Jay Nixon

Stephanie Lecci

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has lifted the state of emergency that he imposed several weeks ago in Ferguson – thus ending his power to replace St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch as the head of the local investigation into the police shooting that set off the community’s unrest.

Nixon’s announcement came shortly before a group gathered outside McCulloch's office in Clayton. The 40-some community and social justice groups that comprise the newly formed Don’t Shoot Coalition were demanding the governor replace McCulloch with a special prosecutor.

Nixon RCGA 9214
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

As the state – and his reputation – seeks to move beyond Ferguson, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is rekindling his longstanding pitch in favor of expanding Medicaid.

And Nixon may be seeking to subtly link the expansion with Ferguson’s headline-grabbing racial and economic unrest, by emphasizing what the state has been giving up in federal money – and what he said has resulted in less help to those who need it.

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says that Centene Corporation’s plans to build a new claims processing center in Ferguson doesn’t just create jobs.

It’s also about sending a message.

"We're very heartened by their willingness to make an investment,” Nixon said Tuesday. “It now sends a signal, not only in St. Louis but around the world that North County is open for business."

Nixon offered up praise for Centene at the beginning of his luncheon address to members of the Regional Chamber and Growth Association.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

As of Thursday, all Missouri state laws will be revised to remove references to “mentally retarded’’ and “mental retardation.’’ In their place will be the phrases “intellectually disabled’’ and “intellectual disability.”

Owners of surface mines will have to notify more property owners before starting operations. Insurers must cover oral anti-cancer medications if they cover intravenous ones. Casinos can offer lines of credit to gamblers.

And breastfeeding mothers can be excused from jury duty.

Bill Greenblatt

While Ferguson remains under a state of emergency, Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered a gradual withdrawal of approximately 200 Missouri National Guard troops that have been assisting the state Highway Patrol this week.

He said Thursday that he based his decision on an improved situation following more than a week of looting and riots triggered by the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Nixon spoke by phone with St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin on his order to begin withdrawing the National Guard and on the overall situation in Ferguson:

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Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon is defending his decision to deploy Missouri National Guard troops to Ferguson.

Nixon issued a statement earlier this morning, announcing his decision to send in the Guard after what may have been the worst night of rioting since the protests began a week ago. Nixon explained his decision by citing "violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk."

Nixon at a press conference in August
Bill Greenblatt / UPI

Ferguson protesters insisted at a raucous meeting on Saturday that Gov. Jay Nixon act quickly to charge Ferguson officer Darren Wilson with murder in the shooting death of Michael Brown. 

St. Louis on the Air discussed this and other legal issues associated with Ferguson on Monday:

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Although the Missouri Highway Patrol is overseeing the police presence in Ferguson, it quickly has become apparent that neither the patrol nor Gov. Jay Nixon is in control of all law-enforcement actions.

That lack of control already is leading to unwanted surprises that revolve around a central question:  Who is in charge?

That question also applies to St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, who are battling over who should control a local probe into the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown. 

Bill Greenblatt, UPI

(Updated at 4:20 p.m., Thurs., Aug. 14)

As of Thursday, the Missouri Highway Patrol is now in charge in Ferguson. And Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who announced the change, said at a news conference that the public should see a difference at once.

The St. Louis County police have been widely criticized for their aggressive, even militaristic stance -- using armored vehicles and tear gas -- to quell protests stemming from last Saturday's police shooting. 

Gov. Jay Nixon (UPI file photo/Bill Greenblatt)

While in St. Louis Saturday to give the commencement address for the Missouri branch of the online school Western Governors University, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon refused to take responsibility for last week’s failure of Amendment 7. The ballot measure would have raised sales taxes by three-quarters of a percent for ten years in order to raise money for bridges, roads and public transportation.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Gov. Jay Nixon may be the primary reason a proposed transportation sales tax failed this week at the polls, according to one political expert.

George Connor, political science professor at Missouri State University in Springfield, says the governor's decision to place the 0.75 percent sales tax on the August primary ballot likely doomed it to failure because most of the state's primary races drew in GOP voters.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Jay Nixon is taking heat from his own party, especially from women, for appointing Maynard Wallace to the state Board of Education. 

And while Nixon, a Democrat, isn’t backing down, the outcry from several Democratic legislators may not bode well for the appointment to be confirmed.

Wallace is a former teacher, superintendent and Republican state legislator from Thornfield. For a time, Wallace was also a registered lobbyist for the Missouri Association of School Administrators.

Gov. Jay Nixon speaks to a class at Rockwood Summit High School in Fenton.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

(Updated at 1 p.m. Monday with additional comments from House Speaker Tim Jones.)

