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Missouri Legislature

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Efforts to get Missouri to comply with the 2005 federal REAL ID law will resume once state lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday for the final seven weeks of the session.

Identical bills in the House and Senate, HB 151 and SB 37/224, would allow the state to issue  driver’s licenses that comply with REAL ID standards while continuing to issue ones that don’t. Backers say allowing both types will respect the privacy rights of a Missouri driver who doesn’t want to share any particular personal data with the federal government as a result of having a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license.

The Missouri Capitol building.
St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s "Behind the Headlines" on St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh checked in with St. Louis Public Radio Statehouse Reporter Marshall Griffin, who reports out of Jefferson City. 

Griffin gave us an update on the Missouri Legislature and filled us in Senate Bill 98, the so-called “bathroom bill.” Both Missouri House and Senate are about to start their spring breaks, before reconvening 

A group of transgender students protest against Senate Bill 98 on Wed., March 15, 2017, in front of a men's room on the third floor of the Missouri Capitol.
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

A small group of transgender students, along with their supporters, gathered at the Missouri Capitol on Wednesday to lobby against the so-called “bathroom bill” that’s currently awaiting a vote from a Senate committee.

Senate Bill 98 would require K-12 public school students to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their sex at birth. It would also require school districts to provide alternate facilities for students who want to use ones that correspond to the gender they identify with.

LGBT rights activists at a St. Louis march on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated, 2:15 p.m. Feb. 27 — Three people were arrested toward the end of  Saturday’s LGBTQ rally in downtown St. Louis, according to the city police department and event organizer Keith Rose.

Two of them, 21-year-old Edward Pingleton and 19-year-old Aideen O'Brien, face misdemeanor charges. O'Brien is accused of jumping on the back of an officer who was trying to arrest another protester, and Pingleton allegedly attempted to punch an officer. Neither had attorneys listed in court records. They're next due in court April 5th.

A third person was arrested, issued city summonses for "Interfering with a Police Officer" and "Resisting Arrest" and released.

Video allegedly showing the arrests were posted on a couple of social media sites. They show the crowd walking toward and chanting at officers on bicycles. At least one person ends up on the ground and is restrained by officers as people in the crowd pull on her. The crowd soon begins chanting “Who do you serve, who do you protect.” The video that had been on Facebook was no longer posted Sunday morning.

Planned Parenthood supporters march silently past the organization's Central West End clinic as anti-abortion activists pray the Rosary Feb. 11, 2017.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Charles County lawmaker seeks to reverse a new ordinance in neighboring St. Louis that bars employers and landlords from discriminating against women who are pregnant, use contraception or have had an abortion. 

House Bill 989 was filed late Tuesday by Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters. He said in a written statement that it's a direct response to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay signing of the so-called "sanctuary city" measure into law, which took effect last week.

The Missouri Capitol Building at dusk
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Thursday was a busy day for the Missouri House, which passed four bills, including another piece of the GOP’s labor-union reform agenda.

The House also sent along to the Senate two law enforcement-related bills and a measure that would deregulate the cosmetology industry.

KT Klng | Flickr

Of the hundreds of education bills Missouri lawmakers have filed this session, charter school expansion has the best chance of passing.

Not only is Republican Gov. Eric Greitens an enthusiastic backer of school choice, but charter school advocates say the desire for alternatives to traditional public schools is broadening.

Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House is considering a bill that would make it harder to prove discrimination when someone is fired from work.

Under the measure, an employee would have to prove his or her race or gender was the main factor for dismissal. That’s a shift from the current law, which says an employee only has to prove race or gender contributed to his or her dismissal.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis-area Democrat is taking another crack at rolling back taxes on feminine hygiene products.

Rep. Gina Mitten sponsored a similar bill last session, but it wasn’t given a public hearing.

House Bill 41 would reduce the state sales and use tax for feminine products like tampons and sanitary pads to that of the retail tax rate of food. 

Brad Kafka is vice chair of Polsinelli’s national Labor and Employment practice group and leads the firm’s St. Louis Labor and Employment practice group.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Earlier this week, Gov. Eric Greitens signed right-to-work legislation into law in Missouri. He signed Senate Bill 19, which bars unions and employers from requiring workers to pay dues, and goes into effect on Aug. 28.

Republicans in the Missouri House are moving on to other labor union regulations a week after the right-to-work legislation passed.

Under the measure that was approved 95-60 on Thursday and sent to the Senate, state employees would have to agree to have their union dues withheld from paychecks. The bill also would prevent those dues from being spent on political endorsements and other things without an employee’s consent.

The Moms Demand Action group poses for a photo on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at the Missouri Capitol.
Krissy Lane | St. Louis Public Radio

More than 200 volunteers from the national Moms Demand Action organization protested two new gun-concealment legislation at the state Capitol on Wednesday.

The measures would allow students and teachers in K-12 public schools and university campuses to carry concealed handguns. 

Becky Morgan, the head of the Missouri chapter, said they have support from university presidents, law enforcement leaders and leaders of college campuses.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Jan. 26 with Senate approval of right-to-work bill - The Missouri Senate has approved a bill to make Missouri a "right-to-work state,'' but a fight could still loom with the House over what union contracts would be affected.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

On Wednesday, January 4, the Missouri Legislature will open for its 2017 session. What will the year in legislation look like?

