Politics & Issues

Politics
11:57 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Danforth On Morning Edition: The Lost Art Of Budget Negotiations

Former Missouri Senator John Danforth.
Wikimedia Commons

Former Missouri Senator John Danforth appeared on NPR's Morning Edition this morning to discuss his experiences with past budget negotiations and what lessons can be used in discussions underway today.

Fiscal Cliff
10:40 am
Tue December 11, 2012

'Fiscal Cliff' Could Affect Mo. Economy, Budget

Missouri's gross revenue collection in July was up by .6 percent as compared to July 2010.
flickr/yomanimus

If officials in Washington don't reach a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," Missouri could see a hit to its economy and budget.

The Federal Funds Information for States estimates Missouri could lose $1 billion of Defense Department spending on contracts and military institutions if federal spending cuts take effect in the new year. The Washington-based organization estimates those automatic cuts also could result in a $125 million reduction in federal grants to state programs, such as public schools and early childhood programs.

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Performance-based funding
5:14 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Mo. Lawmakers Considering Performance-Based Funding For Universities, Community Colleges

(St. Louis Public Radio)

A group of Missouri lawmakers is considering an overhaul of how the state’s colleges and universities are funded each year.

A first draft of recommendations was released today, and it includes basing 10 percent of an institution’s state funding on performance standards such as graduation rates for seniors and retention rates for freshmen and sophomores.  State Senator David Pearce (R, Warrensburg) chairs the Joint House-Senate Committee on Education.

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Politics
5:12 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Democratic Groups Pressure McCaskill To Stand Firm On Entitlements

Earline Jones of the Missouri Alliance of Retired Americans: "Medicare and Social Security are bedrock programs that Missouri's seniors depend on."
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Lawmakers are hoping to put together a compromise before the end of the year to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff –a series of tax increases and spending cuts, which some economists say would trigger another recession.

But some Democratic groups are pressuring Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill to keep entitlements off the bargaining table.

Nearly 50 retired teachers, union members and health care workers assembled at a St. Louis Social Security office Monday, holding up signs like “hands off my social security" and “instead of war, invest in people.”

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Politics
10:04 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Mo. Congressional Vacancy Avoids Partisan Pitfalls

Republican Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson says she is considering a run for U.S. Senate in 2012. (Office of Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson)
(Office of Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson)

There will be no repeat of the big-dollar, negative primary that plagued Missouri's Republican Senate contest when GOP leaders meet next year to select a replacement candidate for retiring Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson.

That's because there will be no primary election at all - no chance for rank-and-file Republicans or Democrats to cast their votes.

Nominees will be selected by committees of party officials from southeast Missouri. Only then will one Republican and one Democratic candidate be submitted to voters in a special election.

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cigarette tax
4:27 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Mo. Tax Reform Proposal Includes Another Cigarette Tax Hike, Flat Income Tax

Next month, SSM Health Care will no longer hire smokers.
Flickr/SuperFantastic

Despite being rejected by voters last month, there’s a new proposal to raise Missouri’s cigarette tax.

It’s part of a bill prefiled in the Missouri Senate that would also raise the state’s sales tax by one-half percent while fixing the state income tax rate at a flat 4 percent.  The proposal would raise the cigarette tax by 26 cents, from its current 17 cents per pack to 43 cents per pack.  It’s sponsored by Republican Senator John Lamping of St. Louis County.

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Campaign Finance
12:39 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Mo. Gov. Nixon Spent $15.5M On Re-Election

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon (D) talks with reporters at a press conference at the State Capitol.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon spent $15.5 million on his re-election campaign and still has hundreds of thousands of dollars left over.

Campaign finance reports released Thursday show Nixon's fundraising committee had a balance of nearly $414,000 at the start of December.

Nixon has changed his committee to indicate that he now is seeking an unspecified statewide office in 2016 and has given it a new name - "A Better Missouri With Governor Jay Nixon."

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Campaign Finance
10:28 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Despite Condemning The Candidate, The NRSC Funneled Money To Akin

U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-St. Louis) announces he will challenge Sen. Claire McCaskill for her seat in 2012 on May 17, 2011.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 2:02 with McCaskill's finances.

In spite of repeated assurances that they wouldn't support Congressman Todd Akin's senate bid after his damning comments regarding "legitimate rape," the National Republican Senatorial Committee funneled $756,000 into Akin's campaign during the days before the election.

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Politics
4:41 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Blunt Votes To Block Ratification Of Disability Treaty

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt in 2010.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Republicans in the Senate have blocked ratification of a United Nations treaty that would have helped countries protect the rights of disabled people.

Although it’s modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act - which was passed over twenty years ago - 38 Republicans voted against the treaty.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt voted against it, and told reporters Thursday that he objected to it being brought up during the lame duck session.

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Politically Speaking
3:54 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

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 today's episode: We discuss Representative Jo Ann Emerson's early departure, and who's on the short-list to replace her, where we stand on Medicaid expansion, and Senator Claire McCaskill's recent PR tour.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

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