local control

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

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.”

(Tim Bommel/Mo. House Communications)

Legislation that would have returned oversight of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department back to City Hall has failed in Jefferson City.


So-called "Late-Term" Abortion Ban Goes to Governor Nixon

The bill passed Thursday by the Missouri House would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless two doctors verify that a fetus is not viable, or that it constitutes a medical threat to the mother.  The bill's supporters call abortions performed on viable fetuses barbaric. 

Democrat Tishaura Jones of St. Louis opposed the bill, saying she's pro-life for herself but pro-choice for everyone else:


Another Mountain Lion Roaming Northwest Mo.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says a landowner in Macon County took pictures of large tracks in a muddy creek bed on April 20. The conservation department confirmed that the tracks belonged to a mountain lion.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Some minor progress, but no breakthrough yet in efforts to pass both the St. Louis Police local control and tax credit legislation.

The Missouri Senate this evening confirmed Governor Jay Nixon’s appointment to the state-run board that oversees the St. Louis Police Department.  Tom Irwin’s appointment is seen as a precursor to implementing local control.


Local Control Hits Another Roadblock

Just when it appeared the local control issue was moving forward in the Missouri Senate, the bill has been delayed again.  This time, some Senate Republicans are holding off on advancing the bill in order to force the House to pass the Senate’s tax credit overhaul measure. 

While no one’s openly saying that the local control bill is being held up, Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer indicates they’re willing to delay bills from the House if their leaders continue to sit on Senate bills.

(Rachel Lippmann/ St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners has reached a collective bargaining agreement with the St. Louis Police Officers' Association.

It's a three-year deal that locks in salaries, benefits and department operating procedures. Mayor Francis Slay called the hard work it took to reach the deal worth it.

"I think it gives us a good opportunity to have a stronger partnership and to work together more closely for a better department and one that helps us address crime and other issues in the city of St. Louis," he said.

Missouri Senate Stops Short of Approving Local Control of St. Louis Police Dept.

Missouri senators have embraced a proposal that would allow St. Louis to control the city police force, ending the state's Civil War-era oversight of the department.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri Senate last night stopped just short of approving legislation to restore local control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

Some amendments were added to the local control bill.  They include giving two-thirds of the slots on the police pension board to retired officers and those associated with the police retirement system.  GOP Senator Kevin Engler of Farmington says they held off on first-round approval last night in order to give both sides time to review the changes:

Two bills continue to sit in the Missouri Senate that would restore local control over the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, despite last week’s announced agreement between Mayor Francis Slay (D) and the Police Officers Association.

The compromise would give police officers collective bargaining rights, preserve police pensions, and preserve officers’ ranks, salaries and benefits once they become city employees.  There would also be a no-strike clause.