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Politics & Issues

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File Photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Friday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

On Friday’s “Behind the Headlines” with St. Louis on the Air, we’ll take an in-depth look at some of the top news stories of the week.

Joining us on this week’s edition will be St. Louis Public Radio Political Reporter Jason Rosenbaum.

August 2014 St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson
File photo | Bill Greenblatt |UPI

For the first time in its history, the St. Louis Police Department can look beyond its ranks for a new chief, something that officers and community members say the city should take full advantage of.

“That person shouldn’t have any connection to the department,” according to Sgt. Heather Taylor, the president of the Ethical Society of Police, which represents officers of color.

Ron Whelan signs the Rev. Larry Rice's petition addressed to the Governor to provide New Life with a building. 04/27/2017 in front of City Hall and Market Street
Marie Schwarz|St. Louis Public Radio

After a long fight with city officials over New Life Evangelistic Center’s homeless shelter, founder, the Rev. Larry Rice is bringing the matter to the state level.

In a letter addressed to Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, Rice asks the state to provide a building for the New Life Evangelistic Center to be used as a shelter.

Alan Mallach, Henry Webber and Reginald Scott discussed the concept of "middle neighborhoods" on St. Louis on the Air on April 27.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

There are neighborhoods in St. Louis that are thriving and those that are very much struggling, but what about neighborhoods that fall somewhere in the middle? On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the idea of "middle neighborhoods," which comes from a recent research study called "On the Edge: America's Middle Neighborhoods," published by American Assembly.

People mill in the hallway leading to the Missouri Senate chamber.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri legislators began churning through bills Thursday, including one now headed to Gov. Eric Greitens that bans forcing public works projects to use union workers.

Not everything is a done deal, as bills that would establish education savings accounts for certain students and allow a vote on increasing the St. Louis Zoo sales tax still need to be heard by the House.

The Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City, 2014
vinwim | Flickr

Lawmakers have been recruited to help in the battle over a St. Louis County judge’s order for a woman to reveal where she lives.

At issue is the state’s Safe at Home program, which is operated by the Missouri Secretary of State’s office and allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking to route mail through a post office box.

Missouri state Auditor Nicole Galloway details her office's audit report of Ferguson's municipal courts on Wed., April 26, 2017.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri's auditor said Wednesday she’s "disheartened" by the results of an audit of Ferguson's municipal court, which found improperly stored records and thousands of dollars in illegal fees.

 

But Ferguson City Manager De’Carlon Seewood noted that the audit covered the 2015 fiscal year, before Ferguson signed a federal agreement to reform its courts, and said it was unfair for Galloway’s office to ignore all of the reforms the city has made.

Fast food workers take part in a protest organized by Show Me $15 outside a McDonald's on Natural Bridge Road in St. Louis on March 15, 2017. They want the city's $10 minimum wage increase to be enforced immediately.
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated April 26 with city of St. Louis' statement and state legislation status:

 

The city of St. Louis expects to increase its minimum wage within the next few days. It is waiting for an injunction to be lifted now that the Missouri Supreme Court has decided not to reconsider an earlier ruling that allowed the city to establish a higher rate that the state of Missouri. In a statement released Wednesday, Mayor Lyda Krewson said the decision is a "win for our city's working families."

Bill Freivogel, Jared Boyd and Mark Smith shared their perspectives on the month's legal news on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday, St. Louis on the Air’s monthly legal roundtable returned to address pressing issues of the law with a panel of local legal experts.

Marcellus Williams is set to die on August 22.
Missouri Department of Corrections

The Missouri Supreme Court issued a new execution date Wednesday for a man convicted in a 1998 murder in St. Louis County despite debate over the supplier of the state's execution drug.

Marcellus Williams will be executed Aug. 22. He originally was scheduled to die in 2015, but the Missouri Supreme Court withdrew that execution warrant and put his death on hold, offering no explanation.

File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 9 p.m. April 26 with budget moving forward — Missouri’s $27.8 billion budget for next fiscal year passed the Senate on Wednesday night, 9 days before the constitutional deadline.

It’s back in the hands of the state House, and both chambers have to appoint negotiators to hammer out a final version. The budget must be to Greitens by 6 p.m. May 5 or risk needing a special session.

The floor of the Missouri House
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated April 26 with detail about notification provision — A raft of abortion restrictions that would mostly affect doctors is now in front of the Missouri Senate.

The wide-ranging House Bill 194, which the House passed Monday 117-40, requires annual, random inspections of abortion clinics; makes it a felony to donate fetal tissue for medical or scientific research; and requires, with some exceptions, a minor’s custodial parent to notify a non-custodial parent before an abortion.

Illustration by Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated April 26 with result of E&A voteSt. Louis aldermen will have another $2.3 million to distribute when they start looking at the city’s budget for fiscal year 2018.

The Board of Estimate and Apportionment approved changes Wednesday to the draft budget, leaving the new use tax revenue available for things like public safety and affordable housing. Previously, the entire amount had gone to closing a $17 million deficit.

Republican Sen. Rob Schaaf, of St. Joseph, sponsored the Senate drug monitoring bill.
Courtesy of Harrison Sweazea, Missouri Senate Communications

Rob Schaaf rose Monday to speak on the Missouri Senate floor, capping what seemed to be a tough few days. One of his fellow GOP senators had highlighted how the 60-year-old from St. Joseph rented a room from a well-known lobbyist. And the nonprofit linked to Gov. Eric Greitens was making personal attacks on Schaaf’s political decision integrity — and giving out his cellphone number.

