Politics & Issues

2:10 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Blunt Stands To Move Up In Seniority After DeMint's Retirement

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) both serve on the Senate Commerce Committee.
U.S. Senate

South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint announced Thursday that he’s stepping down after the end of the year to take a job with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank. DeMint has long been a voice for the tea party movement, and a senator fond of the filibuster. But Missouri Senator Roy Blunt isn’t worried about a conservative void being left after his peer’s retirement.

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Mark Kirk
1:32 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

After Suffering Major Stroke, Sen. Kirk To Return To Work Jan. 3

U.S. Sen. for Ill. Mark Kirk.
(via Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate)

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk will return to work in Washington on Jan. 3, a year after suffering a major stroke that required months of intense rehabilitation.

Kirk has indicated previously that he'd return to work next month but hadn't specified a date. The Republican's spokeswoman, Erin Athas, confirmed the date on Thursday. She had no further details.

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4:44 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Sifton, Environmental Group To Congress: Pass Credit For Wind Energy

Stuart Keating of Environment Missouri (left) and state Senator-elect Scott Sifton gathered at City Hall to call for the PTC to be extended.
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

The federal wind Production Tax Credit supports nearly 2,000 Missouri jobs, but is set to expire at the end of the year. If Congress doesn’t act to renew the subsidy that could change, which has some Missouri policy-makers worried.

State Senator-elect Scott Sifton of St. Louis joined representatives from Environment Missouri, a non-profit environmental advocacy organization, on Wednesday to call for Congress to approve the incentive.

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Illinois Prisons
2:18 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Some Illinois Prisons, Facilities May Close As Budget Cuts Stand

(Flickr/neil conway)

Gov. Pat Quinn's budget cuts that will force the closure of some prisons and other state facilities will stand.

The Illinois House didn't consider an override vote Wednesday before adjourning on the last day of veto session. A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan says the speaker didn't think it was necessary action to take.

Last week, the Senate voted to reject cuts of $56 million to funds for the Tamms high-security prison and other sites.

Quinn opposed the override.

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Medicaid expansion
6:52 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Social Service Advocates Ask Mo. Lawmakers To Expand Medicaid

(l-r) Alice Kliethermes and Cynthia Keele of NAMI Missouri testify before a Mo. House budget subcommittee on Dec. 4th, 2012.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

People and groups who work with Medicaid clients urged Missouri lawmakers today to expand coverage in next year’s state budget.

Cynthia Keele from NAMI Missouri (National Alliance on Mental Illness) told a State House budget subcommittee that expanding Medicaid would help families dealing with medical debt.

“Missouri medical debt is responsible for about 40 percent of the bankruptcies in Missouri, and I know that because I’m a banker’s wife," Keele said.  "Those bankruptcies and medical debt kill jobs.”

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St. Louis on the Air
3:00 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Conservative Columnist George Will On Climate Change, Immigration And Baseball

Guest host Jim Kirchherr talking with columnist George Will
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

George Will is a Pulitzer Prize-winning political journalist and author.  He is perhaps most well-known for his conservative columns in the Washington Post, which have appeared in the paper since 1974.

Will is scheduled to deliver the fall 2012 keynote speech for the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University.

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2013 pre-filed bills
6:32 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

No Retail Shopping On Thanksgiving, Other Bills, Prefiled In Mo. For 2013 Session

Mo. Capitol
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Today is the first full day that Missouri lawmakers in both chambers can prefile bills for next year’s regular session.

One bill in particular comes in the wake of the annual holiday shopping surge that surrounds the Thanksgiving holiday weekend:  HB 37 would make it illegal for retail stores to open for business on Thanksgiving Day.  The proposal is sponsored by State Representative-Elect Jeff Roorda (D, Barnhart).  He says it’s in response to the ongoing push by retailers to open for business on nationally-recognized holidays.

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St. Louis on the Air
4:21 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Author David Nasaw On Myth-Busting The 'Womanizing, Nazi-Sympathizing, Vilified' Kennedy Patriarch

Author David Nasaw

When the Kennedy family approached author David Nasaw asking him to write a biography of Joseph P. Kennedy, father of the nine Kennedy children, he tried to say no.

“I said over and over and over again: you don’t want me to write this book. I’m a crazy-obsessive researcher - I’m going to find something the family doesn’t like,” Nasaw told “St. Louis on the Air” guest host Jim Kirchherr. “[But] they said, ‘Anything that you write is going to be better than the garbage that’s out there.’"

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Missouri Supreme Court
2:45 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Nixon Appoints Paul Wilson To Mo. Supreme Court

Paul Wilson has been appointed by Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon to fill a vacancy on the Missouri Supreme Court.
(Courtesy Office of the Governor)

Will be updated.

Paul Wilson, of Jefferson City, has been appointed by Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon to fill the vacancy on the Missouri Supreme Court.

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10:23 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Newly Re-Elected Emerson Leaving Congress In Feb.

Republican Missouri Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson.
(Office of Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson)

Will be updated. For full update information, see bottom of article.

Republican U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri says she is leaving Congress in February to become president and CEO for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Emerson announced the plans Monday, just weeks after she won re-election to the southeastern Missouri district.

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