Missouri lawmakers began pre-filing bills today for next year’s legislative session, which begins January 4th.
One bill was influenced by the deadly Joplin tornado. If passed, it would allow Missouri residents to deduct up to $5,000 from their state income taxes for building storm shelters on their properties. It’s sponsored by State Representative Terry Swinger (D, Caruthersville).
The St. Louis Police Officers Association announced today that the organization and the mayor of the city of St. Louis, Francis Slay, have come to a compromise regarding a local control ballot initiative.
The issue of local control of the St. Louis Police Department, that is, shifting the control of the department from the state of Missouri to the city of St. Louis, was a fixture in this past year's legislative session.
Mayor Francis Slay is fuming over the results of the just-concluded special session.
"Goodbye state legislators. Thanks for (almost) nothing," the mayor tweeted this afternoon, a day after the state Senate adjourned without taking action on a large economic development package and a measure that would end more than 150 years of state oversight of the St. Louis police department.
House and Senate leaders continue to butt heads over what should and should not be included in the wide-ranging tax credit bill, and that includes the compromise version that House leaders announced that they’ve reached with the governor. Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says the chances of reaching a compromise by Friday look very slim.
The Missouri House of Representatives today gave both first-round approval AND passage to several pieces of notable legislation, after suspending its rules to allow for both to take place in the same day:
Local control of the St. Louis Police Department endorsed
The Missouri House has passed legislation that would end the state's oversight of the St. Louis police department.
Nixon wants lawmakers to take up 11 items during next month’s special session. As expected, it includes providing tax credits for turning Lambert Airport in St. Louis into an international air cargo hub (the Aerotropolis proposal), and moving the state’s presidential primary from February to March.
St. Louis City police officers have entered into a first-ever collective bargaining agreement with the city.
Jeff Roorda is a former state representative and current business manager for the police union. He says the agreement removes the main barrier the department had against local control.
“We’ve resisted city control for years and that was because we needed to have a place to resolve our differences and in the past that’s been the state legislature," Roorda said. “Now, we have a union contract and arbitration where we can resolve those differences.”