Missouri Legislature

Jo Mannies|St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated, 1 p.m. Tues., May 12) Just days before the General Assembly must adjourn, all other legislative issues are being held hostage while the Missouri Senate debates the hottest issue of the session: an anti-union bill known as “right to work.”

The Senate took up the bill Tuesday morning, after a committee voted 5-3 late Monday to send the measure to the floor.  Opponents quickly launched into a filibuster.

Ray Howze / St. Louis Public Radio

Limits on monetary damages in medical malpractice lawsuits have been reinstated in Missouri.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 239 into law Thursday at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City. The state's Supreme Court overturned the previous limits three years ago. Since 2005 they had been at $350,000.

plastic bags
Donna Korando | St. Louis Public Radio

Cities would be unable to ban the use of plastic bags under a bill passed by the Missouri Legislature on Wednesday. The bill, House Bill 722, also bans local municipalities from enacting ordinances that would require businesses to provide employee benefits that "exceed the requirements of federal or state laws, rules or regulaions."

help wanted job listing jobs unemployment
neetalparekh | Flickr

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed his second bill of the session on Tuesday. 

This bill, House Bill 150, ties unemployment benefits to the state's jobless rate and would have cut the number of weeks someone could receive benefits to 13 weeks when the jobless rate dips below 6 percent.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Legislative session will end in two weeks and many issues remain unsolved. “St. Louis Public Radio” statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin is following the progress. He joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh Tuesday with updates.

Much of the session revolved around improving community policing.

Here is a list of legislative topics discussed during the interview:

A police officer is silhouetted against Ferguson's police department and municipal court building, during nighttime protests on November 26, 2014.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

A new bill in the Missouri House would restrict public access to police body camera footage.

In a vote Wednesday, the House gave initial approval to House Bill 762, sponsored by Rep. Galen Higdon, R-St. Joseph. The bill would exempt camera footage from the state’s open records law, also known as the Sunshine Law. That means people would have to get a court order to access the footage.

KellyB. | Flickr

The Missouri House sent a bill to Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk Tuesday that ties unemployment benefits to the state’s unemployment rate.

Missouri Rep. Mike Colona, D-St. Louis
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Beacon.

Mike Colona is getting his wish. Two months ago, the Democratic representative from St. Louis attended a Senate committee hearing on Senate Bill 237. The bill bars discrimination in Missouri based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

But after the hearing, Colona was upset because he hadn’t seen similar action from the House.

Ray Howze | St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

Salaries for Missouri state employees rank near the bottom of the nation. To change that, some state legislators on Thursday called for making a raise a priority in coming years.

Joined by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, and state Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said they want a five-year plan to raise those salaries. They did not outline a specific plan Thursday, but said they hoped to get the discussion started.

Since Missouri's state lawmakers are on spring break this week, "St. Louis on the Air" is checking in to see what they've accomplished so far, and what remains on the to-do list.

Four bills have been passed by both chambers and sent to the governor:

Ray Howze / St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Legislative Black Caucus is growing impatient with the House’s inaction on Ferguson-related bills.

In a news conference Wednesday, state Rep. Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City, and about 12 others accused Republican leaders, including Speaker of the House John Diehl, R-Town and Country, of stalling progress on bills addressing law enforcement practices. Many of these bills were introduced in reaction to the shooting death of Michael Brown by then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The 2015 Missouri legislative session is underway, and here are some of the highlights of the day.

Nixon gets first say on start of session

The day began with the annual Governor's Prayer Breakfast, after which he answered questions from reporters on a few topics, including whether Medicaid expansion was already a lost cause for 2015.  Nixon, of course, said it wasn't at all.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Legislature kicks off today, with an even stronger Republican majority, thanks to the results of the November election. The 34-member state Senate now has 25 Republicans and nine Democrats while the House of Representatives has 117 Republicans, 45 Democrats and one vacancy.

Leading the House is incoming Speaker John Diehl, R-Town and Country. The Senate's leader is Sen. Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

With more than 500 bills pre-filed so far, the Missouri General Assembly will be facing a variety of issues – from school transfers to ethics — when its 197 members return to Jefferson City this week.

But compared to recent legislative sessions, legislative leaders have so far sent few signals as to which bills will get serious consideration and which ones will simply serve as political wallpaper.

Ian Sane | Flickr

The Missouri General Assembly gets a second bite at the apple as it considers whether to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that would have transferred oversight authority of the deer-farming industry from the Department of Conservation to the Department of Agriculture. Despite a sustained scaremongering campaign by opponents of this bill, the legislation is worth passing.

Flickr | jimbowen0306)

The final days of the Missouri Legislative Session are underway, with debate centered around big topics like tax cuts, guns, abortion and voting. Follow the latest updates here from our political team and major players.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

With a little more than two weeks left in the current Missouri legislative session, the focus of the state legislature will be on two possible veto overrides, said St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies.

She and education reporter Dale Singer appeared on St. Louis on the Air today to give an update on key bills moving through the state legislature right now.

Flickr: NIAID

Missouri is on the verge of breaking new ground in asthma care by extending more services to needy children in rural parts of the state. 

The additional services would include specialists to inspect more homes to pinpoint asthma triggers. They would also supply educators to show families and health providers how to identify and reduce the triggers, and to help asthmatic children manage their condition.

(Flick/Mark Coggins)

Missouri’s business community is getting more vocal in pushing the state’s legislators to expand Medicaid.

The St. Louis Regional Chamber held a panel Friday with business leaders who expressed frustration that the state is not capturing federal dollars to provide Medicaid coverage to more low-income residents.

This year, the state will pass up $2 billion dollars in federal funds.

After the panel discussion, St. Louis Regional Chamber President and CEO Joe Reagan said that Jefferson City needs to get the message.

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.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

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."

(via Flickr / jimbowen0306)

The next session of the Missouri Legislature opens Wednesday, January 8, and with it an uptick in political activity in the state.

Terry Jones, Founders’ Professor of Political Science and Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis joined St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum in studio with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss what to expect during the 2014 session.

Among the issues to keep an eye on this session will be the school transfer issue, Medicaid expansion and transportation tax.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

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?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: While the Missouri Chamber of Commerce prepares its priorities for the coming 2014 legislative session that begins in January, it’s also making clear where the General Assembly’s 163 members of the House and 34 members of the state Senate stand when it comes to their votes this year.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

August 28 arrives on Wednesday, meaning dozens of new state laws will take effect in Missouri.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The 2013 Missouri legislative session is now in the books.

While legislators are no longer assembled in Jefferson City, the impacts of what did and did not get done will continue into the coming months.

The Republican controlled House and Senate put gun rights and taxes high on their agenda and perennial issues such as abortion and voter photo IDs came up.

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon has already vetoed some legislation and more vetoes are possible.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

This year’s Missouri legislative session is well underway.

Among the topics up for consideration in Jefferson City are right-to-work legislation and voter-ID requirements.

Host Don Marsh talked with St. Louis Public Radio statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin about those topics and others.

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

Jan 10, 2013
Alex Heuer

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.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri legislature convenes this Wednesday.

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.

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

Jan 3, 2013
Alex Heuer

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.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

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