Politics & Issues

Mary Ann McMorrow
9:50 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Mary Ann McMorrow, First Female Justice On Illinois Supreme Court, Dies

Mary Ann McMorrow, the first woman to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court, died Saturday at 83.
(Illinois Supreme Court handout)

Brian Mackey contributed reporting from Springfield.

The first woman to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court has died.

Mary Ann G. McMorrow was 83 years old. A statement from the Supreme Court says she died Saturday after a brief illness.

McMorrow was first elected to the state's highest court in 1992, one of a series of achievements in a legal career that spanned 50 years. She was the only woman in the Loyola University law school class of 1953, and was the first woman to prosecute felonies in Cook County. 

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Campaign Finance
7:26 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Infographic: Large Donors In The St. Louis Mayoral Race

(via City of St. Louis websites)

Below is an interactive map of the largest donors to the two frontrunners in the Democratic primary. It will be updated throughout the race.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

7:19 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Mo. Bill Seeks Taxes From Out-Of-State Retailers

(via Flickr/yomanimus)

Missouri lawmakers are looking for ways to collect taxes from some online and out-of-state retailers.

State budget officials estimate that Missouri could gain about $10 million annually in tax revenues if legislation filed in both the House and Senate were to pass.

The bills address two areas that traditional retail stores contend put them at a disadvantage. One provision would require Missouri taxes to be collected on out-of-state retailers that personally deliver products like furniture and appliances to Missouri homes.

7:09 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Mo. Black Caucus Hosts Town Hall In North County

Members of Missouri Legislative Black Caucus field questions during a town hall meeting on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013.
Credit Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

On Saturday afternoon the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus wrapped up the second of two forums aimed at engaging African American constituents. 

The first town hall was held in Kansas City last weekend and legislators covered a broad range of topics that included crime, education and economic development.

The event was moderated by newly elected Rep. Michael Butler, D-St. Louis, who represents a sizable chunk of St. Louis City.

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4:08 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

McCaskill Pressures House To Quickly Pass Violence Against Women Act

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Standing in the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) called out House Republican leadership for failing to renew the Violence Against Women Act -- legislation meant to protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Until recently, the act received bipartisan support since its inception in 1994.

House leadership didn't bring the Senate version to floor, allowing the VAWA to expire. Leadership cited problems with LGBT and Native American provisions in the bill. But McCaskill said she doesn’t buy the reasoning, and calls it a “fig leaf.”

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4:55 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Environmentalists, Business Groups Reach Deal On Fracking In Illinois

Rep. John Bradley stands with representatives of the business and environmental communities in Illinois to announce an agreement on "fracking" regulations.
Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Brian Mackey contributed reporting from Springfield, Ill.

It was an odd sight at the Illinois state Capitol today - supporters of the oil and gas industry sharing a podium with environmental activists.

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K-12 schools
3:36 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Teaching Of Evolution In K-12 Schools Would Be Regulated Under Mo. House Bill

knittymarie Flickr

State and local-level school officials would be required to develop guidelines for teaching evolution under legislation making its way through the Missouri House.

If passed, school districts would have to, “encourage students to explore scientific questions” regarding the “strengths and weaknesses” of both biological and chemical evolution.  The sponsor, State Representative Andrew Koenig (R, Winchester), says House Bill 179 stresses academic freedom.

“It does not mandate curriculum to the teacher," Koenig said.  "It’s really up to the school district, and if evolution is gonna be taught, it just allows them to teach the scientific strengths and weaknesses.”

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Politically Speaking
12:55 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

Alex Heuer

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: mayoral shenanigans and talents, Lincoln Days speeches, Nixon's Medicaid tour and legislative trolling.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

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Medicaid Expansion
5:27 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Nixon Continues Medicaid Expansion Campaign Despite GOP Disinterest

Nixon speaks at St. Charles County Economic Development Center.
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon hasn’t stopped advocating for Missouri to accept the federal government’s money for Medicaid expansion, in spite of state Republican lawmakers leaving it out of their proposed budget.

Nixon lobbied in St. Charles Wednesday for the state to accept $900 million to expand the program to over a quarter of a million low income adults.

Nixon has appealed throughout the state. What makes Nixon’s stop in St. Charles unique is that the area is typically conservative turf.

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New Miss. River Bridge
5:18 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

'Stan Musial Bridge/Andy Gammon Hwy' Gets First-Round Approval From Mo. Senate

The new Miss. River Bridge being built at St. Louis.

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would name the new Mississippi River Bridge under construction in St. Louis after Cardinals’ legend Stan Musial.

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