Gov. Jay Nixon proved that he can outdo himself, at least when it comes to vetoing legislation. 

(via Flickr/kcds)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed on Monday a bill that would have allowed teachers to carry guns in the classroom, saying that ““arming teachers will not make our schools safer.”

Gov. Jay Nixon (UPI file photo/Bill Greenblatt)

(Updated 12:15 a.m. Friday, July 11)

With more vetoes still likely, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon already has set a record for vetoes during his tenure – with 31 amassed so far for this year’s legislative session.

Nixon’s tally already is larger than his previous record of 29, set last year. He has until Monday to sign or veto bills -- or allow them to become law without his signature.

The General Assembly will have a chance in September to attempt to override his vetoes. Last year's override tally of 10 was the most in 180 years.

Heroin initiative detective said many teens are no longer afraid to take heroin because it now can be smoked or snorted rather than injected, eliminating the need for needles.
Wikimedia Commons

Missouri state Rep. Dave Hinson has seen first-hand what a lifesaver a heroin antidote can be.

Hinson, R-St. Clair, is a paramedic based in north St. Louis County. Just recently, he said, he used the antidote to save the life of a homeless man at a Metrolink stop who had apparently overdosed on heroin.

“It’s pretty simple to identify a heroin overdose, with the pinpoint pupils,” said Hinson. If the antidote is given soon enough – before the user has stopped breathing for several minutes – the effects of the heroin can be swiftly reversed.

a rolling dollar bill
dleafy | sxc.hu

After months of roller-coaster finances, the state of Missouri is ending up its fiscal year with an overall decline compared to a year ago.

And Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration fears that the slowdown may continue – especially if the General Assembly overturns his vetoes of various tax cuts.

Monday’s final day of the state’s 2014 fiscal year found the state’s final general-revenue tally to be three percent below what had been projected – about $240 million short. That shortfall had prompted Nixon’s last-minute round of budget cuts about a week ago.

/ File photo

(Updated 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 2)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that would have tripled the state’s waiting period for an abortion to 72 hours, saying it reflected  “a callous disregard for women who find themselves in horrific circumstances.”

The governor noted in Wednesday’s veto message that the bill, HB 1307, had no exceptions for rape or incest.

“This extreme and disrespectful measure would unnecessarily prolong the suffering of rape and incest victims and jeopardize the health and wellbeing of women,” Nixon said Wednesday.

(Courtesy of Investigative Reporters And Editors)

Missouri is one of several states that are buying their execution drugs in secret. This week, the issue is getting some national attention.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has been recognized as one of the “most secretive publicly funded agencies or people in the United States.” He’s “won” the Golden Padlock Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors. (He was also invited to accept the award in person, but declined).

/ File photo

As promised, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed on Tuesday the wide-ranging school transfer bill passed by lawmakers this year, saying it violates basic principles of public education and does nothing to help students trapped in unaccredited schools.

At the offices of Education Plus in west St. Louis County, the governor listed three main reasons for his action.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 3:57 p.m. with reaction from House Budget Chair Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood.

Updated at 3:21 p.m. with reaction from House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka.

Updated with reactions at 2:25 p.m., Tues., June 24. 

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has announced $1.1 billion in cuts from the Fiscal Year 2015 state budget that goes into effect July 1.

Those cuts include nearly $276 million in line-item vetoes and $846 million in temporary withholds, which could be released by the governor at a later date.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Politically Speaking continues its interviews with Missouri’s most prominent behind-the-scenes players. St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies speak this week with “the pride of St. James,” aka political consultant Jack Cardetti. 

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Gov. Jay Nixon signed an executive order on Wednesday, officially launching the development of a comprehensive state energy plan.

/ File photo

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon followed through with his earlier threat by vetoing on Wednesday 10 bills passed during the last day of the legislative session. The bills set up special tax breaks for a variety of businesses, from restaurants to data centers.

/Via Flickr/ KOMU news, Manu Bhandari

The city of St. Louis and St. Louis County have plans for nearly $1.1 billion worth of transportation projects if a statewide sales tax increase passes this August. 

St. Louis and St. Louis County officials revealed their wish list of projects that would be funded with the .75 percent sales tax increase.  If the transportation tax passes in August, St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties and  the city of St. Louis, are expected receive about $1.49 billion over a 10-year period from the state’s transportation commission.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

(Updated Thursday, May 29)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says that local governments stand to lose almost as much money as the state because of a final tax-cutting spree by the General Assembly before it adjourned earlier this month.

