House Democrats are backing legislation they say would toughen Missouri’s ethics standards.
The bill would restore many provisions recently struck down by the State Supreme Court: They include banning committee-to-committee money transfers and giving the Missouri Ethics Commission the authority to launch its own investigations. The High Court struck them down because they were tacked onto another bill that had nothing to do with ethics. State Rep. Tishaura Jones (D, St. Louis) says she’s filing a new bill because GOP leaders have so far done nothing following the Supreme Court ruling.
Missouri House Democrats are proposing new criteria and a requirement for bipartisan approval before people are inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians - a reaction to criticism of the selection of Rush Limbaugh for the honor.
Supporters say a bill that would allow convicted drug felons to be eligible for foods stamps is gaining momentum among Missouri lawmakers. The bill would repeal the state's lifetime ban on food stamps for drug felons.
Three Republicans and one Democrat in the House are sponsoring the bill, according to The Kansas City Star. The sponsors say it isn't fair that child molesters and murderers are eligible for food stamps, but people with felony drug convictions aren't.
Mo. House member proposes restriction on vasectomies
A Missouri House member frustrated with recent legislative debates over birth control and reproductive health is proposing to restrict vasectomies.
Legislation sponsored by Democrat Stacey Newman would only allow vasectomies when they are necessary to protect a man from serious injury or death. The vasectomies would have to be performed in a hospital, ambulatory surgery center or health facility licensed by the state Department of Health and Senior Services.
State education officials could step in quicker to assist failing Missouri school districts under legislation backed in the House.
Districts that lose state accreditation currently are given two years to improve before the state officials can intervene. The new legislation removes the waiting period.
When the state Board of Education revokes a district's accreditation, it then would decide whether to set conditions for the local school board to remain in place or determine when an alternative governing system for those schools would take effect.
Missouri House members have voted to reject a tax plan that would increase property taxes for the best farms.
Property taxes for farms are based on the land's "productive value." Farms are divided into eight groups based on land quality, with the best in Grade 1 and the worst in Grade 8. The Missouri Tax Commission has recommended increasing productive values for the four highest grades.
The property tax changes for 2013 and 2014 take effect unless the Legislature approves a resolution to reject them. House members voted 117-39 on Tuesday to reject the tax proposal.
The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require driver’s license exams be given only in English.
Currently, the state of Missouri provides the written driver’s exam in English and eleven other languages. House Member Mark Parkinson (R, St. Charles) says his bill follows the spirit of the state constitution’s mandate that public proceedings be conducted in English.
Legislation that would move the candidate filing period for the August primary back by one month is now moving through the Missouri House.
On Monday it passed the House Elections Committee and it next goes to the Rules Committee. However, House Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka) seems to favor an alternate approach: Having a two-week filing period that would begin sometime in mid-March and end on March 27th as currently scheduled.