penny to bridge any anticipated shortfalls over the next ten years. Most of the money would be for roads and bridges, but 10 percent could be earmarked by local governments for alternative forms of transportation including bicycle, air, rail, and pedestrian projects.

State Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, recently announced he wouldn't seek re-election to the Missouri House. Kelly said he's dismayed by the legislature's preoccupation with "ginning up the base."
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon:  For state Rep. Chris Kelly, the Missouri General Assembly just isn’t what it used to be.

The Columbia Democrat returned to the Missouri House in 2009 after a roughly 16-year layoff. He first served from 1983 to 1994.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed the so-called Second Amendment Preservation Act, less than 24 hours after it received first-round approval from the same body.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a pair of bills that would institute photo ID requirements for voters.

St. Louis Public Radio

At least one bill has made it out of the special legislative session.

Today the Missouri House overwhelmingly passed the so-called “Facebook Fix,” which would remove confusing language from a new law regarding teacher-student messaging via social media.  That law was placed on hold last month by a Cole County judge, who ruled that barring teachers from websites that allow private messaging with students would have a, quote, “chilling effect” on free speech rights.

(via Flickr/MoneyBlogNewz)

A Missouri House committee has unanimously passed legislation that would remove confusing language from a new state law regarding the use of social media between teachers and students.

The bill was passed last week by the Missouri Senate.  It’s being handled in the House by State Representative Chris Kelly (D, Columbia).

(via Flickr/seannaber)

A Missouri House member wants to ask voters to raise the state cigarette tax by 81 cents a pack.

Democrat Chris Kelly, of Columbia, outlined his plan Thursday to a House committee. He's proposing a future statewide vote on whether to raise Missouri's current 17-cent tax - the lowest in the nation - to 98 cents per pack.

Kelly says the increase could generate $425 million in state revenue, discourage people from smoking and bring down state health care costs.

(Office of Chris Kelly)

The amount Missouri hospitals charge the state for examinations to collect evidence from sexual assault victims varies widely between hospitals.

Lawmakers say the state should set a cap on the rates it pays.

Data from the Department of Public Safety shows the state paid $35.40 for a lab test at a Kansas City hospital and more than $1,500 for an examination at a Harrisonville hospital. The state paid an average of about $784 per examination last year.

(Flickr Creative Commons User MoNewsHorizon, credit for photo: Tim Bommel of Missouri House Communications)

Three Democratic members of the Missouri House will chair committees next year, despite the increase in power by the Republican Party in that chamber.
Incoming House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) told reporters at a press conference today that he picked the best qualified lawmakers to head the committees, regardless of party.