Politics & Issues

Mayoral Race
5:00 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Mayoral Candidate Matthews On His Opponents, Stalking Horse Allegations, And His Plans

(Sean Sandefur/St. Louis Public Radio)

On Tuesday, St. Louis voters will go to the polls to select their nominee for mayor. But in the Democratic mayoral primary, former Alderman Jimmie Matthews sometimes seems the odd man out. Unlike his two opponents -- incumbent Mayor Francis Slay and Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed -- he hasn't solicited any campaign donations, and he hasn't spent much money on the race either. That's led some to speculate that he isn't a serious candidate, that he's only in the race to take votes from Reed.

But from Matthews' perspective, there's no difference between Slay and Reed.

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Politically Speaking
10:53 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Politically Speaking: Mayoral Flyers, Mo. GOP's New Director and VAWA

(via City of St. Louis websites)

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: photo-baum's on mayoral flyers, Shane Schoeller as the new executive director of the Missouri GOP, and the back and forth between Senator Claire McCaskill and newly-elected Congresswoman Ann Wagner on the Violence Against Women Act.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

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Tax credits
7:24 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Mo. House Speaker Casts Doubt on Senate's Tax Credit Bill

Mo. House Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka).
Tim Bommel, Mo. House Communications

The Missouri Senate today passed a wide-ranging tax credit bill that drastically lowers the caps on Historic Preservation and Low Income Housing programs.

Senate Bill 120 would cap Historic Preservation incentives at $50 million a year, instead of the current $140 million, and Low Income Housing incentives would be capped at $55 million a year, instead of the current $190 million.  That bill is now in the hands of the Missouri House, where Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka) has indicated that he and other House leaders don’t like the drastic cuts.

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Prevailing wage/schools
6:43 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Mo. House Passes Bill Allowing Some Schools To Waive Prevailing Wage

Mo. Capitol
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would allow some school districts to exempt themselves from the prevailing wage requirement for construction and maintenance projects.

The sponsor, State Representative Casey Guernsey (R, Bethany), says it will allow rural schools in particular to be able to afford much-needed expansions and upgrades.

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Workplace discrimination bill
3:59 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Mo. House Votes To Redefine Workplace Discrimination

Missouri House chambers
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Legislation that would redefine workplace discrimination in Missouri has been passed by the State House

House Bill 320 would require that discrimination be a motivating factor in any wrongful action taken against an employee, instead of a contributing factor as it is now.  State Representative Brandon Ellington (D, Kansas City) says Missouri’s standard for discrimination should not be lowered.

“We know the potential for discrimination, and to be able to prove that it was a motivational factor is almost impossible," Ellington said.  "Discrimination can happen to anybody in this body – it may not be racial, but it definitely could be age discrimination; it may not be age, but it could definitely be sexual discrimination.”

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Medicaid Expansion
2:19 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Over 500,000 More Illinoisans One Step Closer To Medicaid Eligibility

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

Will be updated.

An expansion of Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is one step closer in Illinois.

The state Senate passed the expansion 40-19 on Thursday. The bill now goes to the House.

Nearly 2.8 million Illinois residents are currently covered by Medicaid, the government health program for the poor and disabled.

Starting in 2014, an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 uninsured Illinois residents would be newly eligible for coverage. The expansion would mainly benefit low-income adults who don't have children at home.

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Illinois State Workers
1:04 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Here's The Latest On That Possible Illinois State Workers' Union Strike

The dome of the Illinois State Capitol.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Reporting by Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey used in this report.

It looks like an impending strike of workers in Illinois' largest government-employee union has been avoided - tentatively.

Governor Pat Quinn reached a tentative contract deal with The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) early this morning.

Officially, the union is keeping mum about what's in the contract.

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11:20 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Schoeller Chosen As Executive Director Of Mo. GOP

Shane Schoeller has been chosen as the new executive director of the Missouri Republican Party.
(via Friends of Shane Schoeller)

A former southwest Missouri lawmaker has been chosen as executive director of the Missouri Republican Party.

Former state Rep. Shane Schoeller, of Willard, was selected Thursday to oversee the daily operations of the Republican Party.

Schoeller lost an election last November for secretary of state and previously served six years in the House, rising to the number two spot as House speaker pro tem.

He succeeds Lloyd Smith, who resigned last month as executive director to make an unsuccessful bid for Congress.

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Paycheck protection
10:33 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

"Paycheck Protection" Bill Remains Stalled In Mo. Senate

Mo. Capitol at night
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate spent a few hours Wednesday debating legislation that would bar labor unions for public workers from withholding money from public employees’ paychecks.

The so-called "Paycheck Protection" bill would also require consent from public employees before labor unions can use fees and dues for political purposes.  State Senator Paul LeVota (D, Independence) says the bill should be called “paycheck deception."

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Tax credits
10:19 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Angel Investment Tax Credit Measure Being Considered By Mo. Senate Committee

Kansas City Mayor Sly James, flanked by two Mo. House Members, testified in favor of Angel Investment tax credits at a House hearing earlier this month. Today he testified before a Mo. Senate committee in support of that chamber's version of the bill.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Supporters of creating a so-called “Angel Investment” tax credit in Missouri testified in favor of legislation Wednesday before a State Senate committee.

Senate Bill 91 would provide incentives to wealthy investors, dubbed “Angels,” who are looking for start-up opportunities, preferably in high-tech and Internet-based businesses.  Kansas City Mayor Sly James was one of several witnesses hoping to persuade committee members to approve the bill.

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