Missouri Senate

2011Missouri Legislative Session
9:39 am
Mon May 16, 2011

Wrapping up Missouri's 2011 legislative session

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon briefs reporters on various subjects after the end of the 96th General Assembly at the State Capitol in Jefferson City on May 13, 2011.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Now that the dust has settled on a rather contentious 2011 legislative session, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is denying reports that he’s about to call a special session to deal with unresolved issues. 

The two most glaring are the Aerotropolis proposal and a major overhaul of the state’s tax credit system, and those bills were just a few examples of the contentious issues that lawmakers had to wrestle with this year.

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Workers' Compensation
4:20 pm
Fri May 13, 2011

Mo. Senate passes legislation limiting workers' compensation lawsuits

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

The Missouri Senate has passed legislation to limit workers’ compensation lawsuits. Lawmakers made changes to worker’s compensation rules in 2005, which the courts later determined gave employees the right to sue each other over workplace injuries. 

Republican Senator Jack Goodman of Lawrence County says his bill would eliminate that option.

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Local Control
2:11 am
Tue May 10, 2011

Mo. Senate stops short of approving local control legislation

The Thomas Jefferson statue stands on the steps of the Missouri State Capitol Building in Jefferson City, Mo.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri Senate last night stopped just short of approving legislation to restore local control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

Some amendments were added to the local control bill.  They include giving two-thirds of the slots on the police pension board to retired officers and those associated with the police retirement system.  GOP Senator Kevin Engler of Farmington says they held off on first-round approval last night in order to give both sides time to review the changes:

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Missouri Legislature
9:39 am
Mon May 9, 2011

The 2011 Mo. legislative session: what's left in its last week?

A look at the interior of the dome of the Missouri State Capitol building in Jefferson City, Mo. This is the last week of the 2011 legislative session for the state's lawmakers.
(via Flickr/jennlynndesign)

The last week of the 2011 Missouri legislative session has arrived.  Some major issues have already been resolved.  Lawmakers have passed the state budget, forced changes to dog breeding regulations in Proposition B and overridden the governor’s veto of the state’s congressional redistricting map - but there are still plenty of issues waiting for action.

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Missouri Redistricting
11:01 am
Wed May 4, 2011

Mo. House overrides governor's redistricting veto

The chambers of the Missouri House of Representatives.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has voted to override Governor Jay Nixon's (D) veto on a proposal to redraw the state's congressional districts.

The House overrode the veto today by a vote of 109-44.

Overriding the veto required a two-thirds majority.

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federal stimulus filibuster
10:17 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

All-night filibuster in Mo. Senate against federal stimulus funds ends

State Sen. Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), debating on the Senate floor back in March. Lembke was one of four senators who blocked a capital improvements bill in an attempt to reject $41 million in federal stimulus funds.
Harrison Sweazea, Mo. Senate Communications Office

Updated 1:32 p.m. May 4:

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says the all-night filibuster in the Missouri Senate of a capital improvements bill containing federal stimulus funds was "political theatrics."

McCaskill, a Democrat, says she understands that the four Republican Senators are trying to send a message to Washington, and that message has been received loud and clear.

"The people that they're really filibustering against are the people of Missouri, because those projects that are funded are creating jobs," McCaskill said. "Our economy is recovering and most importantly it's funding public education in Missouri."

Updated:  7:00 a.m. May 4:

A group of four Republican senators have ended their all-night filibuster of a capital improvements bill that contains more than $465 million in federal stimulus funds.

They began blocking the bill Tuesday afternoon after their attempt to shrink the bill by $41 million was rebuffed by the Senate.

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Missouri Lawmaker Term Limits
11:09 am
Thu April 28, 2011

Mo. Senate passes proposal to change term limits

Sen. Tim Green, D-St. Louis' proposal, passed by the Missouri Senate today, would change the state's term limits for lawmakers.
(Missouri Senate Website)

The Missouri Senate has passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would alter term limits for state lawmakers.

Currently, House and Senate members can serve no more than eight years in their respective chambers, although they can switch chambers and serve another eight years across the Rotunda.

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Tax Credit System
10:37 am
Thu April 28, 2011

Mo. Senate gives first-round approval to overhaul state tax credit system

The Missouri State Capitol building in Jefferson City, Mo.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Early this morning, the Missouri Senate gave first-round approval to a major overhaul of the state's tax credit system.  

The wide-ranging bill would phase out numerous incentive programs while reducing others.  Among those being partially eliminated is a tax break enabling low-income senior citizens to offset either property taxes or monthly rent payments.  It's sponsored by GOP Senator Chuck Purgason of Howell County.

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Missouri congressional Redistricting
7:21 pm
Wed April 27, 2011

Mo. lawmakers send "grand compromise" redistricting map to Gov. Nixon

The "Grand Compromise Map" as agreed upon today by negotiators in the Missouri House of Representatives and the 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.

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Domestic Violence
1:54 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

Mo. Senate unanimously backs tougher domestic violence laws

The Thomas Jefferson statue stands on the steps of the Missouri State Capitol Building in Jefferson City, Mo. on Dec. 3, 2010.
(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.

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