Joe Keaveny

The five state representatives who could replace Joe Keaveny: State Reps. Gina Mitten, Jake Hummel, Michele Kratky, Karla May and Stacey Newman.
Jason Rosenbaum, Carolina Hidalgo and Tim Bommel | St. Louis Public Radio & House Communications

Few events in Missouri politics make party committee members more popular than an unexpected vacancy.

That’s because when someone leaves an office before their term is up, these elected party stalwarts are charged with picking a nominee for a special election. The decision becomes especially important when the vacancy is in an area dominated by a particular party — which happens to be the case with soon-to-be former state Sen. Joe Keaveny.

Sen. Joe Keaveny receives a hug while walking out of the Senate chamber on Friday. Keaveny announced he will resign from the senate to become an administrative law judge.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Senate Minority Leader Joe Keaveny plans to leave his post early to become an administrative law judge.

The St. Louis Democrat’s decision could set off an intense political competition to represent part of St. Louis in the Missouri Senate.

Before the Missouri Senate convened today, Keaveny told St. Louis Public Radio that Gov. Jay Nixon’s office had approached him about becoming an administrative law judge. He said once paperwork and background checks go through, he’ll resign his seat.

The Missouri Senate Chamber
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

The Missouri Senate will take up the state budget when it reconvenes from spring break.

The $27 billion budget was passed by the House the same week Democratic senators orchestrated a 37-hour filibuster to stop a vote on a bill that would provide legal protections for businesses that refuse wedding-related services to same-sex couples. Due to the high tensions that resulted, Senate leaders decided to wait until after vacation to start discussing the budget.

Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis, campaigned last year as a proponent of right to work -- even though labor unions have gained a bit of a foothold in St. Charles County.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

A Senate-sponsored constitutional amendment that would shield businesses in the wedding industry from legal repercussions if they denied their services to same-sex couples is headed to the House. The amendment passed 23-7.

The Edward Jones Dome has been home to the St. Louis Rams since 1995.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated with reaction from officials. When it became public knowledge that the St. Louis Rams had applied for relocation to the Los Angeles area, the team provided a brief statement that didn’t reveal much about their rationale for leaving.

Well, the Rams elaborated on their reasons for relocating on Tuesday night. And the team’s decision not to pull punches about why they want to leave St. Louis may have massive consequences — even if their bid to move is rejected.