Missouri House of Representatives

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri lawmakers have quit working this week without agreeing on the details of a bill overhauling
Missouri's tax credits and business incentives that had been touted as the marquee issue of a special session that began Sept. 6. There seems to be little chance of resolving the stalemate, but the two chambers did agree to keep
the special session going in case a compromise can be reached later.

Our earlier story:

St. Louis Public Radio

At least one bill has made it out of the special legislative session.

Today the Missouri House overwhelmingly passed the so-called “Facebook Fix,” which would remove confusing language from a new law regarding teacher-student messaging via social media.  That law was placed on hold last month by a Cole County judge, who ruled that barring teachers from websites that allow private messaging with students would have a, quote, “chilling effect” on free speech rights.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Here's an update to a story we told you about this morning:

A state commission charged with drawing new Missouri House districts cannot agree on a new map and is wrapping up its work.

The 18-member commission on Friday voted to conclude its business and authorized its chairman and vice chairwoman to sign the paperwork needed to discharge the commission. That will mean responsibility for drawing new House districts will fall to a panel of appeals court judges.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A newly created House committee will examine whether a special legislative session is needed to assist in the recovery from a deadly tornado in Joplin and flooding in southeastern Missouri.

The House Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery was to make its recommendation by the end of July. The committee also was tasked with examining long-term recovery strategies and ways for Missouri to be better prepared for future natural disasters.

A report with those findings was to be submitted by the end of the year.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Now that the dust has settled on a rather contentious 2011 legislative session, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is denying reports that he’s about to call a special session to deal with unresolved issues. 

The two most glaring are the Aerotropolis proposal and a major overhaul of the state’s tax credit system, and those bills were just a few examples of the contentious issues that lawmakers had to wrestle with this year.

Legislation lowering the minimum age for getting concealed gun permits in Missouri heads to the governor's desk.

Lawmakers gave final approval Friday to the bill reducing the minimum age to 21 from the current 23.

Missouri enacted its concealed-carry law in 2003 after legislators overrode a veto by then-Gov. Bob Holden.

The National Rifle Association says no other state with a concealed-carry law sets the minimum age at 23.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

A key lawmaker involved in negotiating an overhaul of Missouri's tax incentives says its prospects for passage appear "dismal" on the final day of the legislative session.

Republican House member John Diehl, of Town and Country, has been at the center of compromise attempts involving a bill that would curtail some of Missouri's existing tax credits. The bill also creates new credits intended to attract international trade, amateur sporting events and science and technology companies to
Missouri.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has given final passage to legislation that would require some Missourians on public assistance to undergo drug testing.

Under the bill, work-eligible recipients of the state’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program would lose that assistance for three years if they test positive for drug use or refuse to take a drug test.

(via Flickr/jennlynndesign)

The last week of the 2011 Missouri legislative session has arrived.  Some major issues have already been resolved.  Lawmakers have passed the state budget, forced changes to dog breeding regulations in Proposition B and overridden the governor’s veto of the state’s congressional redistricting map - but there are still plenty of issues waiting for action.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has voted to override Governor Jay Nixon's (D) veto on a proposal to redraw the state's congressional districts.

The House overrode the veto today by a vote of 109-44.

Overriding the veto required a two-thirds majority.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

A proposed constitutional amendment that would require Missouri voters to show photo identification at the polls has passed the Missouri House.

The resolution’s sponsor, State Representative Stanley Cox (R, Sedalia), argued that a photo ID is a better method of identification that a utility bill, which is allowed under current law.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 6:38 p.m.:

Missouri lawmakers have sent Gov. Jay Nixon a new version of a bill rewriting a voter-approved law on dog-breeding.

Wednesday's quick action by the state House and Senate came after Nixon began the day by signing a previously passed bill repealing key sections of the "Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act" approved by voters last November.

(via Flickr/MrJasonWeaver)

The Missouri House has passed a bill that includes language banning texting while driving for motorists of all ages.

Current law only bans texting while driving for those age 21 and younger.

(via Flickr/seannaber)

A Missouri House member wants to ask voters to raise the state cigarette tax by 81 cents a pack.