On Tuesday, St. Louis on the Air has assembled a panel to answer that question and give us a look at the year to come including St. Louis Public Radio reporters Marshall Griffin and Jo Mannies as well as Terry Jones, Founders Professor of Political Science and Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The Missouri Capitol building.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 10/28 – Public accusations of sexual assault made by one Missouri House nominee against another are now the subject of a lawsuit.

Steve Roberts Jr., who won the Democratic primary for the House's 77th District seat, filed suit Thursday against Cora Faith Walker, who won the House 74th District Democratic primary.  Walker has accused Roberts of drugging and sexually assaulting her during a visit to his apartment in August to discuss political matters.

Missouri State Capitol. Missouri legislature. http://bit.ly/2cytTFT
Jim Bowen | Flickr

The Missouri Legislature’s veto session will take place this Wednesday, Sept. 14. For the bills that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed during the 2016 legislative session, both House and Senate will need a two-thirds vote to override the veto.

Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

It was a busy day for Gov. Jay Nixon, as his final year in office heads toward the halfway point.

He told reporters Tuesday that he signed seven more bills into law while vetoing eight others. Several of those approved and shot down are composed of tax breaks.

He specifically singled out three bills for criticism Tuesday: SB 641, HB 2030, and SB 1025.

Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation requiring high school students in Missouri to receive basic CPR training before graduating.

Senate Bill 711 doesn't require students to become CPR certified, but it does require them to attend a 30-minute presentation on how to perform hands-only CPR, along with the Heimlich maneuver "or other first aid for choking."

Gov. Jay Nixon's criticism of the legislature was relatively low key. 5.15.15
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

Gov. Jay Nixon on Monday signed several bills into law, including one designed to prevent identity theft.

Senate Bill 624 makes it a class A misdemeanor to possess stolen credit card information or devises, even if the info or devise has not been used after being stolen.

Dan Mehan of the Missouri Chamber testifies against the proposed constitutional amendment, saying it would have a negative economic impact on Missouri.
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

Legislation designed to expand the number of employee-owned businesses in Missouri is awaiting Gov. Jay Nixon's signature.

House Bill 2030 would give business owners a 50 percent tax deduction if their companies are at least 30 percent employee owned. It was sponsored by House Speaker Pro-tem Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The 2016 Missouri legislative session is officially closed. What happened? What didn’t happen? What might change during the September veto session? On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed it all.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Barring another sex scandal, the Missouri General Assembly could be facing a low-key final week.

The thinner-than-usual final schedule reflects, in part, legislators' success this year — and last — in passing the state's bloc of budget bills early. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was required to approve or veto by last Friday the state's planned spending for the fiscal year that begins July 1. He only used his line-item veto on two items on Friday; lawmakers overrode last week his earlier veto of their new school-funding formula.

Jason Rosenbaum|St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would grant so-called "personhood" status to unborn fetuses at every stage of development.

House Joint Resolution 98, if added to the state constitution, would extend the rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" to the unborn.  It's sponsored by representative Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove.

The Missouri Capitol Building at dusk
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Several high priority bills moved forward as lawmakers work to push their agendas over the last remaining hurdles before Friday the 13th arrives — which this year happens to be the final day of the 2016 legislative session.

Here's a quick rundown of what got accomplished Tuesday.

Rep. Mike Colona, D-St. Louis, speaks against SJR 39 during Wednesday's House Emerging Issues committee meeting.
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and contributed to them.

This week, we discussed the defeat of SJR 39, the “religious shield” proposal, in Missouri and explored the experiences of local transgender people.

Joining the program:

The windows and the glass on the door of the Planned Parenthood clinic on South Grand Boulevard in St. Louis were shattered by a vandal on Saturday.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

When the Missouri state legislature returns from its recess, the Senate will consider a budget that includes language pulling all state funding to Planned Parenthood affiliates.

“The taxpayers in the state have made it very clear; they do not want their tax dollars going to support abortion services. That’s the purpose of the language,” said Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville, as she defended the measure before it passed the House earlier this month.

Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

Peace and quiet have descended on the Missouri Capitol as lawmakers are on spring break.

House Republicans are touting quick action on such things as ethics reform, a stricter abortion requirement for parental notification, and getting the state budget through the chamber. But Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, laments the Medicaid spending hike they passed for the current fiscal year.

Protesters carrying a banner that reads demand constitutional policing work to interrupt a meeting of the Ferguson City Council on February 23, 2016.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and influenced them.

Joining the show:

  • Jo Mannies, St. Louis Public Radio reporter
  • Rachel Lippman, St. Louis Public Radio reporter

What we talked about:

police car lights
Jason Rojas | Flickr

A Kansas City-area Republican is sponsoring a bill that would set limits on when police camera footage is public record in Missouri.

The bill would block access to body camera recordings shot in homes, hospitals and schools unless the investigation is closed and someone in the video requests it.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Some Missouri lawmakers may want to quote the line from Top Gun: "I feel the need ... the need for speed."

It's a mere 2 1/2 weeks into the 2016 legislative session, and already the Missouri House has sent bills on ethics and voter photo ID over to the Senate. The Senate, in turn, has sent a bill to the House that would put new rules in place for expert witness testimony.

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