Missouri House of Representatives

A proposal seeking a constitutional convention to allow states to repeal federal laws has divided some conservatives in the Missouri House.

The resolution by Jefferson City Republican Jay Barnes urges Congress to call a convention to draft a constitutional amendment allowing states to repeal federal laws, if two-thirds vote to do so.

But debate stalled on the measure this past week without reaching a vote.

Jamilah Nasheed
Tim Bommel | Mo. House of Representatives

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would return control of the Metropolitan Police Department to the city of St. Louis.

The department has been under state control since the Civil War.

A state House member wants to amend the Missouri Constitution to let parents receive public funding to send children to religious schools.

The proposal by Jefferson City Republican Jay Barnes would repeal a prohibition on public money going to religious schools. If approved by the full House and Senate, it would go on a statewide ballot.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Two bills making their way through the Missouri House would target bullying in public schools across the state.

State Representative Sue Allen (R, Town and Country) is sponsoring one of them.  It would require all K-12 schools to issue a statement prohibiting bullying and to install procedures for reporting and investigating incidents of bullying.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed a bill that would place diseases contracted on the job under the state's workers' compensation system.

Currently, workers who've contracted illnesses such as Black Lung disease and Mesothelioma are ineligible to receive workers' comp benefits, but they can can sue their employers in circuit court.

Missouri House members have endorsed legislation designed to undo unexpected fallout from changes made six years ago to the state's workers' compensation system.

Lawmakers in 2005 approved changes to Missouri's workers' compensation system to establish tougher standards for an injured Missourian to qualify. Not all of the changes have gone as planned, and lawmakers this year are considering bills to tweak some of them.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

A resolution that would launch a new attempt to add a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution has passed a Missouri House committee.

The measure is sponsored by State Representative Dwight Scharnhorst (R, Valley Park).

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would expand the texting-while-driving ban to all motorists, not just those ages 21 or younger.

Although the bill passed, some senators opposed to the ban attached two amendments that have nothing to do with texting-while-driving, in an effort to kill the bill.  But both were vehicle-related, so supporters changed the bill's title to include various topics related to motor vehicles. 

Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Missouri lawmakers are considering two different options for enticing people to pay overdue taxes.

A tax amnesty proposal presented Thursday to a House committee by Republican Rep. Tom Flanigan, of Carthage, would waive all interest and penalties for delinquent taxpayers who pay up between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require drug testing for some welfare recipients.

The bill would require work-eligible recipients and applicants of the state's Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program to pass drug tests in order to receive assistance.

The recent move of Missouri House of Representatives members to vote in favor of continuing to allow smoking in their Capitol building offices has drawn some criticism - in the form of a formal complaint.

Rossie Judd of Fenton, Mo. has filed an Americans with Disabilities Act complaint against the policy, saying in her complaint that it denies her "meaningful access to the House of Representatives" as a result.

Flickr | jimbowen0306)

Though the recent trend in Missouri has been to go smoke free, the Missouri House voted today to continue to allow smoking in members' offices in the Capitol building.

  • Foreclosure activity in the St. Louis area hit an all-time high in 2010. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that according to figures released by the data firm RealtyTrac, one in every 57 houses in the 17-county St. Louis region received at least one foreclosure filing during the year. The filings are up nearly 12 percent from last year and slightly above the previous records in 2008. The Post-Dispatch reports that these figures come despite billions of federal dollars poured into mortgage modification programs in the past two years, and despite the relatively stable housing market in St. Louis.
  • Missouri House members are preparing to start work on a new congressional map that will have only eight districts, down from the current nine. U.S. House districts are redrawn every 10 years to reflect changes in population based on the census. The U.S. Census Bureau announced last month that Missouri will lose one seat in the U.S House. The eight districts are the fewest for Missouri since the census of 1850. The state Legislature is responsible for drawing the new congressional districts and will approve them just like any other legislation. A special House committee on redistricting scheduled an organizational meeting Thursday morning, with no plans to take public testimony.
  • Missouri farmers took in a smaller harvest last year of some of the state's leading crops, Missouri Agricultural Statistics reports that corn production totaled 369 million bushels in 2010, down 17 percent from the previous year. Soybean production totaled 210 million bushels, down 9 percent from the 2009 crop. Hay production fell 7 percent compared with the previous year. And grain sorghum production reached its lowest level since 1955. But harvests did rise last year for cotton and rice farmers. Rice production, in fact, broke the previous state record set in 2005.

(via Flickr/mhowry)
  • Democratic Illinois lawmakers have approved a 67% income-tax increase in a desperate bid to end the state's crippling budget crisis. Legislative leaders rushed early Wednesday morning to pass the politically risky plan before  new General Assembly was sworn in at noon. The increase now goes to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. He supports the plan to temporarily raise the personal tax rate to 5% from the current 3% rate. Corporate taxes also would climb.

A special Missouri Senate committee is recommending that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education be merged with the Department of Higher Education.

The proposal was one of several announced today that Senate leaders say will improve education in Missouri. Republican David Pearce of Warrensburg says combining the two will have benefits beyond cost savings.

(Flickr Creative Commons User meddygarnet)

The bill is sponsored by GOP House Member David Sater, who owned and operated a pharmacy in Barry County for 30 years.  He says it would not bar pharmacies from selling the so-called "morning after" pill, but would guarantee their right NOT to if the owners so choose.

(Flickr Creative Commons User MoNewsHorizon, credit for photo: Tim Bommel of Missouri House Communications)

Three Democratic members of the Missouri House will chair committees next year, despite the increase in power by the Republican Party in that chamber.
Incoming House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) told reporters at a press conference today that he picked the best qualified lawmakers to head the committees, regardless of party.

File photo

The incoming Speaker of the Missouri House is hinting of a battle with Governor Jay Nixon over tax credits.
A committee appointed by the Democratic governor has recommended eliminating nearly half of the state's tax credit programs. House Speaker-elect Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) says he has doubts about the accuracy of the tax credit committee report.
"My preliminary evaluation of it is (that) they've used false data and incorrect conclusions to come up with the recommendations," Tilley told reporters at a press conference today.

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