In a voice vote Wednesday, the Senate backed a measure that would allow charter schools to be set up in districts that have been declared unaccredited. It would also allow charter schools in some districts that would have been provisionally accredited for three straight years, starting with next school year.
Currently, a teacher has to work in the same school district for five years to earn tenure. The bill sponsored by State Senator Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield) would expand that requirement to 10 years.
“As long as the teacher does not own their job, if you will, then they’re going to be really working to prove (themselves) and do a good job," Cunningham said. "It gives us five more years of encouraging and giving motivation to teachers to really produce.”
Budget hearings have begun in the Missouri Senate, and already there are notable differences with the House in where that chamber wants to make cuts.
While the House budget would give state workers earning less than $70,000 per year a two percent raise, the Senate version would limit those raises to workers making less than $45,000 per year. Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.
But the likelihood that the House will also override the Governor’s veto is virtually nonexistent, according to Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka). He says they just don’t have the votes, even within their own party.
“We would have to first convince our caucus," Jones said. "And even if we did, we’re still simply three votes short on a bill that no Democrat, I believe, has supported to this point…that’s a tough vote.”
The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation making it a crime to disturb a religious worship service.
The bill given initial approval Wednesday would make it a misdemeanor to intentionally disturb or interrupt a "house of worship" with profane language, rude behavior or noise. The crime would be punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine, with harsher punishment for repeat offenses.
One day after the Missouri House gave first-round approval to the state budget, a state Senator is threatening to derail the entire budget process.
Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) is objecting to the use of one-time sources of money to plug holes in the FY2013 budget. He singled out both Democratic Governor Jay Nixon and House GOP leaders for plans to divert $40 million from a federal mortgage settlement to the state’s Higher Education budget.
The bill would increase the number of security cameras at the State Capitol and allow the Governor’s Office of Administration to hire private, armed security guards if needed. It’s sponsored by Robin Wright-Jones (D, St. Louis). She filed the bill shortly after someone placed rifle target stickers outside her office and the offices of several other Democratic Senators and one House Republican lawmaker.
Good morning! Here are some of the starting headlines of the day so far:
Nixon to hold news conference Tuesday on proposed cut in state aid to the blind
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is taking his case to the public to try to reverse a proposed cut in state aid to the blind. The Democratic governor is holding a news conference Tuesday in Columbia with leaders from organizations for the blind to oppose a cut made by the Republican-led House budget committee.
Senate Democrats spent five hours Wednesday blocking the bill before sitting down. Today, there was no debate, only a 23 to 8 straight party-line vote. Brad Lager (R, Savannah) handled the bill in the Senate. He says he fully expects the governor, a Democrat, to veto the bill.