Mike Kehoe

This week’s edition of the Politically Speaking podcast has a mid-Missouri flair to it – primarily because St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are welcoming state Sen. Mike Kehoe to the show.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Gov. Jay Nixon may be the primary reason a proposed transportation sales tax failed this week at the polls, according to one political expert.

George Connor, political science professor at Missouri State University in Springfield, says the governor's decision to place the 0.75 percent sales tax on the August primary ballot likely doomed it to failure because most of the state's primary races drew in GOP voters.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Missourians will vote Aug. 5 on a 0.75 percent sales tax increase for transportation projects. The proposal — commonly known as the transportation tax — would generate billions of dollars over the next decade to fix roads, repair bridges and improve mass transit. 

The stakes are high. Supporters say Missouri needs more money for its aging transportation infrastructure. With gas tax revenue dwindling and federal funding uncertain, some policymakers see the sales tax as a guaranteed way to fund transportation needs.

via Flickr/KOMUnews

The Missouri Senate has passed a proposed constitutional amendment to create a temporary sales tax to fund transportation needs around the state, but not before scaling it back.

/Via Flickr/ KOMU news, Manu Bhandari

A group of Republicans in the Missouri Senate has blocked a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a one-cent sales tax to help fund the state’s transportation needs.

The tax would require voter approval and would expire after 10 years unless voters renew it. Five percent of revenues raised would be designated for cities and another five percent for counties to pay for local transportation needs.  Those factors were not enough to sway several Republicans, including Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph, who conducted a filibuster Tuesday night.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation has stalled in the Missouri Senate that would allow investor-owned electric companies to charge consumers for infrastructure improvements.

Opponents argued that Ameren Missouri, Empire District and Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) make enough money to pay for improvements without levying an Infrastructure System Replacement Surcharge (ISRS) on their customers.  Several Senators are blocking the measure, including Republican Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers have sent legislation to Governor Jay Nixon (D) that would levy local sales taxes on vehicles purchased in other states with voters’ approval.

via Flickr/KOMUnews

A proposed constitutional amendment that would create a temporary one-cent sales tax to fund transportation needs has passed the Missouri Senate.

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.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation has been filed in the Missouri Senate that would create a temporary sales tax dedicated to funding transportation needs statewide.

The proposed constitutional amendment would create a one-cent sales tax that would expire after 10 years.  It’s co-sponsored by State Senator Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City).  He says the one-penny tax would not be levied on groceries, prescription medicine or fuel.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

A joint House-Senate committee met today at the Missouri Capitol to discuss a proposed review of wages and benefits paid to state workers.

State Senator Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City) sits on the Joint Interim Committee on State Employee Wages.  He says they’d like to hire a company to review Missouri’s entire compensation package for state employees.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) is threatening to veto legislation passed Wednesday that would require Missouri residents to pay sales taxes on autos, boats and other vehicles purchased in other states.

Nixon called the measure a tax increase that flies in the face of a State Supreme Court ruling issued earlier this year that limited sales tax collections to purchases made in Missouri.  State Senator Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City) says, though, vetoing the bill would threaten jobs.

The head of the Missouri Department of Transportation says charging tolls on Interstate 70 is the only real option for funding reconstruction of the highway, if the state wants to do something about it right now.

MoDOT Director Kevin Keith told a gathering of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Thursday that converting I-70 to a toll road could have short-term benefits, namely, job creation.

(Via Flickr/KOMUnews, Manu Bhandari)

Updated 6:20 am Friday to correct layoff number.

Wednesday’s vote by state highway commissioners to downsize the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is meeting with criticism from the state’s leading agricultural lobby.

Missouri Farm Bureau officials say the 30-day notice given to the public about the plan was too short to allow for a full examination and for citizen comments.

A freshman State Senator wants Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) to call a special legislative session to approve a site permit for a second nuclear power plant.

Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City) carried the issue in the Senate this year.  He sent a letter to the governor requesting a special session.


Missouri Census Figures Show Increase in Retirement Age Population

The U.S. Census Bureau released the latest round of population figures last night. They show Missourian's median age is now 37.9. That's up nearly two years from the 36.1 median in 2000. Missouri's retirement-age population of people at least 65 years old grew by more than 10 percent since 2000. And residents 85 years and older grew by 15 percent - though they still account for less than 2 percent of the nearly 6 million people living in Missouri. At the same time, the number of school-aged children between 5 and 14 years old declined over the decade.

Ameren Missouri

Legislation that would allow Missouri utility customers to be billed for a site permit for a second nuclear reactor may be dead for the session.

The measure had recently been added to a separate bill dealing with utility deposits and the Office of Public Counsel.