Kurt Schaefer

OnMessage Inc.

Another Republican has tossed his hat in the ring for Missouri attorney general.

Josh Hawley is a 35-year-old associate law professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

City attorney Winston Calvert reisgned Nov. 18 2015
File photo Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Trying to best describe the legal status of local minimum wage increases is like wrapping your arms around an eel.

That’s because discussions around St. Louis and Kansas City minimum wage hikes have proceeded under the cloud of a now-vetoed bill, known as HB 722, that would have banned local minimum wage increases. And legal arguments around local wage hikes get decidedly slippery depending on whether that bill goes into effect or dies on the vine.

Fast food workers prepare to march around a McDonalds restaurant, taking part in a massive one day fast food industry strike demanding higher wages in St. Louis on December 5, 2013.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Allan Katz has a pretty good idea of what St. Louisans should expect when the debate over raising the minimum wage begins in earnest.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

With three weeks left in the 2015 legislative session, Missouri lawmakers have passed all 13 bills that make up the state's $26 billion spending plan for Fiscal 2016, which begins July 1.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has called Amendment 5 "a disaster." She's been heaping criticism on the "gun rights" measure for months.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

When Amendment 5 was put before voters last August, 602,863 Missourians cast their ballots in favor of a measure aimed at bolstering the Show Me State’s gun rights.

It’s safe to say St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce was not among those voters.

Kurt Schaefer 2014 mo senator
Official photo

State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, said his bill restricting university appointments is meant to prevent potential conflicts of interest the public might see as unethical. The Senate gave first-round approval Wednesday to the bill, which bars the University of Missouri System's Board of Curators from appointing the governor who named them to the board as president.

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Tim Lloyd welcome St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman to the show.

Zimmerman grew up in St. Louis County — attending Clayton schools — before attending Claremont McKenna University and Harvard Law School. He worked for Attorney General Jay Nixon and former Gov. Bob Holden before getting elected to a state House seat in 2006.

Mary Nelson
St. Louis Community College

In recent weeks, the Missouri Senate has considered the nomination of four lawyers to be members of the University Missouri Board of Curators, but only three of them won confirmation.

The fourth, Mary Nelson of St. Louis, was rejected by a committee vote. State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, said that if she joined the board, that would mean that eight of nine curators – all but David Steward of St. Louis – would be lawyers. He said that would be too many members from one profession.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s edition of Politically Speaking uses the magical power of radio to speak with Sen. Kurt Schaefer from his office in Jefferson City. 

The Columbia Republican chairs the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which makes him one of the most influential figures in the budget-crafting process. He’s also chairing a special committee looking into Gov. Jay Nixon’s performance during the unrest in Ferguson.

(Courtesy Zimmerman Campaign)

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman has announced he’s running in 2016 for Missouri attorney general, setting up a primary with state Sen. Scott Sifton, a fellow Democrat.

In a telephone interview early Tuesday, Zimmerman said he was making his intentions public now because “2016 will be a critical year in Missouri politics.”

Sifton, from Affton, announced his candidacy a couple months ago. At present, the only announced Republican is state Sen. Kurt Schaefer of Columbia.

Rebecca Smith, St. Louis Public Radio

This week, the Politically Speaking trio welcomes back state Sen. Scott Sifton. The Affton Democrat won election to the Missouri Senate in 2012 in a hard-fought race against then-Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay. 

Most recently, Sifton, an attorney with Husch Blackwell, made waves in the Missouri Senate with his filibuster during the fall veto session of legislation mandating a 72-hour waiting period for abortions. He’s also been part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers calling for curbs on meals, travel and entertainment paid by lobbyists.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

State Sen. Scott Sifton became the first Democrat to jump into the 2016 race for attorney general. 

In an e-mail this weekend to supporters, the Affton Democrat cited his experience working in the attorney general’s office and his tenure in the legislature as rationale for his statewide run. 

His campaign sent out an e-mail on Monday morning officially announcing his candidacy. He said in a statement that "as attorney general, I will work to make Missouri safer for every family, consumer, community and business.”

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

House and Senate budget negotiators have finalized the 12 remaining bills that make up Missouri's state budget for Fiscal Year 2015.