Democrat Chris Kelly, of Columbia, outlined his plan Thursday to a House committee. He's proposing a future statewide vote on whether to raise Missouri's current 17-cent tax - the lowest in the nation - to 98 cents per pack.

Kelly says the increase could generate $425 million in state revenue, discourage people from smoking and bring down state health care costs.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

For the second time this week, the Missouri House has taken a day off from floor action.

And once again, it’s tied to the struggle between the House and Senate over congressional redistricting.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A proposed constitutional amendment that would shrink the size of the Missouri House from 163 members to 103 has passed the Missouri Senate.

If it passes both chambers, the measure would go before voters next year.

State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) says the downsizing would not happen right away.

Mo. Senate

The Missouri House has rejected the changes made to its redistricting map by the Senate, which on Wednesday took its own map and substituted it in the House bill before passing it.

The main sticking point appears to be how much of Jefferson County will fall into the rural southeastern Missouri congressional district.

(via Flickr/dbking)

The Missouri House has passed the Aerotropolis bill, which is designed to turn Lambert Airport in St. Louis into a global air freight hub.

The bill would provide around $480 million in tax incentives, which companies could use to build cargo facilities near Lambert Airport.

Mo. House of Representatives

The congressional redistricting map passed by the Missouri House last week has narrowly passed a State Senate committee.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A Missouri House committee has rejected a proposal to downsize its own chamber.

The proposed constitutional amendment would have reduced the state House from 163 members to 103 members starting in 2015. A House committee voted Thursday to reject the plan.

Critics have expressed concerns that the smaller number of lawmakers would mean the public would not be as effectively represented.

Supporters say that reducing the number of lawmakers would help state government save money.

(via Flickr/dbking)

The so-called Aerotropolis bill has received first-round approval in the Missouri House.   If passed, it would provide up to $480 million in tax credits to encourage global air trade via St. Louis, including incentive for companies to build storage facilities near Lambert International Airport.  It’s sponsored by GOP House Member Caleb Jones of Moniteau County.

Mo. House of Representatives

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a Republican-proposed map that would redraw the state’s congressional districts, reducing them from nine to eight.

It eliminates the St. Louis-area district currently held by Democrat Russ Carnahan.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri’s state budget for next year has been passed by the State House

The $23 billion spending plan for Fiscal Year 2012 holds current K-12 funding levels in place while cutting funds for higher education by seven percent.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has started debating the $23 billion state budget for next year.

The tone of the debate continues to be mild, with Democrats holding the view that there’s not much money to fight over.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed legislation to ban so-called “late term” abortions in the Show-Me State.

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless two doctors verify that a fetus is either not viable or is a medical threat to the mother.

(via Flickr/kcdsTM)

Missouri House members have approved legislation expanding the state's concealed gun laws.

The measure would lower Missouri's minimum age for getting a permit to carry a concealed gun from 23 to 21 years old. It also would allow legislative staff members and statewide elected officials who have permits to carry concealed guns in the Capitol.

Lawmakers who have permits already can bring a concealed weapon to their meetings.

The legislation was approved 117-38 on Thursday. It now goes to the Senate.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The House Budget Committee has quickly wrapped up work on Missouri’s state budget for Fiscal Year 2012.

The process of voting 13 budget bills out of committee is often raucous and can take several days to do.  This year, it only took an hour, with each budget bill passing overwhelmingly.

(via Flickr/Robert S. Donovan)

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require driver’s license tests to be given in English only.

Supporters say doing so would help immigrants assimilate easier into American culture and promote safety, since road signs in Missouri are in English.

(Office of Chris Kelly)

The amount Missouri hospitals charge the state for examinations to collect evidence from sexual assault victims varies widely between hospitals.

Lawmakers say the state should set a cap on the rates it pays.

Data from the Department of Public Safety shows the state paid $35.40 for a lab test at a Kansas City hospital and more than $1,500 for an examination at a Harrisonville hospital. The state paid an average of about $784 per examination last year.

(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis area medical professionals are throwing their support behind a bill making its way through the Missouri legislature. The bill would help protect high school athletes from concussions.

Among other measures, the High School Sports Brain Injury Prevention Act would require student athletes to be cleared by a doctor before returning to play or practice.

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