Politics & Issues

Illinois State of the State
2:11 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn Delivers 2013 'State Of The State' Address

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

You'll also be able to hear the address in its entirety with analysis tonight on St. Louis Public Radio at 90.7 FM or online, beginning at 7 p.m. Join us!

Updated 3:43 p.m. with reporting from WBEZ's Tony Arnold.

Many Republicans are criticizing Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s State of the State Address as being too vague.

Today Quinn outlined his priorities for the upcoming year - including raising the minimum wage and banning high capacity guns.

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St. Louis Mayoral Race.
11:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Join Us On Monday: 'St. Louis on the Air' To Host St. Louis Mayoral Primary Forum

St. Louis City Hall.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Today on "St. Louis on the Air," we announced that we'll be hosting the St. Louis Mayoral Primary Forum.  Here are some of the details:

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Photo ID for voters
5:51 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Mo. Legislative Black Caucus Opposes Photo Voter I.D. Legislation

iPad photo of State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D, St. Louis) addressing reporters on the Mo. Leg. Black Caucus' opposition to this year's crop of photo voter I.D. bills.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Legislative Black Caucus is speaking out against legislation in both the House and Senate that would require voters to show photo ID’s at the polls.

In each chamber there are proposed constitutional amendments that would allow for photo ID requirements, along with accompanying bills that would enact the proposed requirements -- HB 48 and HJR 1 in the Missouri House, and SB 27 and SJR 6 in the Missouri SenateState Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D, St. Louis) chairs the caucus.  She and other caucus members say Republicans are trying to suppress the voting rights of minorities, the disabled, the poor and elderly.

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Same-Sex Marriage
4:41 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Bill Advances In Illinois

via Wikimedia Commons

Reporting by WBEZ's Tony Arnold.

The bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois is advancing.

For the second time in a month - the Senate Executive Committee approved the legalization of same-sex marriage along party lines.

Lawmakers tried to pass a similar bill before the end of session last month - but failed to get the necessary support.

Today the votes against the measure centered around the same argument as last time: Would religious institutions have to host same-sex marriages on their properties?

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Transportation
11:39 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Proposed 1-Cent Sales Tax For Transportation Needs Filed In Mo. Senate

Mo. Sen. Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City) announces a proposed constitutional amendment to create a temporary 1-cent sales tax to fund transportation needs. At left is MHTC chair Rudy Farber, & at right is co-sponsor Sen. Ryan McKenna (D, Crystal City).
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation has been filed in the Missouri Senate that would create a temporary sales tax dedicated to funding transportation needs statewide.

The proposed constitutional amendment would create a one-cent sales tax that would expire after 10 years.  It’s co-sponsored by State Senator Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City).  He says the one-penny tax would not be levied on groceries, prescription medicine or fuel.

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President Obama
11:14 am
Tue February 5, 2013

President Obama Speaks On Nation's Finances

President Barack Obama speaks about the nation's finances on Feb. 5, 2013.
(via WhiteHouse.Gov/screen capture)

This live event has concluded. Thank you for joining us.

President Obama made a statement on the nation's finances today.

Here's more information from NPR's live blog The Two-Way.

Earlier, we provided live video of the president's remarks. We've since removed the live feed following the conclusion of the president's statement.

Rams future in St. Louis
12:46 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Nixon And Mo. Senate Leaders Agree On At Least One Thing: No State $ For A New Rams Stadium

(via Flickr/Kevin Ward)

Those hoping to keep the Rams in St. Louis should not count on any help from Democratic Governor Jay Nixon or the Republican-led Missouri Senate.

When asked by reporters Monday about efforts to build a new stadium for the Rams, Governor Nixon said that the state is still paying half the cost of the Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis.

“I don’t have a new stadium in this year’s budget, nor do I have any ongoing discussions on how to do that," Nixon said.

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Second Injury Fund
12:07 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Second Injury Fund Debate Begins In Mo. Senate

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

The Missouri Senate spent more than two hours debating legislation Monday that would keep the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund alive.


The proposal being considered would raise fees that businesses across the state currently pay into the fund while placing restrictions on future claims.  State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City) said in floor debate that raising the cap on businesses was a good move, but expressed concern that people with pre-existing conditions would be left out.

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MSHP airplane
11:48 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Doug Nelson Confirmed As Mo. Commissioner Of Administration, Despite Airplane Concerns

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri senators have confirmed Gov. Jay Nixon's appointee to a key administrative post, despite concerns about his role in approving the purchase of a new $5.6 million airplane.


The Senate on Monday signed off on the appointment of Doug Nelson as Commissioner of Administration.


Nelson had been scheduled for confirmation last week. But that was delayed after lawmakers learned Nelson — as Acting Administration Commissioner — had approved the purchase of the plane by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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Politics
5:05 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Former 'Occupier' Wants To Bring Participatory Budgeting To 6th Ward

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

About 20 people gathered outside of a foreclosed house in south St. Louis City. They assembled to decide what should be done with the house that the bank currently owns. A few of the ideas floated around were to hold a public auction, open it up for veterans to use, or to host afterschool programs.

After all the ideas were discussed, each participant was given a ticket to put in a box that belonged to their favorite corresponding idea.

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