Both sides signed off on increasing funding for K-12 schools by $114.8 million. If Gov. Jay Nixon's rosier revenue projections hold true, school spending would get a $278 million spending hike. Higher education would increase by $43 million, about 5 percent. State Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, chairs the House Budget Committee. He said they also put money in next year's budget to help finance a new state mental hospital at Fulton.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has so far passed five of the 13 bills that make up the state budget for next year.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Budget writers in the Missouri Senate have begun their review of the state's spending plan for Fiscal Year 2015.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has begun debate on a compromise tax cut brokered last month between Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, and state Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee's Summit.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 1:20 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20)

Missouri legislative leaders and Gov. Jay Nixon are disagreeing on what revenue estimates should be used in drawing up the state budget for the coming fiscal year – an argument that could affect the General Assembly’s deliberations when it goes back into session in a few weeks.

But the specifics of the budget dispute aren’t clear because most of the parties involved are commenting only through press releases and offering -- at least so far -- few additional details.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Sen. Kurt Schaefer got an early start to the 2016 election cycle, announcing that he will compete in the likely open contest for attorney general.

Schaefer, R-Columbia, made his bid official in an interview with the Beacon and a number of other media outlets. Since Attorney General Chris Koster will likely run for governor in 2016, that leaves an effectively open contest to replace the Democratic official.

State Senator Kurt Schaefer of Columbia has become the first big-name Republican to officially toss his hat in the ring for the 2016 Missouri Attorney General's race.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri state Auditor Tom Schweich so far has amassed $293,825 in the bank for his expected 2014 re-election bid, thanks in part to a $100,000 donation from prominent St. Louis businessman Sam Fox.

(via Flickr/Mooganic)

Legislation to redefine the relationship between liquor distributors, wholesalers and retailers has stalled in the Missouri Senate.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The federal investigator who requested Missouri’s list of conceal carry weapons holders testified under oath Wednesday before a State Senate committee.

Keith Schilb of the Social Security Administration's Inspector General's office told the Senate Appropriations Committee that part of his job is to seek and develop projects that could indicate whether there is enough evidence of fraud to warrant an investigation.  He says that’s how the inquiry into Missouri’s conceal carry database began.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

After nearly eight hours of debate Monday, the Missouri Senate has passed next year’s state budget.

The roughly $25 billion spending plan still does not include Medicaid expansion, but not for a lack of trying by Democrats.  Minority Floor Leader Jolie Justus offered up an amendment that would’ve added $890 million to the Social Services budget, enough to expand Medicaid to around 260,000 Missourians next year.

File photo by Marshall Griffin I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Senator Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) says the Department of Revenue (DOR) has continued to withhold information from his legislative committee about the list of conceal carry weapons (CCW) holders that the agency compiled for the federal government.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has announced that Brian Long has resigned as Director of the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR). The resignation is effective immediately.

“I want to thank Brian [Long] for his service to the state of Missouri in heading up this department, and wish him well in his future endeavors,” Nixon said in a statement regarding the resignation.  In addition, Nixon's Press Secretary, Scott Holste, said that Long voluntarily stepped down and that he was neither asked nor encouraged to resign.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Budget writers in the Missouri Senate turned their attention today Thursday to the Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety as they continue to question why the state’s list of conceal-carry weapons holders was given to the federal government.

Colonel Ron Replogle testified that the Patrol received a request for the list in November of 2011 from the Social Security Administration, which was conducting a fraud investigation.

“And our employees felt this was a legitimate criminal investigation, so therefore they released the information," Replogle said.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Department of Revenue (DOR) officials underwent more grilling Wednesday from a Missouri Senate committee over the agency’s practice of scanning source documents for driver’s license applications, conceal-carry weapon endorsements, and other license applications.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would prohibit the Department of Revenue (DOR) from scanning and storing source documents for driver’s license, conceal-carry, and other applications.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Some concerns have been raised in the Missouri Senate over a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a temporary one-cent sales tax to fund transportation needs.

The one-penny sales tax is expected to raise nearly $8 billion over ten years.  All money raised would go directly to the Missouri Dept. of Transportation (MoDOT), and that provision is not sitting well with some Senators.  Republican Kurt Schaefer of Columbia says lawmakers should have at least some say into how that money would be spent.

Free gun locks will be given out Friday at City Hall in St. Louis
M Glasgow | Flickr

 (Updated story)

A Missouri Senate Committee has unanimously passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would expand the State Constitution’s right to bear arms.

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