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Missouri Legislature

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 29, 2008 - In some ways, this is a dream year for political junkies, with spirited, competitive presidential and gubernatorial races plus an array of talented politicians vying for the other statewide offices. In fact, for some candidates, this election cycle might be just too much of a good thing.

Clarion Ledger | Jackson, MS

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon June 2 2008: Now that this year's legislative sesson is over and the campaigns are in full swing for the primary, Missourians ought to look at what's needed and what's been done on several important issues. Among the most of important of these is education funding.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: With two weeks left, the Missouri legislature has entered the equivalent of the final two minutes of a basketball game. Not only is the ticking clock paramount in terms of strategy, but the outcome is still very much up for grabs.

Major pieces of legislation dealing with access to abortions, illegal immigration, voter ID requirements, campaign finance limits and various tax credit programs have yet to gain final approval.

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In a properly functioning democratic system, the legislature should make the key policy decisions, and executive officials should implement those decisions. There is no more important policy decision than determining what types of crimes merit capital punishment. In Missouri, the legislature has effectively delegated that decision to county prosecutors.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The politicians surely didn't intend it, but the recent debate over illegal immigration in the Missouri Legislature has provided an intriguing window into the innards of each party. A fair amount has been written about how the issue of illegal immigration exposes the fault lines in the contemporary Republican coalition, but in Missouri it’s the Democratic Party that shows greater strains.