Missouri lawmakers last year came the closest they’d ever come to restoring local control over the St. Louis Police Department, which has been under state control since the Civil War.
A bill that would have given control of the department back to the city passed the House, but Senate leaders refused to pass it unless they got their way on tax credit reform, which didn’t happen. This year, the local control battle never got off the ground in Jefferson City.
St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin talked with Mo. state Senator Joseph Keaveny (D, St. Louis) to find out why.
Mo. House approves test program that helps children visit moms in prison
Missouri House members are calling for a pilot project to help women in the state's prisons have more contact with their children.
Legislation approved by the House would require the Corrections and Social Services departments to start a two-year test program to provide transportation for children and a caretaker to visit their mothers in prison.
The measure was approved Thursday on a vote of 126-23 and now moves to the Senate.
A Missouri judge has upheld a ballot summary for an initiative that would grant St. Louis local control over its police force.
The St. Louis police department currently is overseen by a board consisting of the mayor and four appointees of the governor.
Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce ruled Thursday that the summary prepared by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's office fairly and impartially describes the measure, which supporters are trying to get on the November ballot.
Both sides of the debate on how St. Louis would handle local control of its police department are digging in their heels over issues of public oversight and transparency.
At a Board of Alderman community forum last night, critics argued that language on a proposed ballot initiative would preclude the department from a civilian review board and restrict public access to disciplinary records.
John Chasnoff is a program director for the ACLU, which supports local control but is suing to block the initiative.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and the St. Louis Police Officers Association are throwing their support behind a voter's initiative proposal that would give St. Louis direct control of its police department.
The Safer Missouri Citizens Coalition is seeking 100,000 signatures by May sixth to put the proposal on this November's ballot. Jeff Roorda, business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers' Association, said opponents who argue the bill would limit public oversight and access to records are misleading the public.
Some Republicans at odds with Nixon over state's job-creation tax breaks
Some Republican lawmakers are at odds with members of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration over whether Missouri's job-creation tax breaks have been a success or failure. During a House committee hearing Monday, figures showed a wide gap between the number of jobs anticipated and those actually created by businesses approved for aid under the Missouri Quality Jobs program.
Supporters of a ballot measure that would turn control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department back to City Hall have gotten the go-ahead to start work on getting the proposal in front of the voters.
The decision by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan to approve the measure for circulation means local control advocates can start gathering more than 143,000 signatures, which must be collected from multiple districts in the state. They're due on May 6, 2012.