Politics & Issues

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
Politics - Firefighter pension overhaul
3:19 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Board of Aldermen takes first step in overhaul of firefighter pensions

Current and retired firefighters watch the Board of Aldermen debate reforms to their pension system on April 16, 2012.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Though they waited until the last possible minute in the current session, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen has approved a measure that lays the ground for reforms to the pension system for its firefighters.

Read more
Election 2012 / Jay Nixon
11:01 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Mo. Gov. Nixon raises $1.7M to start 2012

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

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon raised $1.7 million this past quarter, helping build a campaign account of more than $6 million for his re-election bid.

Nixon, a Democrat, says his fundraising for the first three months of the year marked his best quarter so far in the 2012 campaign cycle.

All candidates must file quarterly finance reports with the Missouri Ethics Commission by 5 p.m. Monday. Nixon's campaign released a summary of his finances before filing the full report with the commission.

Missouri river flooding
5:41 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Army Corps says more reservoir space would not have prevented 2011 record floods

Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota releases 150,000 cubic feet per second of water June 14, 2011. Releases from the dam and others in the area were slowed to try to help with flooding of the Missouri River.
(via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/Jay Woods)

An increase in free space within reservoirs would not have made much of a difference in last year’s record flooding along the Missouri River, according to a report released today by the Army Corps of Engineers.   

Jody Farhat, the Corps’ Chief Water Manager for the Missouri River, says a higher amount of free space would have only reduced last year’s flooding, not prevented it.

“Due to the tremendous volume of water, we still would have had very high record releases from the reservoirs," Farhat said.  "We still would have had a significant flood event in the Missouri basin."

Read more
Election 2012
5:34 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Romney speaks to NRA at Edward Jones Dome

Mitt Romney speaks at the NRA's Leadership Forum in St. Louis on April 13, 2012.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Speaking in downtown St. Louis at the NRA's Leadership Forum today, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney emphasized his commitment to protecting the Second Amendment.  

But Romney's record on gun control is a tough sell for some members of the influential conservative group.  St. Louis native and NRA member Ed McNees says he can't trust Romney because he supported banning assault rifles while running for office in Massachusetts. 

Read more
firefighter pensions
6:03 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Mo. House committee passes STL firefigher pensions bill

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A Missouri House committee has unanimously passed a bill that would make cuts to firefighter pensions in St. Louis, but not before committee members made a few changes to the legislation.

New St. Louis firefighters would pay in 9 percent of their salaries, instead of 8 percent as originally proposed, and applicants would have to disclose any pre-existing injuries and conditions before being hired.  New hires would still get back 25 percent of what they pay in as originally proposed.  It’s sponsored by State Rep. Mike Leara (R, Sunset Hills).

Read more
MO Statehouse
2:34 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Mo. House OKs adding cellphones to No Call List

(via Flickr/denharsh)

Legislation allowing Missourians to place their cellphone numbers on the state's telemarketing No Call List is moving forward.

The House voted 147-0 Thursday for the bill allowing the addition of cellphones to the list, which would put them off-limits to most solicitations by phone call or text message. Sponsoring House member Todd Richardson, a Republican form Poplar Bluff, says expanding the registry would protect the privacy of Missourians.

The legislation moves to the Senate, which has already endorsed a similar bill.

Cocaine
1:41 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Mo. House OKs trimming disparity in cocaine sentences

A pile of crack cocaine ‘rocks.'
(via Wikimedia Commons/Drug Enforcement Administration)

Missouri House members have endorsed legislation that would reduce the disparity in prison sentences between people charged with crack and powder cocaine crimes.

Under current state laws, someone found with 2 grams of crack faces the same prison sentence as a person who has 150 grams of cocaine.

The proposed legislation would raise the minimum amount of crack to 28 grams.

Read more

Pages