Jolie Justus

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

State Sen. Rob Schaaf is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to health-care policy. But some believe that this staunch opponent of Medicaid expansion holds the key to ending the legislative impasse over it.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Jay Nixon says he hopes Missourians get another chance to vote on same-sex marriage.

The Democrat made that comment Thursday in response to a reporter's question during the annual Missouri Press Association/Associated Press Day at the Capitol.  The governor said that he's in favor of repealing the 2004 constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Credit Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

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

It's another two-part edition of the podcast. Marshall Griffin joins the Politically Speaking crew to talk about Gov. Jay Nixon's State of the State speech and the latest developments involving Missouri's death penalty. Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, joins Chris, Jo and Jason for the second part of the show. 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Republicans in the Missouri Senate have scaled back a proposal to cut state taxes in order to emulate tax cuts in neighboring Kansas and Oklahoma.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has strongly objected to the bill's sales tax hike, saying it would hurt the poor and elderly the most.  That provision has been dropped.  House Bill 253 would now cut the personal income tax rate by half a percentage point and the corporate rate by three points, and phase them both in over the next 10 years.  Republican Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit is handling the measure in the Senate.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Nearly a full month of hearings wrapped up Monday into a Missouri Senate bill that would revise the state’s criminal code, but it may already be too late to get the bill to the Governor’s desk this year.

(via Flickr/alancleaver_2000)

A Missouri Senate panel is beginning work on an effort to overhaul the state's criminal code.

The legislation is the work of a Missouri Bar panel that began meeting five years ago to give the code its first makeover since the 1970s.  

The measure would create new classes of felonies and misdemeanors and give judges more flexibility in sentencing.

(via flickr/jimbowen0306)

Children leaving the foster care system after their 18th birthday would be able to return to state custody under a bill passed by the Missouri Senate.
 
Current law allows children to remain in the foster care system until they are 21, but prevents re-entry if they leave after turning 18.
 
The measure sponsored by Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus of Kansas City would allow those who leave the system to re-enter until they turn 21.
 
 Justus says it allows children to come back home if they have a hard time in the "real world."
 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Lawmakers have returned to Jefferson City and begun the new year’s regular Missouri legislative session. 

So, what do they want to get done?

Senate Republicans are focused on:

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Senate will be led by new people when it convenes for the 2013 session.

Majority party Republicans on Thursday nominated Sen. Tom Dempsey, of St. Charles, to serve as president pro tem - the top position in the chamber. Dempsey still must be elected by the full Senate when it convenes in January, but that is expected to be a mere formality.

(Mo. Senate)

Stickers with rifle target crosshairs printed on them have been found in the office doorways of several Missouri lawmakers.

They were discovered Tuesday afternoon outside the offices of five Democratic State Senators and one Republican State Representative.  The stickers were twice found outside the Capitol office of Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal of University City.

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