Politics & Issues

Kevin Engler
6:20 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Engler’s exit interview: 'probably true' that Mo. Senate is broken

Mo. state Sen. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington with his late dog, Winston. The dog often accompanied Engler to political functions and parades. Engler said Winston was "part of [his] softer side."
(Courtesy Engler's Office)

Nine State Senators won’t be returning to Jefferson City next year due to term limits.  Among them, Republican Kevin Engler of Farmington, who made a failed bid two years ago to become President Pro-tem after serving as Majority Leader.  Since then, he has been outspoken on the way the Senate works, or in the views of some political observers, doesn’t work.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin talked with Engler on the final day of the regular session.

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Rush Limbaugh/Hall of Famous Missourians
1:10 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Limbaugh bust displayed at Missouri Capitol

The bust of Rush Limbaugh on display in the Hall of Famous Missourians at the Mo. Capitol.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The bust of radio host Rush Limbaugh is on display at the Missouri Capitol with fellow members of the Hall of Famous Missourians.

Limbaugh's bust was positioned Monday near the doors to the House chamber, across the corridor from the bust of a fellow southeastern Missourian, former Democratic Gov. Warren Hearnes.

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Claire McCaskill
10:25 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Sen. McCaskill paid condo property taxes late

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
(via Flickr/Senator McCaskill)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill paid several hundred dollars of interest and penalties for late property taxes on a Washington, D.C., condominium.

The Kansas City Star reported that the Missouri Democrat paid $197 in penalties and interest after missing the fall 2011 tax deadline by about three weeks. The newspaper reported that she paid $198 in penalties and interest after she was late on her spring 2010 property tax payment.

McCaskill said the District of Columbia bills people twice a year, and the bill "slipped through the cracks."

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Mo. 2012 legislative session
1:26 am
Sat May 19, 2012

2012 Missouri legislative session ends

Mo. Capitol
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri lawmakers have wrapped up the 2012 legislative session.  They passed 115 bills this year, nearly 50 of them on the final day alone.  But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin tells us, several high-priority issues didn’t make it to the finish line.

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Mo. 2012 legislative session
4:25 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Missouri legislative session heads into homestretch

Mo. Capitol
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri lawmakers continue debating bills in the closing minutes of the 2012 regular session.

Among the bills passed so far today is one that would require legislative approval before a health care exchange can be created in Missouri.  State Rep. Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) accused Governor Jay Nixon (D) of trying last year to create an exchange via executive order.

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Cocaine
1:40 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Mo. lawmakers trim disparity in cocaine sentences

A pile of crack cocaine ‘rocks.'
(via Wikimedia Commons/Drug Enforcement Administration)

Missouri lawmakers have endorsed a proposal to reduce the disparity in prison sentences between people convicted of crimes involving crack and powder cocaine.

Under current state law, people convicted of manufacturing more than 2 grams of crack face the same prison sentence as someone distributing more than 150 grams of cocaine.

The new law would make more than 8 grams of crack comparable to more than 150 grams of cocaine.

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Contraception
10:45 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Mo. lawmakers face contraception issue on last day

(via Flickr/brains the head)

Missouri senators have passed legislation specifically allowing employers to refuse, on religious ground, to provide health insurance that covers contraception, sterilization or abortion.

The Senate's 28-6 vote Friday moved the bill to the Missouri House, where it was passed during mid-afternoon.

MO Statehouse - Final Day
6:33 am
Fri May 18, 2012

End of session will lack drama, but not fireworks

Mo. lawmakers celebrate the end of the 2011 regular session with the traditional paper toss. The 2012 regular session ends today.
(Tim Bommell/Mo. House Communications)

It's the final day of the regular legislative session for the Missouri General Assembly.

Lawmakers have spent the past week clearing a backlog of bills that accumulated during a showdown over the state budget.

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Out-of-state vehicle purchases
8:27 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Nixon may veto out-of-state vehicle sales tax bill

A used car dealership in central Missouri.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) is threatening to veto legislation passed Wednesday that would require Missouri residents to pay sales taxes on autos, boats and other vehicles purchased in other states.

Nixon called the measure a tax increase that flies in the face of a State Supreme Court ruling issued earlier this year that limited sales tax collections to purchases made in Missouri.  State Senator Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City) says, though, vetoing the bill would threaten jobs.

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Tax credit/Mamtek legislation
4:07 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Tax credit/Mamtek bill likely dead

Mo. House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville)
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Speaker of the Missouri House has thrown cold water on a scaled-back tax credit reform measure passed Wednesday by the Senate.

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