Jamilah Nasheed

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A joint Missouri House/Senate committee heard testimony Tuesday on whether the state's teacher tenure system is working.

Among those testifying was Mark Van Zandt, General Counsel for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).  He says tenured teachers can be held accountable under the current system.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

A mixture of sadness, resolve and, at times, anger permeated through a non-violent crowd that spilled from the steps in front of the St. Louis Justice Center into Tucker Ave. in front of City Hall.

The mood at the rally held in downtown St. Louis on Sunday night echoed through similar events in cities and towns across America, as people gathered to voice their disappointment over the acquittal of George Zimmerman for all charges in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

Mary Edwards, St. Louis Public Radio.

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 Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) joins as a guest, and makes an announcement on campaign finance. Then we turn to school accreditation in Missouri, as well as the prospects for Medicaid expansion in upcoming years.

Next week, Republican Senator John Lamping will join the program.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Jason Rosenbaum is out this week, so we have St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin filling in. Marshall joins Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Beacon and Chris McDaniel of St. Louis Public Radio to discuss the week in politics.

On this week's show: Marshall fills us in on the first half of the legislative session, talking about proposed changes to taxes and tenured teachers, and then Jo discusses the developments with the Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

(Tim Bommel/Mo. House of Representatives)

(updated version)

Teachers with tenure in St. Louis could be fired for incompetency under a bill that was passed Thursday by the Missouri Senate.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Legislative Black Caucus is speaking out against legislation in both the House and Senate that would require voters to show photo ID’s at the polls.

In each chamber there are proposed constitutional amendments that would allow for photo ID requirements, along with accompanying bills that would enact the proposed requirements -- HB 48 and HJR 1 in the Missouri House, and SB 27 and SJR 6 in the Missouri SenateState Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D, St. Louis) chairs the caucus.  She and other caucus members say Republicans are trying to suppress the voting rights of minorities, the disabled, the poor and elderly.

St. Louis Public Schools

Legislation has been filed in the Missouri Senate that would lay the groundwork for restoring an elected school board for the city of St. Louis.

The city's school district regained provisional accreditation last September, and if it can maintain it for a full year, the bill would then require that a locally elected school board replace the state-appointed board on July 1st, 2014.  It’s sponsored by State Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D, St. Louis).

(via state of Missouri website)

In 1961, Theodore McNeal, an official with the union representing Pullman porters, went to Jefferson City as the Senator from the 7th District.

Since then, the city of St. Louis has always had at least one black state senator. But redistricting and term limits may put that 52-year-streak in jeopardy.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

Updated 4:34 p.m. with comments from Rep. Sylvester Taylor. 

Usually, the residency requirement for political candidates is just another box to check, but two cases involving St. Louis-area office-seekers have not been so clearly defined - until today.

(via flickr/ensign_beedrill)

The Missouri Supreme Court is being asked to decide who qualifies to run for the state Legislature when boundaries are changed during redistricting.

Democratic House members Rochelle Walton Gray and Sylvester Taylor each filed to run in the 75th House District in St. Louis County. That district was redrawn last year and includes pieces of both lawmakers' current House districts. Gray lives in the new 75th District, and Taylor does not.

(Tim Bommel/Mo. House of Representatives)

Whether Mo. House member Jamilah Nasheed will qualify to be on the Democratic primary ballot against incumbent Sen. Robin Wright-Jones in the 5th Senate District is now up to the Missouri Supreme Court.

The Missouri Court of Appeal's Eastern District said in a ruling Wednesday that Nasheed does not appear to meet the residency requirement for running in the 5th District. But the court transferred the case to the state Supreme Court because of the importance and general interest of the issue.

(Tim Bommel/Mo. House of Representatives)

Updated 4:32 p.m. with statement from Nasheed.

Mo. State Rep. Jamilah Nasheed announced her run against incumbent State Sen. Robin Wright-Jones in January - but now it seems Nasheed may be leaving the ticket, at a judge's orders.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A proposed constitutional amendment that would cap the size of the state’s budget has passed a Missouri House committee.

The measure would prevent lawmakers from increasing state spending more than the rate of inflation. They would also have to take population growth into account when writing the state budget.  It’s sponsored by State Representative Eric Burlison (R, Springfield).

(Tim Bommel/Mo. House of Representatives)

State Representative Jamilah Nasheed announced Tuesday she's running for the state Senate.

The St. Louis Democrat is running against fellow Democratic incumbent Senator Robin Wright-Jones.

Following redistricting Nasheed's district now includes two other current state representatives, but she says that's not why she's chosen to run for a Senate seat.

“I'm running simply because I truly believe the city of St. Louis truly needs leadership,” Nasheed said. “Right now in the Senate under Robin Wright-Jones, the city hasn't had an effective voice.”

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

 The Missouri House of Representatives today gave both first-round approval AND passage to several pieces of notable legislation, after suspending its rules to allow for both to take place in the same day:

  • Local control of the St. Louis Police Department endorsed

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would end the state's oversight of the St. Louis police department.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House continued its swift work today on the $23 billion state budget, giving it first-round approval after only a few hours of debate.

But before doing so, lawmakers removed most of the money they had allocated for Governor Jay Nixon’s travel budget.

St. Louis residents pay for the city’s police force, but the state controls it.

While St. Louis’ mayor sits on the Board of Police Commissioners, Missouri’s governor appoints the other four members.

It’s been that way for 150 years, since the outset of the Civil War.

In recent years, the drumbeat to bring local control back to the city has been growing louder.

As part of St. Louis Public Radio’s continuing Bound By Division series, Maria Altman reports the reasons for and against local control have changed since the Civil War, but it’s still an issue that pits the city against the state.

For the first time ever, the Missouri House has passed legislation to give the city of St. Louis control over its police department, which has been under state control since the Civil War.

The vote was 109 to 46 in favor, and the bill now goes to the Missouri Senate.

Jamilah Nasheed
Tim Bommel | Mo. House of Representatives

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would return control of the Metropolitan Police Department to the city of St. Louis.

The department has been under state control since the Civil War.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Republican and Democratic House members gathered today to unveil several proposals they say will improve K-12 education in Missouri.

The idea getting the most attention is school choice - allowing students from failing school districts to transfer to better-performing schools statewide.

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