Jim Lembke

State Rep. Marsha Haefner
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Marsha Haefner pulled the plug on her state Senate bid in the 1st Senatorial District, creating yet another twist to a state legislative contest that could prove to be one of the most competitive in the state.

Haefner announced her candidacy for the south St. Louis County-based seat earlier this year. When the Oakville Republican jumped into the contest, the incumbent – Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton – was running for attorney general and was leaving the seat wide open.

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.


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.


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.


Missouri Republican Senators End Filibuster

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.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Four Missouri State Senators have ended their filibuster of legislation to draw down $105 million in extended federal unemployment benefits.

On Wednesday, the four senators, led by Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), had offered to end their filibuster if Governor Jay Nixon (D) would reject $300 million in federal stimulus funds.

(via Flickr/FiredUpMissouri)

A group of fiscally conservative Republicans in the Missouri Senate are willing to end their filibuster of a bill to draw down federal unemployment benefits, if Democratic Governor Jay Nixon agrees to reject $300 million in federal stimulus funds.   

Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) has been leading the effort.  He says the $300 million covers several “pork barrel pet projects.”

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon took the Republican-led Missouri Senate to task today for blocking federal aid for public schools and thousands of unemployed workers.   

Jobless benefits end Saturday for 10,000 of out-of-work Missouri residents because a group of Senators, led by Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), has been blocking the enabling bill.  Lembke says they’re sending a message that Washington needs to rein in spending.

(via Flickr/ FiredUpMissouri)

Extended unemployment benefits will end this Saturday for thousands of Missourians after the state Senate failed to reauthorize participation in a federal program.

St. Louis County senator Jim Lembke led the effort to block the 20-week extension of federal unemployment benefits, filibustering the legislation along with three other Republican senators.

Lembke said he did so in order to send a message to Washington that the federal government needs to rein in its spending.

Mo. Senate

A group of fiscally conservative Missouri senators is continuing to block legislation to draw down $81 million in federal unemployment benefits, even though Senate Republican leaders support the bill.

State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) has been leading the filibuster for weeks.  He says rejecting the money would send a message to Washington that it needs to reign in spending.

Harrison Sweazea, Mo. Senate Communications Office

Legislation that would restore local control over the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has stalled in the Missouri Senate

Two St. Louis-area Senators, Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) and Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City), began a filibuster of the bill today.

Mo. Senate

A group of Republicans in the Missouri Senate is still blocking a bill that would allow the state to receive $81 million in federal unemployment benefits.

But the bill's supporters say Missouri hasn't lost out yet, despite today's deadline for getting it passed.

Mo. Senate

Some Republicans in the Missouri Senate are blocking legislation to draw down $81 million in federal unemployment benefits.

The funding would go to Missouri residents who've been out of work for more than 79 weeks, and a State House bill authorizing the draw down must be passed by Thursday or else the money will go to other states.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

South County Republican state Senator Jim Lembke says the opinion issued last week by attorney general Chris Koster still doesn't convince him that some municipal ordinances authorizing red light cameras are legal.

Lembke, who's introduced legislation again this year that would ban the use of the cameras, says he agrees that local governments are allowed to put up the cameras.

The Missouri state budget is already due for more cuts this year, and that's the reason Republican Sen. Jim Lembke, of St. Louis, cites for filing a resolution to block a recommended pay raise for judges.

The Associated Press reports that "Judges have argued for several years that higher salaries are needed to persuade qualified people to serve as judges instead of working as private-sector attorneys where they might earn more money."

It was not as dramatic as Confederate forces firing on the Union troops at Fort Sumter in April 1861, but Missouri's passage of Proposition C is certainly a notable skirmish in the 2010 reappearance of the states' right struggle. Channeling their inner John Calhouns, State Sens. Jane Cunningham and Jim Lembke have emerged as the new preachers of the nullification doctrine.