All told, Nixon said Wednesday, local jurisdictions around Missouri — from city halls to fire districts, libraries and ambulance services — could lose $351 million in annual sales tax revenue because of “a grab bag of giveaways’’ approved by legislators.

Gov. Jay Nixon speaks to a class at Rockwood Summit High School in Fenton.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

When it comes to a proposal to raise the state’s sales tax to pay for transportation projects, two of Missouri’s top Democratic officials appear to be on opposing sides of the fence.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill favors the proposal, which – if approved by voters in August – would enact a 10-year, 0.75 percent sales tax for transportation projects. And even though he’s sent signals that he opposes the proposal, Gov. Jay Nixon is withholding statements about the tax increase for now.

(Flickr/Cast a Line)

After telegraphing his intention for a week, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday announced that he is indeed going to veto the student-transfer bill because of its provisions allowing public money to be used for private schools.

He also faults the bill because it does not require unaccredited sending districts to pay any transportation costs for students transferring to accredited districts, as the schools now are required to do.

This diagram is an excerpt of “figure 1” from Ameren’s “Detailed Site Investigation,” showing the location of the company’s proposed coal ash landfill.
Ameren Missouri

Environmental groups delivered about 3,500 petitions to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s office in Jefferson City on Thursday, asking him to stop a construction permit for a coal ash landfill in Franklin County. The permit would allow Ameren Missouri to build a new landfill near its power plant located by the Missouri River.

Ameren says it’s almost of out of room in existing storage ponds for the coal ash, so it wants to build a newer and safer facility. In a released statement, it says it is committed to building a state-of-the-art landfill for its customers.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Jay Nixon once again signaled that he might strike down school transfer legislation that passed out of the General Assembly last week. 

After he helped break ground on an expansion to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Nixon told reporters that he would move the transfer bill to the “very top of the list to review.” The multifaceted bill makes a number of changes to the law that allows students in unaccredited school districts to go to different schools. (Click here to read a detailed story on what the bill does.)

The Democratic governor once again zeroed in on a provision that could allow students in unaccredited districts to transfer to private, nonsectarian schools. That, he said, amounts to a voucher program, which the governor has opposed for years.

“It violates the constitution and it something we haven’t done in Missouri since 1821,” Nixon said. “And it’s unnecessary for that particular solution.”

Nixon also said he had concerns about a provision that would no longer require unaccredited districts to pay transportation costs for transfer students. But he added that he’d give the bill a “good look” and make a quick decision.

“It’s a pressing public policy issue that I need to get to,” Nixon said.

Some of the bill’s supporters – including Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City – have been critical of Nixon for not working more closely with lawmakers on the issue. Chappelle-Nadal told reporters last week that for Nixon “to come about at the eleventh hour is not only a disgrace, but it also shows the lack of his leadership.”

When asked about that criticism – which has been percolating for years among legislators of both parties – Nixon said: “I’m there every day. I work a lot.”

“We got a lot done, especially on mental health this year,” said Nixon, specifically pointing to a proposal that will help construction a new mental health-care facility in Fulton. “But when they veer off course the way they did on the last day of the session and pass $490 million of tax cuts that aren’t paid for and don’t put a balanced budget on my desk, they can add too.”

'Entirely separate'

Nixon was referring to tax breaks passed on the last day of session. They ranged from incentives for data centers to tax exemptions for restaurants and farmers’ markets.

But after criticizing those bills, Nixon said he wasn’t being inconsistent for championing a much bigger incentive package to lure Boeing’s 777X to Missouri.

That package would have provided Boeing with around $1.7 billion in tax incentives if it built its assembly plant in Missouri. Some legislative critics contended the price tag was well over $2 billion, and amounted to corporate welfare.

When asked whether his criticism of the tax incentives chafed with his advocacy for the Boeing package, Nixon said it was “an entirely separate” situation.

“If [Boeing] made investments and created jobs, then we allowed them to keep a portion of the taxes that were earned after the construction project was over and after folks were working,” Nixon said. “That’s why we worked specifically within our programs in the Boeing deal that required job creation.”

“These things that have been passed don’t do that,” he added. “They just throw money at whomever at who was walking down the hall with a good lobbyist. And that is not the way to run the fiscal system of a state.”

Nixon added he was “going to focus over the next couple of weeks” to make sure “the cuts that we have to make to balance the budget and maintain our fiscal discipline are ones that reflect our values.”

Officials celebrate plant science center expansion

Meanwhile, Nixon joined a number of prominent officials – including St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and former Washington University Chancellor William Danforth – to break ground on an expansion to the Danforth Plant Science Center. 

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