Politics & Issues

Missouri House/Tanning
4:24 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Mo. House endorses restrictions on teen tanning bed use

(via Flickr/theogeo)

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require most teenagers to get their parents’ permission to use tanning beds.  Those younger than 17 would have to have a parent or guardian show up in person at the tanning salon and sign a document giving their consent. 

The bill’s sponsor, GOP House Member Gary Cross of Lee’s Summit, says his daughter suffered cell damage from regular tanning bed use.

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Radioactive shipping
10:05 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Bill would ease rules on radioactive shipments through Mo.

An interior view of the dome at the Missouri Capitol.
(via Flickr/jennlynndesign)

Legislation before the Missouri House would make it easier and cheaper for a Canadian company to ship radioactive material through the state.

If the bill becomes law, Ontario-based Nordion Inc. would not have to pay fees or have shipments of colbat-60 undergo mandatory inspections in Missouri. The company sells colbat-60 for use sterilizing medical devices.

The Kansas City Star reports the amendment was written by a trade group for Nordion.

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State budget blocked
6:52 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Mo. budget being blocked by group of fiscally conservative Senators

iPad photo of Mo. Senate chamber while the body was officially at-ease Monday night, 4-23-2012. A group of fiscally conservative Republicans began blocking the state's supplemental budget bill late Monday afternoon.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Senate convened Monday afternoon preparing to debate next year's state budget, and almost immediately Senator Jason Crowell launched a filibuster.

The Republican from Cape Girardeau had promised weeks ago that he would block the budget over its use of one-time funds to fill holes in next year’s spending plan.  Gradually throughout the evening, other fiscally conservative Senators joined in, including Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), Rob Schaaf (R, St. Joseph), and Luann Ridgeway (R, Smithville).

Early on, Crowell spent part of the filibuster lampooning the Missouri House for cutting pensions for the blind.

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workplace deaths
5:21 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Missouri honors workers who died on the job in 2011

A wreath memorializing workers who died on the job in Missouri last year was displayed at a ceremony on 4-23-2012 in the State Capitol.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri workers who lost their lives on the job were remembered today at a Workers' Memorial Day ceremony at the State Capitol.

More than 130 family members of workers who lost their lives attended the ceremony, including Steffenie Quinlan from Bolivar.  Her husband, John, was a laborer who was electrocuted while on the job.

“I am very pleased that they honor(ed) them," Quinlan said.  "Everyone that’s worked on the job and died on the job should be honored.”

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Missouri Auditor
2:00 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Mo. auditor halts fiscal estimates for initiatives

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich has instructed his staff to stop doing financial estimates for ballot initiatives because of several recent court decisions.

Schweich says the court rulings have made it impossible to conduct financial estimates that can withstand legal challenges.

The memo telling staff to temporarily stop providing financial analyses for initiatives was obtained by The Associated Press under an open-records request.

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Nuclear plant deal
3:57 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Westinghouse, Ameren seek to develop small modular nuclear reactors in Mo.

Ameren Missouri's Callaway Nuclear Plant.

Westinghouse Electric Corporation and St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri will collaborate on developing small modular nuclear reactors, or SMR’s, and will seek to build them at Ameren’s Callaway County plant.

Westinghouse officials say they’ll apply for $452 million in federal funding.  Plans are to build at least one and possibly five SMR's alongside Callaway’s current reactor, and to build more SMR’s at the site for export.  Governor Jay Nixon (D) described the economic potential as enormous.

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MO Statehouse
1:40 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Mo. Senate passes education overhaul legislation

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

The Missouri Senate has passed bills that would allow for more charter schools in the state and would also allow the state to take over failing school districts more quickly.

In a 31-2 vote Wednesday, the Senate gave final backing to a measure that would allow charter schools to be set up in districts that have been declared unaccredited.

Kansas City and St. Louis are the only districts allowed to have charter schools under current Missouri law.

MO Statehouse
12:13 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Mo. House passes rebuke of fed. health care law

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

The Missouri House has passed legislation that seeks to both bar and criminalize enforcement of the 2010 federal health care law.

If passed, the state of Missouri would not recognize the federal Affordable Care Act, and any federal official who tries to enforce it in Missouri would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.  Also, any person who is targeted by a federal official seeking to enforce the ACA would have the right to sue that official.  The sponsor, State Rep. Kurt Bahr (R, O’Fallon, Mo.), says the U.S. Constitution doesn’t give the federal government the right to force citizens to purchase anything.

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Illinois/Legislative Scholarships
11:41 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Ill. Senate vote to end legislative scholarships stalled

The Ill. State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Committee shuffling has kept measures to end controversial Illinois legislative scholarships from coming to a vote.

Republican leader Sen. Christine Radogno says she's disappointed it was moved to a subcommittee Wednesday and didn't get a vote. Two similar measures have been sitting in the committee since February.

The program allows lawmakers to hand out university tuition waivers to students in their district. It drew criticism after revelations that some legislators awarded waivers to family members, political allies' children or students outside their district.

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MO Statehouse
8:58 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

MoDOT wants input on $1.3 billion rail plan

(via Flickr/jpmueller99)

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) wants public input on a $1.3 billion plan for improving and expanding rail service across the state.

The 20-year plan covers both passenger and freight service.   Passenger service recommendations include more round trips between St. Louis and Kansas City and pursuing new passenger routes across Missouri.  Those could include new Amtrak routes from St. Louis to Springfield, Kansas City to Springfield, Hannibal to Quincy, Illinois, and Kansas City to Omaha, with a stop in St. Joseph.

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