The Missouri General Assembly's 2014 session is underway, and the first day sounded a lot like last year's session.
In his opening remarks, House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, laid out his agenda for this year's regular session: medical malpractice reform, making Missouri a right-to-work state, and cutting taxes.
"Missourians need and want lower taxes," Jones said. "Missourians also want us to engage in significant reforms of our tax credit system, (and) end our governor's practice of picking winners and losers via a centralized planning authority."
As the Missouri General Assembly prepares to open on Wednesday for its five-month session, those involved – in and out of the state Capitol – say the big unknown about this year’s proceedings centers on one major question:
Will the session be about the past – the continued debates over Medicaid expansion and tax cuts? Or will it be controlled by new matters – notably, the unrest over student transfers from failed districts and the looming 2014 elections?
The Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City, Mo. Legislative action here on Thursday by Sen. Jason Crowell would refer the "right-to-work" issue to voters next year. (St. Louis Public Radio/Marshall Griffin)
St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.
On today's episode: Ed Martin becomes the Missouri GOP's new chairman. How did it happen? Also, an update on the jockeying for Missouri's 8th Congressional seat. And then we close it out with a look toward the Missouri legislature.
The hallmark issue may be Medicaid expansion. Topics of tax credits and arming classroom teachers are also expected to come up for debate.
Host Don Marsh talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Beacon political reporter Jo Mannies, and University of Missouri – St. Louis political science professor Terry Jones about the upcoming session.
We're back! It's the first Politically Speaking podcast of the new year.
St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon's Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to discuss what's ahead in the rapidly approaching legislative session, who will be the Missouri GOP's next chairman and some personnel changes in the St. Louis mayoral race.
So-called "Late-Term" Abortion Ban Goes to Governor Nixon
The bill passed Thursday by the Missouri House would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless two doctors verify that a fetus is not viable, or that it constitutes a medical threat to the mother. The bill's supporters call abortions performed on viable fetuses barbaric.
Democrat Tishaura Jones of St. Louis opposed the bill, saying she's pro-life for herself but pro-choice for everyone else: