Politics & Issues

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Conceal Carry documents
5:37 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Mo. Dept. Of Revenue: 'We're Not Sending Copies Of Citizens' Documents To DC'

(l-r) Mo. Dept. of Revenue Deputy Director John Mollenkamp and Director Brian Long testify before Mo. House Committee on Govt. Oversight on March 11, 2013.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The head of the Missouri Department of Revenue says his agency is not forwarding electronic copies of documents from Missouri citizens to the federal government.

Director Brian Long told the House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability that once he heard the allegations, he questioned other officials and employees within the Department of Revenue about it.

“I was repeatedly and independently assured that these scanned source documents, as part of the license process, are not, nor is there any plans, to share them, again, with the federal government or any third-party vendor," Long said.

Read more
Illinois Pensions
12:18 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Illinois Settles Federal Securities Fraud Case Over Pensions

An extreme closeup of U.S. currency.
(via Flickr/kevindooley)

Updated 12:41 p.m.

Illinois is settling a federal securities-fraud charge that it misled investors about the health of its pension system.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office said Monday that the state has agreed to settle the Securities and Exchange Commission case. The SEC said in a news release that Illinois admitted no wrongdoing but has made more complete disclosures since 2009.

Read more
U.S. Senate
9:31 am
Mon March 11, 2013

McCaskill Questions Energy Department's Ability To Oversee Grants

Credit (via Senator McCaskill's Flickr)

A U.S. Senate committee led by Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill is looking into grants made by the federal Department of Energy.  McCaskill says she has concerns about the agency's ability to oversee grants after recent reports that a grant intended for the manufacture of electric car batteries was used by a Michigan company to pay idle workers.

Read more
Illinois
7:48 am
Mon March 11, 2013

New Hires To Earn Less Under Ill. Deal With Union

Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

If Governor Pat Quinn's agreement with AFSCME, Illinois' largest public employee union, goes through, new employees will be treated differently than those already on the payroll. 

Union members get pay boosts the longer they work for the state. Quinn's Chief of Staff Jack Lavin, says it will take longer for new hires to reach those step increases, and he says they'll start off making less too. 

"To achieve the top of that job classification it was previously eight years, now it’ll be 11 years," said Lavin. "So new employees will start at a lower wage.”

Read more
Home-made beer
4:24 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Home Brewers Could Take Part In Beer Festivals Under Bill Passed By Mo. Senate

Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would allow home brewers to bring home-made beer to festivals has passed the Missouri Senate.

Under Senate Bill 114, home-brewers could give away free samples to guests at beer festivals and tastings, but would not be allowed to sell them.  The sponsor, State Senator Eric Schmitt (R, Glendale), says an emergency clause was added so that home brewers can take part in this year’s Brewer’s Heritage Festival in St. Louis.

Read more

Pages