In February, Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich (R) gave the Monarch Fire District a “C,” in part for its early retirement incentives package that violated the State Constitution. Spokesman for the Auditor’s office, Spence Jackson, says their recommendations there have yet to be implemented.
“They told us that that’s not something that they’re going to have to deal with again for another couple of years," Jackson said. "But they did indicate that they would apply more due diligence with how future retirement incentives are handled, and we’re pleased with that.”
At stake are ballot questions that would raise Missouri’s cigarette tax, raise the minimum wage to $8.25 an hour, and cap interest rates on payday loans. The fate of all three may turn on whether the State Auditor has the authority to estimate the financial impact of citizens’ petition initiatives. Attorney Ronald Holliger argued that the High Court should uphold a lower court ruling supporting the State Auditor’s authority.
With the United States Supreme Court's decision on healthcare expected to come on Thursday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon broke with his party on Monday over a key part of the legislation.
Speaking with reporters in St. Louis, Governor Nixon sounded more like a Republican when asked about the impending decision.
Referring to the Affordable Care Act as the “Washington Healthcare Law” Nixon spoke out against the key ingredient of President Obama’s signature legislation—the so-called individual mandate requiring people to purchase health insurance.
Progress has been made on one of two flood-damaged state parks in northwest Missouri.
Big Lake and Lewis & Clark State Parks were underwater for several weeks during last summer’s severe flooding along the Missouri River. Lewis and Clark, about 20 miles southwest of St. Joseph, has reopened for day use only. Missouri State Parks Superintendent Bill Bryan says the campground is still closed.
Republican businessman Dave Spence has been touting his record creating jobs while campaigning to become Missouri governor. Yet records obtained by The Associated Press show Spence's business had to repay $75,000 of incentives to New York after not meeting a job target.
The failed business venture occurred in the mid-2000s. Spence's campaign says New York was a poor place to do business and that Missouri is in similarly poor shape under Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
“(We contacted) four statewide offices, 20 other departments/agencies, the House and Senate," Otto said. "Out of those 24 places that we contacted we received comments from 16, and all 16 said ‘no costs associated with this measure.’”
A new spending plan for K-12 education in Missouri is now law.
Gov. Jay Nixon signed the education budget last night at a Kansas City-area Boys State event.
The budget includes record funding for public schools, but remains below the levels called for in the state's education funding formula. A fix was supposed to be a priority for lawmakers in the last legislative session, but the Republican Party couldn't agree on a solution.