During final debates, State Representative Jeanette Mott Oxford (D, St. Louis) argued that limiting spending to the yearly inflation rate and population growth could make it very hard for lawmakers to address critical needs in the future.
The measure would limit state spending each year to the annual rate of inflation and would take population growth into account. The sponsor, State Representative Eric Burlison (R, Springfield), told fellow lawmakers that they should follow the example of everyday citizens who have to balance their household budgets. Democrats,however, including Leonard Hughes of Kansas City, argued that the proposed ballot measure would be redundant.
Updated at 6:42 p.m. with comments from Mo. Sen. Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield).
New redistricting plans and maps for the Missouri General Assembly have been filed with the Missouri Secretary of State's office.
Redistricting occurs every 10 years, and is based on results from the census. Missouri's most recent census data, with shifts and increases in population, required significant changes to be made.
“We have worked collaboratively to draw maps that comply with the constitution, the Voting Rights Act, and other legal requirements,” Lisa White Hardwick, chair of the Missouri Appellate Apportionment Commission, said in a release.
The St. Louis area has lost a State Senate district. The 7th District is represented by Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield) and mainly consists of western St. Louis County. Starting in 2013, it will consist of six counties to the north and west of the metro area and a small portion of St. Charles County. Cunningham says she’ll now run for the 27th District Senate seat, which will include parts of St. Louis and Jefferson Counties.
“I had expected much of this area to be mine anyway, I’ve already been working in many of what would be new areas, and so they know me," Cunningham said. "Our home is in another area, but this is my stomping grounds.”
Cunningham will have to move to a new home in order to live in the new 27th District, which she calls a minor inconvenience. The new State Senate boundaries also have Cunningham’s current home in the same district as fellow Republican Senator John Lamping.
Here are the newly submitted maps for the St. Louis region (click within each to expand and explore):
A Missouri House committee has wrapped up a series of hearings on improving 911 communications systems used by emergency responders. Supporters of proposed upgrades admit, though, that they have a hard case to sell to both politicians and the public.
Lawmakers and local-level officials at today's meeting stressed the need to use 911 systems that can integrate text messaging and even video communications. “Doc” Kritzer is a county commissioner from Callaway County.
Missouri House members are trying to eject from their earlier support for a jet built in Texas.
House members this month approved a resolution urging Congress to fund the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which is built by Lockheed Martin Corp. in Texas. Some now fear the jet could compete for funding with the F/A-18, which is built by Boeing Corp. in St. Louis.
Boeing is among Missouri's biggest employers with about 15,000 workers in the state and 5,000 connected to the F/A-18.
Missouri House leaders will now attempt to get rid of the state’s presidential primary and replace it with party caucuses. A similar move fell short in the Missouri Senate.
Some Senate Republicans tried and failed Monday night to swap out the bill to move the primary from February to March with one that would have replaced it with caucuses. Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard) has filed a new bill in the House that would do the same thing.
A Missouri House committee has advanced legislation offering new incentives for some businesses and international exporters.
The vote Wednesday by the House Economic Development Committee could pave the way for the full chamber to debate the bill Thursday.
The plan creates incentives for computer data centers, amateur sports events and air cargo exports at the St. Louis airport. It also scales back some existing tax credits, but not as much as proposed under a version passed last month by the Senate.
Missouri House leaders have confirmed they’re returning to Jefferson City next week to resume the special legislative session -- but their return doesn’t mean that there’s been any breakthrough on an economic development deal.
The special session ground to a halt last week because House and Senate leaders could not agree on whether to place expiration dates, or sunsets, on historic preservation and low-income housing tax credits, or on how much oversight Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) Economic Development department should have over some incentives.
Lawmakers have left Jefferson City and are not scheduled to return, even though the special session is still officially underway. House and Senate leaders are still at odds over a wide-ranging tax credit bill.
The only legislative action so far this week was Monday’s technical session in the Missouri Senate, in which two Senators gaveled the chamber in, took no action, then gaveled out about a minute later. The House is scheduled to hold a similarly brief session on Thursday.