Politics & Issues

Politics
7:23 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Ill. Pension Negotiations Continue

Credit (via Flickr/jglazer75)

Negotiations for a complete overhaul of Illinois' underfunded pension systems continue. But the president of the state Senate is again pushing a measure his chamber approved months ago.

Governor Pat Quinn has been adamant that something pass before the General Assembly's current session ends for good on Wednesday.

In May, the Senate passed legislation that reduces state workers' and legislators' own retirement benefits. But the House never took it up.  Senate President John Cullerton says representatives should do so when they return to Springfield on Sunday.

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Campaign Finance
4:00 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Political Spending 'Arms Race' Makes It A Good Year For TV Stations

A series of attack ads paid for by Governor Jay Nixon labeled his opponent, Dave Spence as a "banker." Spence would later sue Nixon for defamation because of this series of ads.
(via Jay Nixon campaign website video)

It’s estimated that TV stations’ political ad revenues were around $2.6 billion last year – a 68 percent increase from just 4 years ago.

This was the first big election since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010 that declared corporations to be people and money to be speech. The ruling made 2012 a good year for TV stations that get paid to air political ads.

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Child Sex Abuse
5:29 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Task Force Releases 22 Recommendations For Fighting Sex Abuse Of Children

A task force set up to combat sexual abuse of children releases its recommendations the week before the start of Missouri's 2013 legislative session.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A task force has released its recommendations on combatting sexual abuse of children in Missouri.

There are 22 recommendations in all.  They include requiring people who are legally obligated to report sex abuse incidents to directly contact the state’s Children’s Division, instead of just reporting incidents to superiors within their own organizations.  That particular recommendation will be sponsored by State Representative Marsha Haefner (R, Oakville).

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Circuit Judge Barbara Peebles
4:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

St. Louis Judge Peebles' Disciplinary Case Heard By Mo. Supreme Court

Judge Barbara Peebles
22nd Judicial Circuit Courts

A St. Louis city judge fighting to keep her job had her day before the Missouri Supreme Court today.

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Politically Speaking
4:14 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

Alex Heuer

We're back! It's the first Politically Speaking podcast of the new year.

St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon's Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to discuss what's ahead in the rapidly approaching legislative session, who will be the Missouri GOP's next chairman and some personnel changes in the St. Louis mayoral race.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

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Politics
6:28 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Ill. Senate Committee Approves Two Gun Control Measures

Credit (via Flickr/ M Glasgow)

Following last month's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, Illinois legislators are hurrying to crack down on guns, despite opposition from groups like the National Rifle Association.  

On their first day back for the General Assembly's last week of session, Senate Democrats sent two gun control measures to the floor.

Illinois Council on Handgun Violence Director Colleen Daley pleaded with Senators to pass a ban on new purchases of assault weapons. She says she doesn't want Illinois to become the next state where they're used in a mass killing.

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Politics
6:13 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Will Illinois Become The 10th State To Legalize Gay Marriage?

Credit via Wikimedia Commons

 Updated 5:49 p.m.

The Associated Press reports that the bill has cleared the Senate committee and will head to the full Senate for a vote. 

It is not clear when that vote will take place. 

Updated 4:51 p.m. with information on start of hearing. Will be updated. 

A Senate committee has started considering a landmark bill that could make Illinois the 10th state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

Hundreds of people have submitted comments for and against the measure.

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Internet sales tax
5:28 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Report: Missouri Has Lost $2.3 Billion In Revenue By Not Collecting Taxes On Internet Sales

(via Flickr/Anderson Mancini)

It appears that Missouri has lost about $2.3 billion in revenue over the past nine years because it does not collect sales taxes on purchases made over the Internet.


A report issued by the University of Missouri’s Truman School of Public Affairs says that averages out to around $468 million a year.  House Minority Floor Leader Jacob Hummel (D, St. Louis) says collecting taxes on Internet sales could help fund several critical needs, including K-12 schools.


“I think if you look at just levels of school funding, when adjusted for inflation, we’re back at levels in the early (19)90’s," Hummel said.  "Clearly this is a way to enhance revenue.”

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Fiscal Cliff
4:50 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Mo. GOP Divided Over Fiscal Cliff Deal

How did Missouri's representatives vote? Green denotes a vote in favor and blue is against. Representative Sam Graves did not vote.

Congress may have passed a deal to avert the self-inflicted “fiscal cliff” crisis Tuesday night, but you might want to hold off on celebrating. Another gridlock could be here in a couple of months.

Missouri lawmakers were divided on the deal. Missouri’s Democrats joined Republican Senator Roy Blunt and Representatives Blaine Luetkemeyer and Jo Ann Emerson in voting in favor of the bill.

Below you can see how Missouri's representatives voted. Both Senator Blunt and McCaskill voted in favor of the deal.

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Civilian review
3:45 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

New Chief Dotson Will Pursue Civilian Review Boards For Police Department

The logo of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department as displayed on the side of a patrol vehicle.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

The new chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says he wants to implement a civilian review board in the city of St. Louis.

Sam Dotson officially took over as chief on Tuesday. The former operations director for Mayor Francis Slay replaces Dan Isom, who retired.

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