Jay Nixon

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri General Assembly’s veto-override session, which gets underway next Wednesday, once again is touching on familiar ground: abortion, guns, schools and state spending.

State House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, is particularly optimistic that legislators will override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill to extend the waiting period for an abortion to 72 hours, making Missouri only the third state in the country to do so.

But overshadowing all of that – and possibly upsetting predictions – is Ferguson.

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).

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