Politics & Issues

St. Louis on the Air
7:37 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Budget Woes And Other News From Washington D.C.

U.S. Capitol
Evan C. Parker Via Flickr

The St. Louis Beacon’s Washington Correspondent Rob Koenig was Don Marsh’s guest on “St.

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Politics
6:13 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Enyart, Durbin Push Bills To Aid Shipping Industry

Credit via Flickr/TeamSaintLouis (Army Corps of Engineers)

A pair of bills related to transportation on the inland waterways was introduced in the US House and Senate on Thursday.

Illinois Congressman Bill Enyart introduced his first piece of legislation since being sworn into office last January—the Mississippi River Navigation Sustainment Act.

Enyart says the bill would give the Army Corps of Engineers authority that it doesn’t currently have, to conduct operations outside of the barge channel.

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Sequestration cuts
4:21 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Fund Proposed For Mo. National Guard Members Who Lost Tuition Because Of Sequestration

A Missouri National Guard member stages vehicles at the Cape Girardeau armory in preparation for possible use in state emergency duty.
(via Flickr/The National Guard/M. Queiser/Missouri National Guard)

Members of the Missouri House Budget Committee are proposing a new fund to provide tuition assistance for National Guard members who are also enrolled in college.


The move comes because the federal government has suspended federal tuition assistance for National Guard soldiers due to sequestration cuts.  House Budget Chair Rick Stream (R, Kirkwood) says they’ve reallocated $1.5 million in next year’s state budget to make up the difference.

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Sequester
3:54 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

The Sequester Is Here To Stay, Blunt Says

(via Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

The sequester’s across-the-board cuts to both entitlements and defense went into effect at the beginning of the month, and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) says it's here to stay, at least for now.

The sequester was never meant to be a permanent change, just a threat so Congress would compromise on a plan. But Blunt wants to give the President more authority in deciding what is cut.

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St. Louis school district
9:57 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Mo. Senate Passes Bill Allowing 'Incompetent' St. Louis Teachers To Be Fired

Credit (Tim Bommel/Mo. House of Representatives)

(updated version)

Teachers with tenure in St. Louis could be fired for incompetency under a bill that was passed Thursday by the Missouri Senate.

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Benevolent tax credits
6:27 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Mo. Gen. Assembly Sends Benevolent Tax Credits Bill To Gov. Nixon

A rack of US Department of Agriculture bonus commodities is empty at the Saint Louis Area Food Bank’s warehouse in Earth City.
(Tim Lloyd for St. Louis Public Radio)

Two sets of tax credits were passed by Missouri lawmakers Wednesday and sent to Governor Jay Nixon (D).

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Armed Services
5:33 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

In Response To High Profile Case, McCaskill Drafting Legislation On Sexual Assault In Military

Sen. McCaskill at the Senate Armed Services Committee on sexual assaults in the military.
(Senator McCaskill's Flickr Account)

As many as 19,000 service members are sexually assaulted each year. A small fraction of those cases -- around 2,500 a year --  are actually reported, and a much smaller fraction are prosecuted.

The Senate Armed Services held a hearing on sexual assaults in the military, following a high profile case in which Lt. Col. James Wilkerson was convicted by a military jury of "abusive sexual contact." After the trial and conviction, a Lieutenant General dismissed the charges, without having to provide an explanation.

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Dept. of Revenue/conceal carry
5:20 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Mo. GOP Senator Blasts Dept. Of Revenue Over Scanned Documents

Mo. Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia)
Mo. Senate

One of the leading Republicans in the Missouri Senate blasted the Department of Revenue over its scanning of documents for driver’s licenses and conceal-carry applicants.


Kurt Schaefer of Columbia accused the state agency of lying to lawmakers when its leaders said this week they’re not collecting data for the federal government.

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MO Statehouse
3:46 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Mo. Senate, House Committees Defeat Medicaid Expansion Plans

A doctor's stethoscope
(Via Flickr/Rosemary)

A Republican-led Missouri Senate committee has defeated a plan to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care law.

The Senate Appropriations Committee rejected the legislation on a party-line vote Wednesday, just minutes after hearing testimony from more than two dozen witnesses in favor of the plan.

A Republican-led House committee defeated a similar bill last month in the same fashion.

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Tax credits
2:46 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Tax Breaks For Amateur Sporting Events In Mo. Is First Bill Sent To Gov. Nixon

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would provide tax breaks for amateur sporting events held in Missouri has become the first one sent to Governor Jay Nixon (D) during the 2013 regular session.

The incentives would equal about $5 per ticket sold, and they would be capped at $3 million a year.  It was sponsored by State Senator Eric Schmitt (R, Glendale).

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