A Democratic candidate for the Missouri Senate is calling for a ban on all gifts from lobbyists to state lawmakers, and accusing his opponent of accepting more gifts and free meals over the past decade than any other Missouri legislator.
The Missouri Senate has passed a tax credit measure after hammering out an agreement between GOP leaders and fiscal conservatives who’ve been trying to reign in tax breaks for years.
The agreement would cap historic preservation tax credits at $75 million per year, give a one-year extension to food pantry and other charitable tax breaks, and create incentives to draw amateur sporting events to Missouri. State Senator Eric Schmitt (R, Glendale) urged the chamber to pass it before time runs out on the regular session.
The $24 billion spending plan passed both chambers with little difficulty, but not without some complaints. State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) was not happy with language restoring a health care program for blind Missourians. He says he’ll file a constitutional objection.
The budget chairman for the Missouri House is not happy with the Senate’s decision early Wednesday morning to restore $28 million for blind pensions.
An amendment by State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) reversed the cut that the House wanted to use for Higher Education. State Rep. Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) authored the original cut, stating that the pension program is for blind residents who have too much money to be on Medicaid. He calls the Senate’s actions puzzling.
Mo. Senate considers legislation to beef up security at the Capitol
The bill would increase the number of security cameras at the State Capitol and allow the Governor's Office of Administration to hire private, armed security guards if needed.
It's sponsored by Democrat Robin Wright-Jones of St. Louis. She filed the bill shortly after someone placed rifle target stickers outside her office and the offices of several other Democratic Senators and one House Republican:
Candidates for the U.S. Senate, Congress, Missouri General Assembly, Governor and other statewide offices can now file to run.
Hundreds flocked to Jefferson City today and lined up outside the doors of the Secretary of State’s office to file their paperwork. Among those filing on the first day was Republican Peter Kinder, who’s seeking a third term as Lt. Governor. Kinder had originally planned to challenge incumbent Democrat Jay Nixon for Governor, but changed his mind last fall.
Missouri insurance officials have postponed a vote to draw down $13 million from Washington that would be used to help set up a health insurance exchange. The exchange is required by the new federal health care law.
An all-night filibuster in the Missouri Senate is over. Tuesday afternoon, four Republicans began blocking a capital improvements bill because their attempt to remove $41 million in federal stimulus funds was voted down. The filibuster ended just before 6 a.m. this morning, after an agreement was reached to send more than $14 million back to Washington. That proposal was offered by fellow Republican Brad Lager from Andrew County.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says the all-night filibuster in the Missouri Senate of a capital improvements bill containing federal stimulus funds was "political theatrics."
McCaskill, a Democrat, says she understands that the four Republican Senators are trying to send a message to Washington, and that message has been received loud and clear.
"The people that they're really filibustering against are the people of Missouri, because those projects that are funded are creating jobs," McCaskill said. "Our economy is recovering and most importantly it's funding public education in Missouri."
Updated: 7:00 a.m. May 4:
A group of four Republican senators have ended their all-night filibuster of a capital improvements bill that contains more than $465 million in federal stimulus funds.
They began blocking the bill Tuesday afternoon after their attempt to shrink the bill by $41 million was rebuffed by the Senate.
Missouri's Senate has embraced a plan to extend federally funded jobless benefits while cutting eligibility for state-funded benefits. Several Republican senators upset about federal spending ended a filibuster Thursday against legislation renewing the federal long-term benefits. That came after the Senate voted to cut state jobless benefits by six weeks, to a maximum of 20 weeks.