Politics & Issues

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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Fracking
10:19 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Friction Over Fracking Continues In Illinois

Credit (via Flickr/jglazer75)

Dozens of environmentalists and land owners are meeting with lawmakers in Springfield hoping to persuade them to temporarily ban high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois.
 
Opponents of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," held a rally and lobbied Illinois legislators yesterday. They're hoping to win support for a two-year moratorium on the practice instead of regulations that would allow it.
 
Fracking opponents say they were ignored during negotiations over a regulatory bill, which proponents say would give Illinois the nation's toughest regulations.
 

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Transportation
5:04 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

$8 Billion Transportation Proposal Questioned By Some Mo. Senators

A project to expand a small stretch of U.S. 50 in Osage County, Mo., to four lanes.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Some concerns have been raised in the Missouri Senate over a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a temporary one-cent sales tax to fund transportation needs.


The one-penny sales tax is expected to raise nearly $8 billion over ten years.  All money raised would go directly to the Missouri Dept. of Transportation (MoDOT), and that provision is not sitting well with some Senators.  Republican Kurt Schaefer of Columbia says lawmakers should have at least some say into how that money would be spent.

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Stan Musial
1:25 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

U.S. Senate Effort To Name Bridge After Cards Great Musial Moves Forward

Stan Musial.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

A national-level effort to name the new Mississippi River Bridge after late St. Louis Cardinals legend Stan Musial is one step closer to law.

U.S. Senators passed the legislation unanimously on Tuesday and mirrors several state-level initiatives

The Senate measure will now move on to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.

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St. Louis County
11:55 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Ballwin Adopts Limits On Funeral Protests

Credit (via Flickr/k763)

Another Missouri town has adopted an ordinance placing limits on funeral protests. 

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that aldermen in Ballwin on Monday approved a law prohibiting picketing or engaging in other protest activities within 300 feet of a funeral or burial service. Manchester, Clayton and several other cities have adopted similar ordinances in recent months.

The laws are in response to groups like Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., which often protests at the funerals of soldiers.

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Mo. Criminal Code
10:08 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Work Begins On First Revamp Of State Criminal Code Since 1970s In Mo. Senate

Credit (via Flickr/alancleaver_2000)

A Missouri Senate panel is beginning work on an effort to overhaul the state's criminal code.

The legislation is the work of a Missouri Bar panel that began meeting five years ago to give the code its first makeover since the 1970s.  

The measure would create new classes of felonies and misdemeanors and give judges more flexibility in sentencing.

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Mo. Senate
6:14 am
Tue March 12, 2013

After 10-Hour Block, Mo. Senate Gives First Approval To Scaled-Back Bill On Union Paycheck Rules

Credit UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Missouri Senate has given first round approval to a scaled-backed version of the so-called Paycheck Protection bill.

The original bill would have barred unions from automatically withholding dues from the paychecks of public employees, but Senate Democrats spent nearly ten hours Monday night and Tuesday morning blocking the bill. The filibuster ended when the bill was changed to allow annual consent for withholding union dues from paychecks.

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Medical conscience bill
10:50 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Bill Opponents Say Would 'Terrorize Rape Victims' Passes Missouri House

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Updated 12:02 p.m. Edited formatting 12:44 p.m.

Health care workers could refuse to participate in procedures or research that violates their religious, moral or ethical principles under a measure passed by the Missouri House.

The House sent the measure to the Senate Tuesday with a 116-41 vote.

Earlier story:

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would allow medical workers to refuse to take part in procedures that violate their religious or ethical beliefs.

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