John Lamping

The Missouri General Assembly placed most of this year's amendments on the ballot.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

If there was one big lesson that John Lamping learned during his tenure in the Missouri Senate, it was that it’s very difficult to pass a bill – but very simple to kill one. 

Case in point: The former GOP lawmaker proposed two-year ban on lawmakers going into lobbying, something that’s taken hold in other states and throughout the U.S. Congress. But Lamping’s proposal never got off the ground.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

On this week's episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back  state Sen. John Lamping, R-Ladue, to the show. 

Lamping decided not to run for another term this fall as the state senator representing the 24th District. But he has plenty to say about his four years in the General Assembly's upper chamber. During that time, he gained a reputation, and some enemies, over his willingness to buck his own party -- especially on fiscal issues.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Few could accuse the Missouri General Assembly of languishing during its last few days of session.

In fact, the legislature’s last dash was something of a whirlwind: It featured fierce debates over bills about student transfers and abortion restrictions. Lawmakers also sent proposals on a transportation tax and early voting procedures to the November ballot. Other efforts fizzled out, including last-minute pushes to expand and reconfigure the state’s Medicaid system.

An empty desk
Bubbles |

Despite opposition from a coalition of Missouri school groups, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers said Friday that to win passage, school transfer legislation needs to include the option of non-sectarian private schools.

State Sens. John Lamping, R-Ladue, and Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, along with House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, discussed the issue at a forum on tax-credit scholarships. With three weeks left in the legislative session, a transfer bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate is now moving through the House.

Courtesy of Jay Ashcroft

While Jay Ashcroft, the son of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, was always interested in politics, he also said he didn’t consider it “the highest calling.”

“My highest calling in life is to be a good husband to my wife and to be a good father for my kids," said the attorney and engineer from unincorporated St. Louis County. “In the last couple of years when I’ve seen how government has been working at the state level and unfortunately not always working, I kept coming around to the conclusion that I need to be part of the solution.”

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 3/17 at 10:30 a.m.)

State Sen. John Lamping learned two important lessons during his relatively short tenure in the Missouri General Assembly: It’s hard to pass new laws; and it’s easy to stop changes to existing ones. 

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Carl Miles' apartment at Rosie Shields Manor has everything he could want in a home – and then some. 

Miles’ spacious room has sleek wood-like floors and a modern-looking kitchen. He’s within walking distance of a bank and grocery store. And he can even throw parties in the Pagedale facility’s community room or common area – with management’s permission, of course.

“It’s wonderful. It’s a wonderful place to live,” said Miles, who is 70 and retired. “It’s got a lot of security. The people are generally pretty friendly. We socialize a lot. And we have a pretty good time.”

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House passed legislation on Thursday curtailing two of the state’s largest tax credit programs. 

State Rep. Anne Zerr’s bill would reduce the historic preservation tax credit’s cap to $90 million from $140 million. That program helps refurbish older buildings and has been used extensively throughout St. Louis.

The bill would also gradually reduce the cap on the tax credit for low-income housing to $110 million from $140 million. That credit provides an incentive for developers to build housing for the working poor, elderly and disabled.

Updated 3:23 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17

State Sen. John Lamping, R-Frontenac, has yet to say if he’s running for re-election this fall, in what could be the region’s top legislative contest.

But his campaign money could be speaking for him. He has very little.

Meanwhile, his Democratic challenger — state Rep. Jill Schupp of Creve — has raised a lot.

The latest campaign-finance reports for the two, filed this week, show that Schupp raised more than $108,000 during the past three months. She now has $261,202 in the bank.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Proponents of a transportation sales tax were dealt a big blow last year when a legislative effort died at the last minute. But that doesn’t mean they’re giving up on putting a 1-cent sales tax increase before voters.   

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.

On this week's episode: Missouri Senator John Lamping (R) joins as a guest, and discusses how he got into politics (and went to college with Michelle Obama). Lamping also discusses his filibuster against the transportation sales tax, his plans for ethics reform next session, and the prospect of him running for his seat again.

via Flickr/KOMUnews

A proposed constitutional amendment that would create a temporary one-cent sales tax to fund transportation needs has passed the Missouri Senate.

Mo. Dept. of Transportation

Updated at 4:27 p.m.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) has sent a letter to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) asking him to join in the effort to name the under-construction Mississippi River Bridge north of downtown St. Louis after Stan Musial.  A section of the letter reads:

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A State Senate panel assigned to study immigration issues in Missouri held its final meeting today in Jefferson City.

Some of the discussion focused on so-called “anti-immigrant” comments made on the House and Senate floors in recent years.  Vanessa Crawford Aragon is Executive Director of Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates.  She told committee chair Senator John Lamping (R, Ladue) that inflammatory speeches by some lawmakers have made life harder for immigrants in Missouri and they need to tone it down.


Despite being rejected by voters last month, there’s a new proposal to raise Missouri’s cigarette tax.

It’s part of a bill prefiled in the Missouri Senate that would also raise the state’s sales tax by one-half percent while fixing the state income tax rate at a flat 4 percent.  The proposal would raise the cigarette tax by 26 cents, from its current 17 cents per pack to 43 cents per pack.  It’s sponsored by Republican Senator John Lamping of St. Louis County.

(via Flickr/Fried Dough)

Yet another bill has been filed in the General Assembly this year that would raise Missouri’s cigarette tax, currently the lowest in the nation.

This one would raise it to 75 percent of the current national average – in other words, from 17 cents per pack to $1.09-1/2 cents per pack.  Missouri’s tax per pack would also rise or fall as the national average changes, and it would require a referendum by Missouri voters to take effect.  The bill was filed by State Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford (D, St. Louis), who spoke in favor of raising the cigarette tax during budget debates on Thursday.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Legislation that would allow employers to block insurance coverage for birth control, abortions and sterilizations, all for religious reasons, has passed a Missouri Senate committee.

The bill was filed in response to President Obama’s recent mandate that church-run institutions provide coverage for birth control – that mandate has since been amended to require insurers to provide coverage if a religious employer refuses to do so.  Bishop John Gaydos, representing Missouri’s Catholic bishops, spoke in favor of the bill.

Flickr/brains the head

Debate brewing in Missouri Capitol over birth control

A Senate committee has scheduled a hearing for today on legislation allowing employers to refuse to provide insurance coverage for birth control, abortions or sterilization procedures, if doing so would go against the employer's religious beliefs.

Sponsoring Sen. John Lamping, a St. Louis County Republican, says health insurance is a benefit and that employers should decide how it is structured.


More time to pay off payday loans under proposed

Payday loans are unsecured loans of $500 or less that must be paid off within 31 days.  Sen. John Lamping, a St. Louis County Republican, told a Senate committee Monday that people should get at least 90 days to pay off those loans. The bill would also make it illegal for payday lenders to roll over or extend loans beyond 90 days.


Illinois Supreme Court to announce new policy allowing cameras in trial courts

The new policy would allow cameras in trial courts on an experimental and limited basis.

Spokesman Joe Tybor says the court will make its announcement today.