Jay Nixon

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.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Republican leaders in the Missouri House have scrapped the budget being proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat. Instead they will use last year's budget bills as a starting point for crafting their fiscal year 2015 spending plan.

House Budget Chair Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, says their budget bills contain none of the governor's spending proposals for the fiscal year (FY2015) that begins July 1.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Jay Nixon has called special elections for three vacant seats in the Missouri House. 

Nixon scheduled elections on Aug. 5 for the 67th, 120th and 151st House districts. The north St. Louis County-based 67th District became vacant after state Rep. Steve Webb, D-Florissant, resigned after he was charged with campaign finance-related violations.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon came to Fort Zumwalt North High School Wednesday on his “Good Schools, Good Jobs” tour, and based on the questions he was asked in a class he visited, many of the students there could end up with jobs in journalism.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has swiftly attacked a state Senate panel’s action to approve a phased-in tax cut that he estimates will cost the state $1 billion a year when fully implemented.

Nixon called it a “fiscally irresponsible tax experiment.”

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22)

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder’s office in the Missouri Capitol is just around the corner from the official quarters of Gov. Jay Nixon.

But they might just as well be in different universes.

At least that’s the view of Kinder, a Republican, who on Wednesday vented about his long-standing lack of communication with Nixon, a Democrat.  Kinder believes their non-relationship has had a negative impact on public policy.

Credit Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

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

It's another two-part edition of the podcast. Marshall Griffin joins the Politically Speaking crew to talk about Gov. Jay Nixon's State of the State speech and the latest developments involving Missouri's death penalty. Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, joins Chris, Jo and Jason for the second part of the show. 

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing a budget that would set state government spending at roughly what it was seven years ago, before the nation’s economy – and the state’s budgets -- took a nose dive.

And that’s a huge difference from the frugal budgets the state has seen for years.

The biggest beneficiary of the increased spending, should the General Assembly agree, will be public education.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will deliver his annual State of the State address Tuesday night, during which he'll unveil his proposed budget for fiscal year 2015.

The governor was expected to announce funding increases for both K-12 schools and higher education, along with a warning to House and Senate GOP leaders not to cut taxes.  Nixon vetoed last year's tax cut bill (HB 253) and successfully fought off an attempted veto override last fall.  The Democratic governor is also expected to make another pitch for expanding Medicaid.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, has been tapped to deliver the Republican response to next Tuesday’s State of the State address by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.

Jones had been on the short list for the response, usually delivered within minutes of the governor's annual speech. Others believed to be in the running had been Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who has delivered the response several times since Nixon took office, and state Auditor Tom Schweich, who’s running for re-election this fall.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The first full week of the Missouri’s General Assembly is officially underway, and already the focus has shifted away from the expected topics – tax cuts and Medicaid expansion – and landed smack dab in the midst of a potentially bruising battle over labor rights.

The fight offers the potential of overshadowing other legislative issues for weeks, if not months.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Democrats in the Missouri House unveiled on Monday their proposal to cut taxes, as Republican leaders prepare to attempt another major tax cut.

Currently, the top state income tax rate in Missouri is 6 percent.  The Democrats' proposal, House Bill 1328, would lower that rate to 4 percent for residents earning $30,000 a year or less.  Those earning just over $30,000 up to $300,000 a year would still pay a 6 percent rate, while the rate for those earning more than $300,000 a year would rise to 8 percent.  The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Jon Carpenter, D-Gladstone.

(via Flickr/401K)

For most intents and purposes, it was all quiet on Missouri's electoral front in 2013. But that didn’t stop the money from flowing to candidates and campaigns. 

Throughout last year, a diverse group of donors gave well over $21 million worth of donations of $5,000 or more. That money flowed to candidates, political party committees, ballot initiatives and political action committees in all corners of the state.

Provided by governor's office

Updated noon Monday, Jan. 13

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon joined Ford officials in Detroit on Monday to highlight the automaker’s production in Missouri, most notably its 2015 Ford F-150, which will be built at the company’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo.

On Sunday, the governor had done the same thing:  He appeared with General Motors officials at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to promote the auto manufacturer’s new mid-size truck, the 2015 GMC Canyon, which is to be built in Wentzville.

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