A Missouri House committee has unanimously passed a bill that would make cuts to firefighter pensions in St. Louis, but not before committee members made a few changes to the legislation.
New St. Louis firefighters would pay in 9 percent of their salaries, instead of 8 percent as originally proposed, and applicants would have to disclose any pre-existing injuries and conditions before being hired. New hires would still get back 25 percent of what they pay in as originally proposed. It’s sponsored by State Rep. Mike Leara (R, Sunset Hills).
Legislation allowing Missourians to place their cellphone numbers on the state's telemarketing No Call List is moving forward.
The House voted 147-0 Thursday for the bill allowing the addition of cellphones to the list, which would put them off-limits to most solicitations by phone call or text message. Sponsoring House member Todd Richardson, a Republican form Poplar Bluff, says expanding the registry would protect the privacy of Missourians.
The legislation moves to the Senate, which has already endorsed a similar bill.
Budget writers in the Missouri Senate have passed that chamber’s version of the state budget for next year.
The Senate plan is about $86 million smaller than the version passed by the House last month. Cuts include $13 million from child care provider grants, $7 million from other childcare services, and $1 million from meals at state prisons. Budget Chairman Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) acknowledges that many of the cuts target Medicaid.
The vote again fell mostly along party lines, passing 92 to 56, with one lawmaker voting "present." The measure would place occupational disease claims back within the workers’ comp system and would bar employees from suing each other over workplace injuries and illnesses. Democrats, including Kevin McManus of Kansas City, objects to moving claims out of the courts and back to workers' comp.
In a voice vote Wednesday, the Senate backed a measure that would allow charter schools to be set up in districts that have been declared unaccredited. It would also allow charter schools in some districts that would have been provisionally accredited for three straight years, starting with next school year.
“We’re gonna add language that everyone in that program has to go through Medicaid eligibility, so that we determine who is Medicaid eligible and who’s not…that’s the first threshold," Schaefer said. "The second is we’re gonna put in language to establish a premium.”
A State House committee began a hearing Tuesday into a stripped-down version of the workplace discrimination bill.
Governor Jay Nixon (D) vetoed the House version last month, so backers are now pushing a revised bill that will primarily focus on protecting whistleblowers. State Rep. Kevin Elmer (R, Nixa) says language that would redefine workplace discrimination as a motivating factor instead of a contributing one has been removed.
Currently, a teacher has to work in the same school district for five years to earn tenure. The bill sponsored by State Senator Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield) would expand that requirement to 10 years.
“As long as the teacher does not own their job, if you will, then they’re going to be really working to prove (themselves) and do a good job," Cunningham said. "It gives us five more years of encouraging and giving motivation to teachers to really produce.”