Missouri Senate

(Missouri Senate)

Nearly a week after failing to agree on a congressional redistricting map, House and Senate negotiators unveiled a compromise which both chambers passed Wednesday night.

The “grand compromise map” resolves sticking points over how to divvy up Jefferson County among three congressional districts and St. Charles County among two.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Legislation overhauling Missouri's domestic violence laws for the first time since the 1970s has won unanimous approval in the state Senate.

Thursday's vote was 33-0. The bill now goes to the House.

Among other things, the wide-ranging measure would require that state prosecutors rather than local authorities handle cases involving repeat domestic violence offenders.

It would also exempt victims from paying filing fees when they ask a court to enforce a protection order.

The Missouri Senate has passed the state budget for next year.

The Senate’s $23.2 billion spending plan cuts the state’s higher education budget by 4.8 percent, and provides an additional $20 million for school bus funding.  Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) sponsored the budget bills in the Senate.

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

The Missouri Senate has passed a funding plan for public schools as it begins debate on a $23 billion proposed budget.

  • A Senate budget bill approved Wednesday would provide schools $3 billion in basic aid next year - the same amount as this year but an estimated $179 million less than called for under the school funding formula.

Legislators and Gov. Jay Nixon say the state cannot afford to pay schools the full amount they are due.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation restoring federally funded jobless benefits to thousands of Missourians, but cutting aid to people laid off in the future.

Nixon's signature Wednesday means retroactive payments will go out later this week or early next week to about 10,000 people whose eligibility for unemployment benefits ended April 2. It also means that people who lose their jobs on Sunday or later will be eligible for just 20 weeks of state-funded benefits instead of 26.

(via Flickr/CarbonNYC)

The Missouri Senate has passed legislation extending several health care taxes that help generate about $3 billion annually for state's Medicaid program.

The special taxes are levied on such things hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies. They are used to draw down federal Medicaid money, which is then distributed to health care providers through various programs.

Missouri's health care taxes are to expire Sept. 30.

Mo. House of Representatives

The congressional redistricting map passed by the Missouri House last week is now in the hands of the State Senate.

And the consensus so far is that both Democrats and Republicans don’t like it.

(via Flickr/xavi talleda)

Thousands of low-income parents would see their state child-care subsidies reduced under a budget plan passed by a Missouri Senate committee.

The plan approved Tuesday would reduce monthly child-care subsidies for about 6,600 children while extending benefits to an estimated 570 children whose parents currently earn too much to qualify.

Mo. House of Representatives

Another filibuster in the Missouri Senate may be brewing, this time over redistricting.   

Majority Floor Leader Tom Dempsey (R, St. Charles) says he expects fellow GOP Senator Bill Stouffer (R, Napton) to try and block the redistricting map passed this week by the House, and possibly the Senate version as well.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Four Missouri State Senators have ended their filibuster of legislation to draw down $105 million in extended federal unemployment benefits.

On Wednesday, the four senators, led by Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), had offered to end their filibuster if Governor Jay Nixon (D) would reject $300 million in federal stimulus funds.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri Senate has passed legislation imposing more restrictions on late-term abortions.

The legislation would remove a general exception for a woman's health from a current state law banning abortions of viable fetuses. Instead, the legislation would allow such abortions only when the woman's life is endangered or when pregnancy risks permanent damage to a major bodily function.

Mo. Senate

A Missouri Senate committee today released and voted to approve its proposal to redraw the state’s congressional districts.   

The Senate map is similar to the House map, as both split up the district represented by Democrat Russ Carnahan among four other districts, three of which are currently represented by Republicans.

(via Flickr/ FiredUpMissouri)

Extended unemployment benefits will end this Saturday for thousands of Missourians after the state Senate failed to reauthorize participation in a federal program.

St. Louis County senator Jim Lembke led the effort to block the 20-week extension of federal unemployment benefits, filibustering the legislation along with three other Republican senators.

Lembke said he did so in order to send a message to Washington that the federal government needs to rein in its spending.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A Missouri Senate committee heard testimony today on the St. Louis police local control bill that easily passed the Missouri House last month

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay told the committee on governmental organization that an overwhelming majority of voters support local control, and that under state control, city residents have no input into how the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is run.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Senate has passed legislation that would prevent employees from suing co-workers for on-the-job injuries.

The measure also states that some occupational diseases, including those caused by asbestos exposure, would be covered by the state's workers' compensation system.

  • The St. Louis Blues are for sale. Team chairman Dave Checketts said Wednesday night that his group, Sports Capital Partners Worldwide, and Towerbrook Capital Partners have placed the NHL franchise and the Scottrade Center on the market. The two groups own roughly 90 percent of the franchise. Checketts, who placed at least a pair of deadlines on the table regarding purchasing majority ownership, cited a difference in terms with TowerBrook on the value of the franchise.
Mo. Senate

A group of fiscally conservative Missouri senators is continuing to block legislation to draw down $81 million in federal unemployment benefits, even though Senate Republican leaders support the bill.

State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) has been leading the filibuster for weeks.  He says rejecting the money would send a message to Washington that it needs to reign in spending.

(via Flickr/jimbowen0306)

The Missouri Senate has approved legislation changing the rules for lawsuits by people claiming they were fired because of discrimination.

Missouri law now requires such workers to prove that discrimination was a "contributing" factor in a firing.

The Senate bill would require a showing that discrimination was a "motivating" factor. It would also limit the amount of damages that could be awarded in such cases.

(Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio)

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

  • A State Senate committee spent several hours last night (Wednesday) discussing legislation that would allow utility companies in Missouri to charge customers for a site permit for a proposed nuclear power plant.  The reactor would be built by St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri and would be located next to the company’s reactor near Fulton.  The price tag for the site permit is around $40 million.  Opponents included Jean Blackwood of the Sierra Club:

Mo. Senate

Some Republicans in the Missouri Senate are blocking legislation to draw down $81 million in federal unemployment benefits.

The funding would go to Missouri residents who've been out of work for more than 79 weeks, and a State House bill authorizing the draw down must be passed by Thursday or else the money will go to other states.