Jim Lembke

Sens. Rob Schaaf

On this episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies break a bit of ground by welcoming two guests for one show – state Sen. Rob Schaaf and former Sen. Jim Lembke. 

Schaaf is a Republican from St. Joseph, Mo. He's a physician who has played a key role in health care policy over the past few years.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

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.

Scott Sifton (D, Affton) is a member of the Missouri House and is trying to unseat incumbent State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) in the 1st Senate District that covers most of South County.  Sifton accuses Lembke of accepting 560 gifts over the past 10 years.

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.

(Associated Press Data/compiled by Kelsey Proud/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri General Assembly has passed and sent next year’s state budget to Governor Jay Nixon (D).

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.

(Tim Bommel/Mo. House communications)

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.

Flickr/MoNewsHorizon

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:

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

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.

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

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.

Members of the state’s health insurance pool had tentatively planned to take action today, but State Senators Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield) and Rob Schaaf (R, St. Joseph) dropped in on the meeting and persuaded them to postpone the vote.

Flickr/FiredUpMissouri

All-night Filibuster Ends in Mo. Senate

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.

Harrison Sweazea, Mo. Senate Communications Office

Updated 1:32 p.m. May 4:

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.

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