Politics & Issues

Chris Koster
12:13 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Questions raised by Auditor over Koster office contracts

Mo. Attorney General Chris Koster.
(Mo. Atty. General's Office)

Will be updated.

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is questioning the process for awarding contracts to private attorneys representing the state in lawsuits.

The attorney general's office can award contingency fee contracts by requesting bids or asking the state Office of Administration to request bids and establish an independent panel to choose the winner.

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Monarch Fire District
4:45 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Monarch Fire District making improvements, Mo. Auditor's follow-up finds

Mo. Auditor Tom Schweich (R).

The State Auditor’s Office is pleased overall with efforts by the Monarch Fire Protection District in Chesterfield to implement changes recommended in a recent audit.

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.”

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Missouri ballot initiatives
10:18 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Mo. Supreme Court hears ballot initiative lawsuits

Mo. Supreme Court
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Six lawsuits involving three ballot initiatives were heard Monday by the Missouri Supreme Court.

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.

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Politics
6:02 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Nixon says 'Washington Healthcare Law' not good for Missouri

Gov. Jay Nixon

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.

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Mo. State budget
11:25 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Mo. governor signs state budget, cuts higher education again

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has signed Missouri’s $24 billion budget into law, but he also sliced $15 million from next year’s spending plan.

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Flooded state parks update
6:45 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

One Mo. state park still closed, another partially open, nearly 1 year after flood

Flood waters from the Missouri River cover most of Big Lake State Park in the summer of 2011.
via Flickr/MissouriDNRPhoto

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.

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Election 2012
12:09 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Mo. governor candidate Spence repaid NY incentives

Dave Spence, former president and CEO of St. Louis-based Alpha Packaging, and a 2012 Missouri gubernatorial candidate.
(Provided By: Alpha Packaging)

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.

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Election 2012
12:41 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Mo. Supreme Court: Nasheed, Taylor to stay on Democratic primary ballots

The Missouri Supreme Court building in Jefferson City, Mo.
(via Flickr/david_shane)

Updated 4:34 p.m. with comments from Rep. Sylvester Taylor. 

Usually, the residency requirement for political candidates is just another box to check, but two cases involving St. Louis-area office-seekers have not been so clearly defined - until today.

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cost of ballot measures
5:30 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Mo. Auditor's office: zero costs/savings for judicial and health exchange ballot questions

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

Two ballot questions going before Missouri voters in November won’t cost or save the state any money, according the State Auditor’s office.

One in particular would make changes to how appellate judges are selected.  The fiscal note for that measure was put together by Deputy Auditor Harry Otto.

“(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.’”

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Politics: K-12 budget
7:18 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Record funding for K-12, but Mo. education budget still below formula level

(via Flickr/frankjuarez)

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.

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