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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.