Jason Crowell | St. Louis Public Radio

Jason Crowell

RISE Community Development's Stephen Acree stands in one of his organization's apartments in Forest Park Southeast. His group used low-income housing and historic tax credits to redevelop a slew of buildings in the central corridor neighborhood.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A question and answer panel with four Republican statewide officials was meant to showcase the party’s unprecedented consolidation of power within Missouri’s government. Instead, the Lincoln Days event pointed to a major policy division among the GOP.

That’s because Gov. Eric Greitens touted how he engineered a halt to state low-income housing tax credits in late December. He called the incentive a “scam” that had been “ripping off” Missourians for years, and received a round of applause from the audience when mentioning how he “zeroed out” the program.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens helped engineer a freeze on low-income housing tax credits. And that decision is likely to stand unless the legislature makes substantial changes to the program.
File photo I Carolina Hidaglo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens upset a bipartisan contingent of legislators when his interim appointees made major public policy decisions.

That includes how the Republican governor and his appointees in December 2017 helped halt state low-income housing tax credits, an incentive that encourages developers to produce affordable housing for the working poor and elderly.

RISE Community Development's Stephen Acree stands in one of his organization's apartments in Forest Park Southeast. His group used low-income housing and historic tax credits to redevelop a slew of buildings in the central corridor neighborhood.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri will not issue $140 million dollars in state low income housing tax credits next year.

The Missouri Housing Development Commission voted 8 to 2 Tuesday to zero out the state’s low-income housing tax credit for the year. It also voted to apply for the federal version of the incentive.

Beyond Housing's Chris Krehmeyer stands in a vacant unit inside Rosie Shields Manor in Pagedale. Krehmeyer's group has developed a number of projects using the low-income housing tax credit.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens cast a key vote Friday to block state spending for its low-income housing tax credit program, saying such development efforts “sound nice, but don’t get results.”

The Republican governor is among the state officials who sit on the Missouri Housing Development Commission, which oversees construction projects that receive state assistance, primarily through state tax credits.

Attorney General Chris Koster parts ways with the Missouri Democratic Party on the issue of campaign donation limits. His position on the issue may make already difficult road to capping donations impossible if he becomes governor.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Sen. Rob Schaaf probably wouldn’t be classified as bleeding heart liberal.

Throughout his tenure in the Missouri General Assembly, the St. Joseph Republican took sometimes-provocative conservative positions in battles over Medicaid expansion and unemployment benefits. He's encountered rightward plaudits and gubernatorial jeers for his latest stance against a St. Louis stadium funding plan.

But Schaaf parts ways with his party on campaign donation limits.

Jason Crowell
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome former state Sen. Jason Crowell to the show for the first time.

In the late 2000s, the Cape Girardeau Republican emerged as one of the most impactful — and, to some, controversial — lawmakers in the Missouri General Assembly. He often used the power of his personality and mastery of Senate procedure to steer legislation in his desired direction.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Lawmakers are returning to Jefferson City for their annual veto session, which begins Wednesday at noon.

House and Senate leaders will attempt to override Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) veto of a bill that levies local sales taxes on out-of-state vehicle purchases.  The issue has heated up, as Nixon’s supporters are running radio ads urging Missouri citizens to call their lawmakers and tell them not to override the Governor’s veto.

Nixon calls the bill a retroactive tax hike on anyone who’s bought a vehicle outside of Missouri this year, while GOP leaders say it will provide much-needed revenue to local police and fire departments and encourage car and boat buyers to shop in Missouri.  Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard) admits the chances of overriding the veto of the vehicle sales tax bill are slim.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

With a Friday deadline looming, Missouri lawmakers finally reached a compromise on putting the final touches on the state budget.

The agreement addresses veterans’ homes, university funding and other sticking points:  First, budget negotiators agreed to spread an additional $3 million among several universities, including Southeast Missouri State, and dropped a proposal to give $2 million to that school alone.  Also, lawmakers will have to craft a Higher Education funding formula by the end of next year, which would be implemented in July 2014.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri House and Senate are still at an impasse over next year’s state budget.

The Senate has made no progress on persuading Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) to stop blocking every bill in the Senate, including one to fund veterans’ homes.  He says he has no objections to transferring gaming revenues from early childhood programs to nursing homes for military vets, but he won’t allow it or any other bill to advance unless the House strips more than $2 million in extra funding from Southeast Missouri State University.  President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says other Senators have sided with Crowell on the issue.

