Democrats and Republicans remain deeply divided over the issue: The 104-54 vote split along party lines, with every Republican present voting “yes,” and every Democrat “no.” Supporters argued that the bill would help prevent voter fraud. But State Representative Leonard Hughes (D, Kansas City) countered that the bill is unnecessary.
A central Missouri lawmaker has filed legislation that would allow Interstate 70 to be turned into a toll road.
The measure would allow the state Department of Transportation to contract with a private company to fix I-70 in exchange for being allowed to charge tolls. Sponsoring Sen. Mike Kehoe, a Republican from Jefferson City, says that is the only way the state can afford the improvements the highway needs to accommodate increasing traffic.
House leaders had intended to hold a first-round vote on the measure Monday, but it was delayed because of the large number of Democrats who spoke against the bill. Joe Aull (D, Marshall) used former Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton (D) as an example of how he says some elderly citizens could be disenfranchised by the bill. Aull says Skelton attempted to get a photo ID for himself after the 2006 voter ID law was passed, but he was turned down.
The congressional redistricting map passed last year by Missouri lawmakers has been upheld by a Cole County judge.
Following a three-day court battle, Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled late Friday that the districts in the so-called Grand Compromise Map do comply with the state constitution’s requirement that congressional districts be “as compact as may be.” Gerry Greiman, one of the plaintiff’s attorneys, disagrees.
A Missouri judge could rule in mid-February on a lawsuit challenging new boundaries for state House districts.
The case was scheduled for a Friday hearing before Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce. Instead, the judge gave attorneys on both sides a Feb. 10 deadline for submitting written arguments. Joyce could rule the following week. Candidates currently can start filing Feb. 28 for this year's elections.
Closing arguments were heard today (Thursday) in the lawsuit over Missouri’s new congressional district map.
Debate centered around whether the so-called Grand Compromise Map passed by lawmakers last year meets the State Supreme Court’s definition of compactness. Gerry Greiman represents the plaintiffs. He argued that the map’s 5th District, which lumps Kansas City together with three rural counties, fails that test.
The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would redefine workplace discrimination, after an agreement was reached between the bill’s sponsor and a group of Democrats that had been blocking it.
The agreement took the form of an amendment to the bill, which would guarantee the right to a jury trial in any workplace discrimination case. State Senator Brad Lager (R, Savannah), the bill’s sponsor, agreed to support the amendment.
(2-2-2012, 1:47 a.m.: Filibuster is over...Chappelle-Nadal agreed to stop blocking SB 592 in exchange for allowing her to add an amendment guaranteeing right of trial by jury in discrimination cases...she still voted "no" when bill received first-round approval...new story with full details will be posted.)
(10:56 p.m.: Filibuster approaching 12 hours...Senators Chappelle-Nadal, Wright-Jones and Curls have been meeting behind closed doors, possibly considering an alternate version of the bill while other Democrats and one Republican, Kevin Engler, fill in...follow @MarshallGReport on Twitter for immediate updates.)
A filibuster launched last week by Senate Democrats to block a vote on a workplace discrimination bill has resumed today. It would require that discrimination be a motivating factor, not a contributing factor, in any action taken by an employer against an employee.
State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City) restarted the filibuster and has so far talked about numerous topics, including taking salt from the floor of the Dead Sea during a trip to the Middle East.
Jason Hall (at podium) with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. Nixon was introducing Hall as his nominee to be the next director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development in late Dec. 2011. Senators have since scuttled Hall's nomination.
Credit (via Gov. Nixon's office / video screen capture)
Senate Republicans have scuttled Gov. Jay Nixon's nominee to direct the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
The Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee refused to vote Wednesday on confirming Jason Hall to head the department. Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer says he has no intention of bringing Hall up for a committee vote before the deadline to confirm him expires.