Jay Nixon

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has so far passed five of the 13 bills that make up the state budget for next year.

Nanette Hegamin

In the final weeks of the legislative session, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has made a last-ditch effort to resurrect a push to expand Missouri’s Medicaid program and accept roughly $2 billion a year in federal money.

The governor, a Democrat, unveiled his “Missouri Health Works’’ program before business leaders Monday in Cape Girardeau. By coincidence or design, state House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka and an opponent of Medicaid expansion, was also in Cape on Monday with conservative low-tax icon Grover Norquist to highlight a different issue.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 1:50 p.m. Mon., April 28)

After two weeks of vigorous lobbying, Republican leaders in the Missouri House acknowledge that they have yet to obtain the extra four votes needed to send to the state Senate a measure to put a "right-to-work" proposal on the August ballot.

“I’m not in the habit of bringing up votes unless the votes are secured,’’ said House Majority Leader John Diehl, R-Town and Country, in an interview late last week.  

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

Hearings began Wednesday on three articles of impeachment against Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

With a new tax-cut package on his desk, Missouri Gov. Nixon has zeroed in on a new “fatal flaw’’ that his administration says could wipe out 65 percent of the state’s general-revenue income used to fund most state services and aid to public schools.

The details may be different, but the basic argument mirrors last year’s fight, when Nixon successfully killed a tax-cut bill by highlighting flaws that he said would cost the state's treasury – and the public – far more than the bill’s backers had intended.

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

In a busy visit to Rockwood Summit High School Monday morning, Gov. Jay Nixon recorded a tagline for the school’s radio station, won a free throw showdown with the school’s scholar athlete and even posed for a selfie with a student.

/ File photo

In the midst of his second term, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has continued to travel the state to promote his agenda for the state. He has heightened his profile even more in recent days, as he has blasted a tax-cut proposal that the General Assembly has landed on his desk.

But Nixon has effectively dropped one activity that used to take up a lot of his time: campaign fundraising.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A controversial tax cut proposal has been sent to Gov. Jay Nixon, after the Missouri House passed it late Wednesday afternoon.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

With roughly a month left to go before adjournment, many of the Missouri General Assembly’s big issues remain unresolved.  

That’s not too surprising. Big-ticket legislation often passes — or dies — in the last weeks of the session. With about a month to go before the final gavel falls, legislation dealing with tax cuts, the state’s criminal code and the student transfer situation are all still up in the air.

The resolution of some conflicts could hinge on unity from Republicans, who control the legislature, while others may fall along less predictable fault lines. 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Budget writers in the Missouri Senate have begun their review of the state's spending plan for Fiscal Year 2015.

State Rep. Rory Ellinger, D-University City, waves to the audience earlier this month at a bill signing ceremony for HB 1320.
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Governor Jay Nixon has signed legislation that would allow breastfeeding moms to be exempted from jury duty in Missouri.

Flickr/David_Shane

The Missouri Senate passed a tax cut bill, after two different versions were blocked by Republicans who opposed a compromise between the GOP sponsor and Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and some potential allies in the latest legislative battle over tax cuts stepped up their attack Thursday on two fronts.

Just as the General Assembly was leaving for its long weekend, the governor issued a statement making clear that the tax-cut measures that the House and Senate have been considering so far don’t meet his standards for approval.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Roughly a thousand labor union members crowded onto the south lawn of the state Capitol Wednesday to rally against legislation to turn Missouri into a "right-to-work" state.

File photo

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has nominated state Sen. Scott T. Rupp, R-Wentzville, to a seat on the Missouri Public Service Commission, which oversees public utilities that operate in the state.

The five-person PSC is among the state’s most powerful agencies, and among the most lucrative for commission members, who each earn close to $100,000 a year. The commission also regulates Missouri’s mobile home, modular unit and recreational vehicle industries.

Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Sunday was the start of "Sunshine Week," a time to celebrate the idea of open government and open records. But in Missouri, you might want to hold off on popping the champagne.

Missouri's sunshine law, which allows the public to ask government officials for things like emails, documents and other records, doesn't have much teeth.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is trying a new pitch in his quest to persuade state legislators to expand the state's Medicaid program and accept the $2 billion a year in extra federal money that would go along with it.

Nixon told supporters Thursday night in St. Louis County that the state’s current Medicaid program is so stingy that it discourages people from working — and could drive entry-level workers to other states that are expanding Medicaid.

Missouri now bars Medicaid coverage for anyone who earns more than $2,217 a year — which boils down to $42.63 a week.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

House budget writers have passed Missouri's state budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins July 1.

The roughly $28 billion spending plan still includes a funding increase for the state's K-12 schools, which would be around $122 million if projections by House and Senate Republican leaders turn out to be correct.  If Gov. Jay Nixon's rosier revenue picture turns out to be correct, then K-12 spending would increase by $278 million.

Medicaid expansion blocked again

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

The Missouri Senate has begun debate on a compromise tax cut brokered last month between Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, and state Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee's Summit.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri has signed a memorandum of understanding to boost trade with Quebec. 

Speaking to reporters from Toronto on Wednesday, Gov. Jay Nixon said Missouri and Quebec signed an agreement to boost trade over the next four years by 15 percent. The agreement, according to a press release from Nixon’s office, was signed by Québec Minister of Industrial Policy Élaine Zakaïb and Missouri director of Economic Development Mike Downing.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s decision to release $132 million withheld from the current budget was influenced, in part, by the rosier state revenue collections in February, his budget chief says.

State Budget Director Linda Luebbering announced Tuesday that net general revenue collections for February shot up 17.3 percent ($69 million), compared to February 2013.   That strong showing follows several months of less-than-stellar revenue numbers, particularly in January.

Governor's website

Politics can be a 24/7 occupation, as anyone with a cell phone, computer or cable subscription knows. It's not hard to find political news, commentary or just plain rants. They are everywhere. Sometimes it takes a little more digging to find the context, perspective or background on major issues of the day. 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Republicans in the Missouri House have unveiled their proposal for funding construction of a new state mental hospital in Fulton.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is attending the National Governors Association's winter meetings in Washington DC this weekend, and once again he's been questioned about his political future.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to two separate but similar tax-cut bills.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Jay Nixon says he hopes Missourians get another chance to vote on same-sex marriage.

The Democrat made that comment Thursday in response to a reporter's question during the annual Missouri Press Association/Associated Press Day at the Capitol.  The governor said that he's in favor of repealing the 2004 constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Marshall Griffin, KWMU

(Updated 12:45 p.m. Fri., Feb. 14)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has unveiled a tentative deal for a tax-cut package made with some Republicans in the state Senate, but his requirements could delay when -- or if -- the cuts go into effect.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Debate has begun in the Missouri Senate on this year's attempt to cut the state's income tax rate.

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