Politics & Issues

tax cuts
5:55 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Mo. Senate Endorses Tax Cut Legislation

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to a phased-in tax overhaul designed to help the Show-Me State compete with neighboring Kansas, which recently slashed its tax rates.


Senate Bill 26 would lower state income taxes for individuals and corporations by three-quarters of a percentage point while raising the state sales tax by half a point.  Both would be phased in over a five-year period.  State Senator Will Kraus (R, Lee’s Summit) says it would result in a revenue loss of around $450 million a year.

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Illinois Budget
5:22 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Quinn Proposes $400M Education Cut, Pension System Payouts In Budget Address

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky.

In his annual budget address today, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn laid the blame on the General Assembly for forcing him to cut spending on schools and other key state priorities. Quinn says the cost of pensions is "squeezing" Illinois' finances, to the point that he's calling for a $400 million hit to education.

(Read the full text of the governor's prepared remarks

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Medical Marijuana
12:54 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Illinois Takes Step Toward Allowing Medical Marijuana

A marijuana plant.
(via Flickr/Roomic Cube)

An Illinois House committee has approved a measure that would allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The House Human Services Committee voted 11-4 Wednesday to move the proposal to the full House for consideration.

The measure would allow patients over the age of 18 who have been diagnosed with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions to obtain marijuana.

Cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV are among the illnesses.

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Missouri Supreme Court
9:39 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Mo. Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Over Nixon's Power To Cut Spending

Credit (via Flickr/David_Shane)

Lawyers for Missouri's governor and auditor are battling before the state Supreme Court over the governor's power to make spending cuts.

The Supreme Court was to hear arguments Wednesday on the constitutionality of about $170 million of budget cuts announced by Gov. Jay Nixon in June 2011 and challenged by Auditor Tom Schweich.

The case is an appeal of a July decision by a Cole County judge, who ruled that Nixon had a legal right to cut spending but also said that Nixon should not have been able to transfer money among various budgeted purposes.

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Politics
7:53 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Clinton To Visit St. Louis In April

Credit Credit: Adam Schultz / Clinton Global Initiative

Former President Bill Clinton will be in St. Louis next month as part of his Clinton Global Initiative.

The sixth annual Clinton Global Initiative University will be April 5-7 at Washington University. Among the featured speakers will be Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, and comedian Stephen Colbert.
 
The event is expected to include more than 1,000 college students and celebrities discussing things such as education, the environment, human rights and climate change.
 

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Mayoral Race
1:08 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Slay Poised To Make History

Mayor Slay talks to supporters.
Bill Greenblatt UPI

Francis Slay is now poised to win a fourth term as mayor of St. Louis.

Slay walked away with the Democratic primary on Tuesday, beating Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed and former Alderman Jimmie Matthews.   Slay received 54 percent of the vote, Reed 44 percent and Matthews a little over one percent.

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Animal shelter fees
7:38 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Animal Shelter Fees Lawsuit Heard By Mo. Supreme Court

via Flickr/david_shane

An attorney for nonprofit animal shelters is trying to persuade the Missouri Supreme Court to strike down a law that he says was originally enacted through "legislative shenanigans."


Attorney David Cosgrove argued Tuesday to the Supreme Court that lawmakers violated the state constitution by including the animal shelter fee in a 2010 bill that originally dealt with dynamite.

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School transfer law
6:08 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Mo. Supreme Court Hears School Transfer Lawsuit

(via Flickr/comedy_nose)

The Missouri Supreme Court today heard arguments over a 20-year-old law that requires unaccredited school districts to pay tuition for students who transfer to nearby accredited schools.

Last year, St. Louis County Judge David Vincent the Third ruled that the law in question was both unconstitutional and unenforceable, and that it would create an unfunded mandate for unaccredited schools.  Attorney Elkin Kistner represents Gina Breitenfeld, a St. Louis woman who enrolled her children in the Clayton School district.

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Politics
5:32 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Live Coverage: St. Louis Picks Presumptive Next Mayor

(via Flickr/voxefxtm)

Note: This live event has ended. Read the results of the race here.

St. Louis is a solidly Democratic city. So, when voters go to the polls today to vote in its Democratic Mayoral Primary - they are really picking the city's presumptive next mayor.

Will it be incumbent mayor Francis Slay? It would be for an unprecedented fourth term. Or Lewis Reed - the president of the Board of Aldermen? Or Jimmie Matthews - a candidate some have said is a "stalking horse?"

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Voting
2:48 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Registered Sex Offenders Voting At Schools? Not Under New Mo. House Bill

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

The Missouri House of Representatives is considering a bill which would mandate registered sex offenders to vote at their local country clerk’s office, instead of at schools.

The House Elections Committee held a hearing on the proposed legislation today. Rep. Tim Remole (R), is sponsoring the legislation and says that it will protect the voting rights of registered offenders, while also protecting children in schools that are designated as polling places.

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