For all intents and purposes, the 2014 election season looks to be a great, big bust.
Nobody should be surprised, as 2014 was always a way station to 2016. But hardly anybody expected that the only statewide race on the ballot would feature state Auditor Tom Schweich facing off against a Libertarian or Constitution Party candidate -- but not even a token Democrat. And some previously heated state Senate contests completely fizzled out.
State and local-level school officials would be required to develop guidelines for teaching evolution under legislation making its way through the Missouri House.
If passed, school districts would have to, “encourage students to explore scientific questions” regarding the “strengths and weaknesses” of both biological and chemical evolution. The sponsor, State Representative Andrew Koenig (R, Winchester), says House Bill 179 stresses academic freedom.
“It does not mandate curriculum to the teacher," Koenig said. "It’s really up to the school district, and if evolution is gonna be taught, it just allows them to teach the scientific strengths and weaknesses.”
Legislation to require special elections in Missouri to fill vacancies in statewide offices has cleared another hurdle.
The bill today easily passed the House Rules Committee and is expected to be debated on the floor of the House next week. If passed, House Bill 110 would only allow the governor to appoint a temporary placeholder if a statewide office is vacated, and that person would be ineligible to run in the special election to fill the vacancy. State Representative Jeff Roorda (D, Barnhart) sits on the Rules Committee and cast one of the few “no” votes.
Today is the first full day that Missouri lawmakers in both chambers can prefile bills for next year’s regular session.
One bill in particular comes in the wake of the annual holiday shopping surge that surrounds the Thanksgiving holiday weekend: HB 37 would make it illegal for retail stores to open for business on Thanksgiving Day. The proposal is sponsored by State Representative-Elect Jeff Roorda (D, Barnhart). He says it’s in response to the ongoing push by retailers to open for business on nationally-recognized holidays.