Eric Schmitt

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

A fundraising quarter before an election is when Missouri politics starts getting real. 

And by “getting real,” I mean getting "real expensive.”

Tuesday is the deadline for campaign committees to turn in their fund-raising reports. These are the documents showing how much money political candidates and ballot initiatives have for the final push to the Aug. 5 primary.  They can also reveal how much cash is being shelled out in competitive primaries.

stacks of money
sxc.hu

The first week of July has been a boon for the main group campaigning for the proposed transportation sales tax on the Aug. 5 ballot and for just-announced Republican state treasurer candidate Eric Schmitt.

In the last 24 hours alone, Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc. has collected at least $410,000 – much of it from road construction firms and related unions.

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Missouri Senate website

Missouri state Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, has changed his expected political plans by announcing Wednesday that he’s running for Missouri state treasurer in 2016.

Schmitt had been a key player in the last two GOP legislative battles for tax cuts -- one successful, and one not.

Schmitt, a lawyer, is the first from either major party to officially announce for state treasurer, which will be up for grabs in 2016.  Democratic incumbent Clint Zweifel can’t run for a third term because the office, along with governor, is limited to two terms.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

As St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, duke it out in a very public fashion, a lower-key primary is transpiring on the Republican side. Missouri House Budget Chairman Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, and Green Park Alderman Tony Pousosa are angling to reach the November election, with both emphasizing their professional experience and personal styles.

Since 1991 when Buzz Westfall became county executive, the office has been in Democratic hands.  But some prominent Republicans are bullish about the party’s chances this year.

Harrison Sweazea, Mo. Senate

Stephen Schmitt is the 9-year-old son of Mo. State Senator Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale.  Stephen suffers from epilepsy, tuberous sclerosis, and has also been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. He is unable to speak and requires near-constant care.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A proposed tax cut that conformed to conditions laid out by Gov. Jay Nixon was radically altered Monday in an effort to move the overall proposal forward.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Five identical bills that would each revamp Missouri's student transfer law were examined Wednesday by a State Senate committee.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Governor Jay Nixon's (D) proposal to land production of Boeing's 777X passenger jet is two steps closer to success, as the Missouri Senate gave it both first-round and final approval Wednesday.

(via Flickr/bradleypjohnson)

A proposed rule change that would have allowed more ethanol to be blended into gasoline sold in Missouri has been shot down by a joint legislative committee.

Earlier this week, the Missouri Department of Agriculture asked the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to allow the change, saying that E-15 is both safe and good for the state's economy.  But State Senator and committee chair Eric Schmitt (R, Glendale) says the proposal would have violated state law.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Just weeks away from its implementation, the Kirkwood School District held an informational meeting Tuesday night to answer questions from parents and residents about the school transfer process.

The basic message from speakers was this: The system is flawed, the law is broken, there wasn’t nearly enough planning, the legislature is dysfunctional, and what happens if we get sued?  But we need to do everything in our power to make sure the incoming students get the best possible education we can provide.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

An interim committee kicked off its statewide tour in St. Louis County on Tuesday, gathering small business owners and other citizens to voice their ideas for ways to shrink Missouri's government.

The "Missouri House Committee on Downsizing State Government" is chaired by Rep. Paul Curtman (R-Franklin County).

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Beacon

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.

On this week's episode: Missouri Senator Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale) joins as a guest to have a "free-wheeling and fun conversation" on the income tax bill the governor vetoed. Then we run through some news: the auditor's finding on the Hancock Amendment, as well as the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

Next week, Democratic Senator Jamilah Nasheed will join the program.

(via Flickr/Mooganic)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) Wednesday signed eight bills into law that were passed this year by Missouri lawmakers.

(via Flickr/Mooganic)

Legislation to redefine the relationship between liquor distributors, wholesalers and retailers has stalled in the Missouri Senate.

Tim Lloyd, St. Louis Public Radio

Two tax credit bills passed by Missouri lawmakers have become the first ones signed into law this year by Governor Jay Nixon (D). 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would provide tax breaks for amateur sporting events held in Missouri has become the first one sent to Governor Jay Nixon (D) during the 2013 regular session.

The incentives would equal about $5 per ticket sold, and they would be capped at $3 million a year.  It was sponsored by State Senator Eric Schmitt (R, Glendale).

Veronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would allow home brewers to bring home-made beer to festivals has passed the Missouri Senate.

Under Senate Bill 114, home-brewers could give away free samples to guests at beer festivals and tastings, but would not be allowed to sell them.  The sponsor, State Senator Eric Schmitt (R, Glendale), says an emergency clause was added so that home brewers can take part in this year’s Brewer’s Heritage Festival in St. Louis.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

It appears so far that the Missouri Senate may no longer be the place where tax credits go to die.

In years past, proposed incentives for such things as historic preservation or amateur sporting events would have faced a filibuster threat from a group of fiscally conservative Republicans in the Senate.  But the leaders of that group are gone due to term limits, and perhaps that’s why this year’s amateur sports incentives bill was allowed to receive a Senate floor vote.  State Senator Will Kraus (R, Lee’s Summit) says the atmosphere has changed.

Mo. Dept. of Transportation

Updated at 4:27 p.m.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) has sent a letter to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) asking him to join in the effort to name the under-construction Mississippi River Bridge north of downtown St. Louis after Stan Musial.  A section of the letter reads:

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Senate is wrestling with legislation that would tweak the state’s public school funding formula.

The bill is pitting rural and suburban senators against each other.  David Pearce (R, Warrensburg) chairs the Senate Education Committee and represents part of rural west central Missouri.  He sponsors the bill that would more evenly spread K-12 funding by siphoning it off from richer suburban districts, primarily those near St. Louis.

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