Politics & Issues

Political news

Brittany Burke
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome Brittany Burke to the program. This marks the first time that Burke, a governmental consultant, has spoken at length publicly about recent events that put her in the news.

St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Doug Beech, far left, and Bill Wallace watch a press conference celebrating the approval of a resolution support county veterans courts.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 7:15 p.m., Sept. 7, with passage of money for the court - Military veterans who are charged with non-violent crimes will soon have a new court to help them in St. Louis County.

The County Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to spend $60,000 this year on a veterans treatment court. Councilman Mark Harder, a Ballwin Republican who sponsored the bill, said he hopes that next year, the council will vote to spend another $150,000 for a full year of operation.

Mayor Francis Slay, along with officials from his administration and non-profit partners, announces new resources targeted at inmates awaiting trial at the Medium Security Institution on Sept. 8, 2015.
Nassim Benchaabane | St. Louis Public Radio

The city of St. Louis is hoping a new program targeting young offenders who are awaiting trial will help get the rising crime rate under control.

Mayor Francis Slay, along with other members of his administration and representatives of social services agencies, gathered outside the city's Medium Security Institution Tuesday morning to launch "From Prison to Prosperity." It's designed to help inmates between the ages of 17 and 24 who are awaiting trial at the MSI -- the first program meant for those who have not yet gone to prison.

John Wright, Robbyn Wahby and Alicia Herald joined "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

There are almost 70 charter schools in St. Louis and Kansas City. Until recently, they were all sponsored by universities. Now another alternative is the Missouri Charter Public School Commission.

Although created by the Missouri legislature in 2012, it didn’t have its first meeting until December of last year. Then at the end of March, Robbyn Wahby was named executive director and left her position as St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s top education adviser to assume her new role.

(Sarah Kellogg/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Jewish New Year begins at sundown Sunday. It's the start of 10 days of prayer and reflection for lay people and clergy alike.

Susan Talve, of Central Reform Congregation, and Rori Picker Neiss of Bais Abraham, an Orthodox synagogue, have much to reflect upon. Each in her own way emerged in the Jewish year 5775 as a leading voice in the protests inspired by the death of Michael Brown.

They sat down with St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann to consider what the past year means.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The National Labor Relations Board is reversing a 30-year standard in how it determines joint-employment, the situation in which employees of one company, usually under contract to work for another company, are determined to be employees of both companies for purposes of collective bargaining.

Determinations of joint-employment usually flow from a finding by the NLRB that both companies exert sufficient control over the terms and conditions of employment for the workers in question.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said stolen guns are part of what's causing an uptick in crime in the city.
Courtesy of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Facebook

As of August, homicides in St. Louis are up 60 percent compared with last year, according to recently released statistics from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. 

East St.  Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The mayor of East St. Louis says she is being left out of the decision-making process at city hall. She’s also accusing the city manager of violating the policies of the city council.

“I will not be circumvented without letting the citizens know exactly what is going on because I will not and do not want to be held accountable for decisions being made without my input or for situations that are out of my control,” Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks told St. Louis Public Radio ahead of a Sunday afternoon news conference billed as an emergency discussion.

Provided by campaign

Josh Hawley, a Republican candidate for Missouri attorney general, says that if he’s elected next year, he will act to protect county clerks who object to issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

In fact, “on Day One,” Hawley says he’ll issue an opinion allowing county clerks and others – such as recorders of deeds – to avoid issuing such licenses if it violates their religious beliefs.

Supporters of raising St. Louis' minimum wage listen to testimony Tuesday at St. Louis City Hall.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On Labor Day, we celebrate work by not working. How appropriate. Our attitudes about work are often contradictory, and current work-related debates raise puzzling questions.

Take the minimum wage. Recently, St. Louis decided to increase it; St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger reiterated why the suburbs would not, as Jason Rosenbaum reported.

Protesters are greeted by a wall of police officers after a march to the Ferguson Police department on August 11, 2014.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI / UPI

A report from the Department of Justice on how police responded to protests in Ferguson following the shooting death of Michael Brown last summer has drawn praise and criticism from individuals who were involved in the protests on all sides.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, says he’s definitely running for re-election next year – a decision that isn’t a surprise.

Shimkus, 57, has been in office since 1997, and through two redistrictings that changed his turf’s boundaries – and its number. He currently represents the 15th District.

Missouri Department of Transportation

A fuel tax increase now has more support than a sales tax increase to help pay for Missouri’s roads and bridges.

The Missouri Department of Transportation’s most recent survey finds 24 percent of Missourians favor raising taxes on fuel — an increase of 9 points since 2013. Meanwhile, raising the sales tax has lost support, falling four points to 17 percent.

Protesters are greeted by lines of state and county police during a demonstration march on the Ferguson police station on August 11, 2014.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A report by the U.S. Department of Justice examines a chaotic and often uncoordinated response to the protests that erupted after the shooting death of Michael Brown in August 2014.

The Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services on Wednesday released its after-action report on the police response to the 17 days between when Brown was shot and killed by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and his funeral.

a rolling dollar bill
dleafy | sxc.hu

Missouri’s general-revenue collections shot up by almost 10 percent in August. But acting budget chief Dan Haug says it’s too early to pop the champagne.

August’s sharp increase, compared to August 2014, comes after a slight downturn in July.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The debate on ‘right to work’ was at the forefront of Missouri’s most recent legislative session. 

Ed Martin
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies chat with Eagle Forum president Ed Martin about the wide open race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Mother Jones leading a Colorado march.
United Mine Workers of America (Courtesy Rosemary Feurer)

Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, the “grandmother of all agitators,” emerged as an activist in the late 19th century during the country’s rash of mine and railway strikes.

Fighting for organizations such as the United Mine Workers of America during strikes, Jones organized a transnational, multi-ethnic movement in support of a living wage, restrictions on child labor and public ownership of resources. She came to be nationally known as a dissident, a “dangerous citizen,” and an unapologetic Bolshevik—later in life, she owned up to all three.

St. Louis County Executive-elect Steve Stenger said his transition into his new office is going much more smoothly than last week.
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

When St. Louis last week started the process to raise its minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2018, some policymakers and activists hoped the move would spur St. Louis County to follow suit.

“It would be great if the county came along with us,” said St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed. “I think that is one of the major issues with the bill. We need to have this on a much broader spectrum than just the city.”

(via Flickr/david_shane)

A working group created by the Missouri Supreme Court to look at reforms to the municipal court system will study whether some of the courts should be consolidated.

The group released its interim report Tuesday. The two-page document outlines the areas the group plans to study over the next three months, and the material it has already gathered to inform its work.