Politics & Issues

Early Voting Initiative
2:39 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Mo. Sec. Of State Kander Urges House To Take Up Early Voting Legislation

(via Flickr/hjl)

Missouri Secretary of State  Jason Kander is urging House Speaker Tim Jones to take up early voting initiatives.

Kander wrote a letter today in response to an interview Jones gave earlier this month in which Jones questioned the importance of early voting.

Kander asked Jones to assign a Republican early voting bill to a committee, saying the issue has had bipartisan support over the years.

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Ill. Gun Laws
10:24 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Facing June Deadline, Ill. No Closer To Concealed Carry Law

Credit (via Flickr/kcdsTM)

Groups on both sides of the concealed carry debate in Illinois say the state is no closer to crafting a court-ordered law than they were the first day of this legislative session.

Richard Pearson is executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. He says lawmakers are sidelining the plan by bypassing the usual committee process:

"We've had committee meetings from one end of the state to the other, and out of this we have gotten nothing," Pearson said.

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Scanned Documents
8:43 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Subpoena Issued By Mo. Senate Over Scanned Documents Controversy

Mo. Capitol
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has issued a subpoena compelling the state Revenue Department to hand over documents by April 2 about new state driver's licensing procedures.

The order was signed Monday by Republican Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey. It requires the department to produce documents to help determine whether the state is sharing people's personal information with the federal government or a private company.

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Missouri state budget
8:31 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Mo. House To Begin FY2014 State Budget Debates Tuesday

Mo. Capitol
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House will begin debate Tuesday on the 13 bills that make up next year’s state budget.

The three bills that encompass the state’s Medicaid program don’t include Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) proposed expansion, although House Democrats may try to offer amendments to change that.  Budget chairman Rick Stream (R, Kirkwood) says the state should have more of a say in how Medicaid dollars are handled.

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Medicaid expansion
8:14 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Alternate Medicaid Proposal Heard By Mo. House Committee

Mo. House Committee on Govt. Oversight and Accountability meeting on March 25th, 2013.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Supporters and opponents spent several hours Monday testifying on an alternate Medicaid proposal being floated by House Republicans.

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Politically Speaking
3:13 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Politically Speaking: Prop P, MOSIRA, and McCaskill's Book

(Courtesy CityArchRiver)

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.

On this week's episode: We discuss the conservatives on both sides of Prop. P, the court rulings while the Missouri legislature is on vacation, and Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill's new book.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

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Audits
12:37 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Open Records Problems Cited In Audits Of Missouri General Assembly

Missouri Capitol
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A new audit of the Missouri state House and Senate knocks both chambers for their failure to comply with portions of the state Sunshine law.

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Kevin Keith
2:58 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

MoDOT Director Stepping Down

MoDOT director Kevin Keith (left) has resigned. He'll be replaced on an interim basis by Dave Nichols (right), the department's chief engineer.
(photos from the Missouri Department of Transportation)

The director of the Missouri Department of Transportation has abruptly stepped down.

Kevin Keith submitted his resignation to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission today. He'll take a medical leave of absence and retire on July 1.

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Illinois Prisons
9:26 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Quinn Defends Prison Director's Reappointment

Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is defending his decision to reappoint the director of the state's prison system to a second two-year term.

Republicans have criticized Corrections Director S.A. "Tony" Godinez for prison overcrowding and understaffing. But Governor Quinn, a Democrat, says Godinez has done a good job leading the department.

"They understand the importance of public safety for everyone. For the prison guards, for the public, and for the inmates, and Tony understands that, and he's going forward," Quinn told reporters.

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Illinois Pensions
9:25 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Ill. Senate Passes Pension Overhaul For Some Teachers

Credit (Flickr/ Jason Dunnivant

The Illinois Senate has passed a pension overhaul, but it only affects suburban and downstate teachers. It doesn't touch state employees' and university workers' retirement benefits.

The measure was approved by the Illinois Senate and forces teachers to choose between taking a reduced pension, or retaining access to state-backed health care upon retirement.

It took two tries, passing only after Democratic Senator Dave Koehler of Peoria switched his vote.

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