 

But Schaaf made it abundantly clear he wasn’t slinking away, issuing a blunt message to the Republican governor.

On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the experiences of Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans in St. Louis with Lucy Burns, Min Liu and Caroline Fan joined the program to discuss
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S.-China political and economic relations may make headlines frequently today, but the connection between the two countries is hundreds of years old in terms of immigration, business and culture.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Democratic-controlled Illinois House approved public funding for all abortions on Tuesday by a 62-55 vote.

The measure would allow state-employee health insurance or Medicaid to cover abortions. Medicaid currently covers abortions in limited cases.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed Jackson County Circuit Judge W. Brent Powell to the state Supreme Court.

Powell, a Springfield native and Mizzou law grad, will fill a seat on the seven-member court that has been vacant since Judge Richard Teitelman died in November.

At age 46, he will be the youngest member of the Missouri Supreme Court.  

Kansas City lawyers who dealt with Powell, both when he was a prosecutor and a judge, applauded his selection.

Alderman Brandon Bosley, April 2017
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann welcome Alderman Brandon Bosley to the program.

 

Bosley was recently sworn in as the alderman for the 3rd Ward, which takes in seven St. Louis neighborhoods in the north part of the city. He’s one of six new aldermen to join the Board after the 2017 election cycle.

Carr Square residents Kevin Costello and Joseph Futrell gather petitions against Biddle House outside the public forum introducing the agencies that applied to run it on Wed. May, 25, 2016.
File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

A new homeless shelter north of downtown St. Louis violates the U.S. Constitution by promoting segregation, according to a complaint lodged Monday with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development by two St. Louis-area state representatives.  

Gov. Eric Greitens signs legislation aimed at expanding Uber and Lyft throughout Missouri.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

It’ll be easier to use ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft throughout Missouri, especially airports, under the bill signed Monday by Gov. Eric Greitens.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

It's a sentiment shared by Democratic politicians and liberal pundits: disgust over how Republicans drew up favorable (for them) legislative districts after the 2010 Census.

Governor Bruce Rauner was asked Friday why he’s changed his position on an abortion law since the 2014 campaign.

Nicole Hudson has recently accepted a position as senior policy advisor to Lyda Krewson, directing racial equity and priority initiatives.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s “Behind the Headlines” with St. Louis on the Air, we took an in-depth look at some of the top news stories of the week.

This week, for the first time in 16 years, St. Louis saw the inauguration of a new mayor: Lyda Krewson. She also happens to be the city’s first female mayor ever.

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Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate’s budget committee relinquished all 13 bills to the main chamber Thursday night, choosing not to make specific cuts or increases to things like K-12 schools.

But the General Assembly is cutting the budget process close this year, and it’s a real possibility it won’t meet the 6 p.m., May 5, deadline to get the budget to Gov. Eric Greitens. If that’s the case, there’ll need to be a special session.

Gov. Eric Greitens speaks during his first State of the State address in Jefferson City.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 4:15 p.m. with Kansas City Star receiving comment from Chambers — Missouri state Sen. Rob Schaaf has his hands in a lot of important legislation this session, yet he’s still made time to criticize Republican Gov. Eric Greitens over his new nonprofit.

A New Missouri Inc., which isn’t beholden to campaign finance laws and doesn’t have to disclose its donors, is fighting back, publishing a digital ad this week that says the St. Joseph Republican is “siding with liberals” and “playing personal political games.”

Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

About 1,500 people are being asked to reapply for a Missouri program that shields the addresses of abuse victims after a St. Louis County judge ordered a woman to reveal her home address because of a flaw in the application process.

The Safe at Home program lets victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, human trafficking or stalking keep their addresses confidential by routing mail through a post office box run by the secretary of state's office

Mexican immigrants participating in English and Citizenship classes for new immigrants organized by the YMCA Industrial Commission. There was additional programming, like, apparently this trip to Forest Park.
State Historical Society of Missouri

Fewer than 4 percent of St. Louis city and county residents are Latino. While the Midwest as a whole has a reputation for very small Latino populations, St. Louis County Historian Daniel Gonzales says it wasn’t always on track to be that way.

Gonzales has been focused on uncovering forgotten narratives since he started his job about a year and half ago. One such story is the subject of an academic publication he's working on. It relates to the 19th and 20th century Mexican immigration to St. Louis, how the community was encouraged to blossom, and then pushed out.

Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications

It seemed like a done deal: The Missouri House would send the governor a bill Thursday that would make it harder to prove discrimination when a person is fired. But Republican leaders called off the vote — for varying reasons.

Sen. Bill Eigel, April 2017
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum welcomes Sen. Bill Eigel back to the program.

Nicole Galloway takes the oath of office as Missouri auditor from Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Russell.
File photo | Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

Updated 4:45 p.m. April 20 with Galloway news release — Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway issued a subpoena to the Department of Revenue on Wednesday with the aim of forcing the agency to turn over information on how it manages income tax refunds.

Galloway requested the information six weeks ago for an ongoing audit and said she hadn’t received anything.

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