Missouri Legislature

St. Louis Public Radio

With the 2014 Missouri legislative session nearing the halfway point, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh spoke with St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jo Mannies and Marshall Griffin to get the latest on the issues and bills being debated by state lawmakers.

Among the topics discussed were the state budget, the student transfer bill, the photo voter ID bills, and the impact of who is and who is not running for re-election.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon spent his first term compromising with and sometimes challenging the Republican-led Legislature. But now Nixon faces supermajorities in both the House and Senate with enough Republicans to override his vetoes.

 Republicans will control 24 of the 34 Senate seats for the 2013 legislative session. House Republicans will have 110 of 163 districts. House Speaker Tim Jones says he hopes the new dynamic will prompt earlier discussion and negotiation between legislative leaders and Nixon.

Tax credits are a hot topic in the Missouri Legislature. Fans of these instruments assert that tax credits are necessary for Missouri to compete with other states and to signal that we are “open for business.” Such devotion to helping the state grow is admirable. Fans, however, are not experts and a careful review of the evidence and some basic economics helps us understand why these herculean efforts are misguided. When asked whether Missouri can stay open for business while avoiding the pitfalls of the tax credit, the answer is unambiguously yes.