A proposed constitutional amendment to revise the selection process for appellate judges is headed to Missouri voters.
Members of the Missouri Supreme Court and the state Court of Appeals are appointed by the governor from three finalists recommended by a special commission. The commission is made up of one Supreme Court judge, three lawyers and three non-lawyers picked by the governor.
Missouri lawmakers have sent the governor a measure providing a dedicated funding source to veterans' nursing homes.
The bill given final approval Thursday by the House would earmark most of the state's fees from casinos to a trust fund for the Missouri Veterans Commission. The intent is to provide a permanent, predictable funding stream for the state's seven nursing homes that serve more than 1,300 military veterans.
Missouri’s Republican Senator says he’ll continue his opposition to a plan put forth by Democrats to extend federal subsidies for student loans for another year.
Roy Blunt says an alternative plan would accomplish the same goal, without raising the deficit. Blunt says he supports freezing student loan interest rates where they are now, at 3.4 percent, but says he would pay for the subsidy by taking the money from part of the President’s 2010 healthcare overhaul— which he claims is partially funded by interest payments from student loans.
With a Friday deadline looming, Missouri lawmakers finally reached a compromise on putting the final touches on the state budget.
The agreement addresses veterans’ homes, university funding and other sticking points: First, budget negotiators agreed to spread an additional $3 million among several universities, including Southeast Missouri State, and dropped a proposal to give $2 million to that school alone. Also, lawmakers will have to craft a Higher Education funding formula by the end of next year, which would be implemented in July 2014.
The Senate has made no progress on persuading Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) to stop blocking every bill in the Senate, including one to fund veterans’ homes. He says he has no objections to transferring gaming revenues from early childhood programs to nursing homes for military vets, but he won’t allow it or any other bill to advance unless the House strips more than $2 million in extra funding from Southeast Missouri State University. President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says other Senators have sided with Crowell on the issue.
The Missouri House has approved a measure intended to block rating systems from being used at child care centers and preschools.
The child care measure passed Tuesday is tied to legislation that also would create a dedicated funding stream for state veterans' homes. Both items have been at the center of a legislative logjam that so far has prevented the state's $24 billion budget from passing.
The Missouri Senate has been shut down by one Senator over which version of legislation for veterans’ homes will be adopted.
Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) and several allies tied up the Senate for nearly 12 hours Monday night and are provoking a showdown with Senate leaders. In addition to using a filibuster to block the veterans’ homes bill, Crowell is using several motions to block all bills from being debated.
“We have some issues that need to be resolved in the Senate before we move forward, and they’re gonna be resolved one way or the other," Crowell said. "I will continue to make this series of motions on anything else that we do.”
Missouri lawmakers have approved legislation that would allow residents in the St. Louis area to vote on whether to raise a local sales tax to help fund improvements at the Gateway Arch.
The measure would allow a local election on a 3/16 percent sales tax. Part of the money would go to the Gateway Arch, and a portion would go to local parks. It also would allow voters in the Kansas City area to decide on a 1/10th percent sales tax for parks, trails and greenways in Jackson County.