House and Senate budget negotiators resumed talks today, but still have not resolved differences over how to fund veterans homes and health care for the blind.
They agreed on numerous budget items that have garnered little to no controversy. The House won out on its proposed pay raise for state workers – those earning under $70,000 a year would get a 2 percent raise starting in July. Kirk Schaefer (R, Columbia), the Senate’s chief negotiator, says he didn’t mind accepting the House’s position on pay raises.
Missouri congressmen Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan have some differences of opinion when it comes to the potential political impact of their Democratic primary battle.
Both are running for the Democratic nomination in the 1st congressional district, which Clay has represented since 2001. Carnahan decided to challenge Clay after Carnahan’s south St. Louis city and county district was split up following the 2010 census. Clay calls the situation “unfortunate".
“We had excellent hearings this year, but it became very clear that until we raise the awareness of the public and the need in the public that we would be spinning our wheels to move any further," Stouffer said.
Blunt spent most of his nine-minute speech criticizing government growth and overregulation. He was especially critical of the federal government’s attempts to regulate family farms.
"We don’t need people in Washington DC deciding what farm kids can do on family farms," Blunt said to applause. "We don’t need the EPA trying to spend all this time figuring out how you can farm without dust.”
A Republican member of the Missouri House announced today that he is gay during a press conference on a bill that would limit public schools from discussing sexual orientation in the classroom. Zachary Wyatt of Kirksville told reporters he has deep regrets for not taking stands earlier against school bullying, and called for lawmakers to shelve the so-called “don’t say gay” bill.
With his disclosure today, Wyatt becomes the only current openly gay Republican state legislator in the nation.
St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin talked with Wyatt about the bill and his decision to come out.
The Missouri Senate took the next step Tuesday toward beginning final negotiations with the House on next year’s state budget. But Senate members struggled with whether to bind themselves to various positions they support.