Sen. Jason Crowell was one of the chief critics of the low-income housing tax credit program when he served in the Missouri Senate from 2005 to 2013.
File photo I Harrison Sweazea I Missouri Senate

The Missouri Senate has been shut down by one Senator over which version of legislation for veterans’ homes will be adopted.

Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) and several allies tied up the Senate for nearly 12 hours Monday night and are provoking a showdown with Senate leaders.  In addition to using a filibuster to block the veterans’ homes bill, Crowell is using several motions to block all bills from being debated.

“We have some issues that need to be resolved in the Senate before we move forward, and they’re gonna be resolved one way or the other," Crowell said.  "I will continue to make this series of motions on anything else that we do.”

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Senate passed a $24 billion state budget early this morning, following several hours of debate and closed-door negotiations.

The Senate spending plan for FY2013 directly challenges the Missouri House's position on blind pensions.  By a narrow margin, Senators restored $28 million in state funding cut by the House last month, while leaving in $18 million in federal Medicaid dollars.  Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) says they now have more room to maneuver when negotiations with the House begin on the final version of the budget.

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

The Missouri Senate convened Monday afternoon preparing to debate next year's state budget, and almost immediately Senator Jason Crowell launched a filibuster.

The Republican from Cape Girardeau had promised weeks ago that he would block the budget over its use of one-time funds to fill holes in next year’s spending plan.  Gradually throughout the evening, other fiscally conservative Senators joined in, including Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), Rob Schaaf (R, St. Joseph), and Luann Ridgeway (R, Smithville).

Early on, Crowell spent part of the filibuster lampooning the Missouri House for cutting pensions for the blind.

(Harrison Sweazea/Mo. Senate)

One day after the Missouri House gave first-round approval to the state budget, a state Senator is threatening to derail the entire budget process.

Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) is objecting to the use of one-time sources of money to plug holes in the FY2013 budget.  He singled out both Democratic Governor Jay Nixon and House GOP leaders for plans to divert $40 million from a federal mortgage settlement to the state’s Higher Education budget.

Morning headlines: Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jan 31, 2012
Flickr/jglazer75

Spring session kicks off today in Illinois

Legislative leaders say budget items are expected to top the agenda in the coming weeks. Those items include the state's troubled pension system and Medicaid costs.

House Deputy Majority leader, Democrat Frank Mautino, says Medicaid reform could end up being more controversial than pensions. Mautino says payment cycles are stretching too long and that cuts have to be made.

Morning headlines: Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jan 24, 2012
Flickr/lilhelen

Illinois Supreme Court to announce new policy allowing cameras in trial courts

The new policy would allow cameras in trial courts on an experimental and limited basis.

Spokesman Joe Tybor says the court will make its announcement today.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Sen. Jason Crowell may not be a household name to most Missourians.

But the Republican from Cape Girardeau is getting a lot of credit -- and blame -- for what passed and what didn't make it through the Missouri General Assembly's meandering seven-week special session, which ended today.

Morning headlines: Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sep 7, 2011
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Nixon expands special session

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has expanded a special legislative session to include disaster aid for businesses and the repeal of a law limiting teacher-student interaction over the Internet. Nixon widened the agenda shortly after lawmakers convened in special session Tuesday to consider overhauling Missouri's business incentives.

(Harrison Sweazea/Mo. Senate)

A State Senator from Cape Girardeau today delayed the start of the special session by three hours, then continued to slow the process down after bills were allowed to be introduced.

Republican Jason Crowell is objecting to what he calls a “micromanaged" list of priorities by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.

Morning headlines: Monday, August 8, 2011

Aug 8, 2011
Fickr/rumpleteaser

Mo. changes child care rules to further prevent SIDS

For the first time in two decades, Missouri's child care rules have been updated.  Effective this month, licensed child cares must put infants to sleep on their backs and have at least one staff member trained in first aid.  

(via Flickr/dbking)

While Missouri legislative leaders have reached an agreement on an economic development package, some lawmakers are speaking out against it.

The key component is the so-called Aerotropolis measure, which would provide $360 million in tax credits to transform Lambert Airport in St. Louis into an international air cargo hub.

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