Politics & Issues

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Energy
5:35 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Plans to be announced Thurs. could include second Mo. nuclear reactor

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon (D)
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and officials of two energy companies are preparing to make an announcement that could include plans for a second nuclear reactor in the state.

Nixon and leaders of Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse Electric are scheduled to make the formal announcement Thursday at a news conference in Jefferson City. Nixon's office says the announcement will be significant for energy development and economic growth in Missouri.

Read more
K-12 schools
4:14 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Suburban & rural Senators battle over K-12 funding in Mo.

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

The Missouri Senate is wrestling with legislation that would tweak the state’s public school funding formula.

The bill is pitting rural and suburban senators against each other.  David Pearce (R, Warrensburg) chairs the Senate Education Committee and represents part of rural west central Missouri.  He sponsors the bill that would more evenly spread K-12 funding by siphoning it off from richer suburban districts, primarily those near St. Louis.

Read more
Abortion/Missouri House
4:41 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

More abortion restrictions endorsed by Mo. House

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

Women seeking prescriptions for abortion-inducing drugs could face greater requirements than those wanting surgical abortions under a bill endorsed by the Missouri House.

Missouri law already requires a woman to have a consultation with a doctor or qualified professional 24 hours before undergoing an abortion.

The bill given initial approval Tuesday would require a woman to receive a physical examination by a doctor 24 hours before the doctor prescribes the abortion-inducing drug RU-486.

Read more
License fee offices
1:58 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Audits examine Mo. license fee offices

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

A pair of audits examining fee offices for driver’s licenses and motor vehicles was released today by Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich (R).

He told reporters the purpose of the audits was to see if the process of awarding bids to run the offices has been de-politicized.  One of the audits turned up at least one case of a not-for-profit group using a subcontractor to run 10 license fee offices, which Schweich says is against regulations.

Read more
Undercover video/Agriculture
1:15 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Mo. bill criminalizes undercover videos at farms

(via Wikimedia Commons)

The Missouri House has endorsed legislation seeking to make it a crime for undercover activists to produce videos portraying poor conditions at agricultural facilities.

The legislation given first-round approval Tuesday would create the crime of "agriculture production facility interference." The crime would apply to people who produce or distribute photos, videos or audio recordings of the activities at an agricultural facility without the consent of the owner.

Read more
workers' comp/workplace discrimination
6:25 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Nixon, House GOP negotiate on work-related bills

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Republican leaders in the Missouri House say they’ve been negotiating with Governor Jay Nixon (D) over the two bills he vetoed last month.

The governor vetoed bills that would redefine workplace discrimination and that would place occupational disease claims solely within the workers’ compensation system House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) says discussions have been productive, but that there’s been no compromise reached yet.

Read more

Pages