Politics & Issues

Birth Control
2:37 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Mo. Senate passes birth control coverage measure

(via Flickr/brains the head)

Updated 3:34 p.m. with correction from The Associated Press - the legislation was approved on a 26-5 vote, not a voice vote.

The Missouri Senate has approved legislation letting employers refuse to provide health insurance coverage for birth control in some instances.

The legislation, passed Thursday on a 26-5 vote, would let employers deny coverage unless an employee has a medical need for birth control. The measure now goes to the Missouri House.

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Voter ID Laws
12:43 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Proposed Mo. constitutional amendment on voter ID thrown out

(via Flickr/ Daniel Morrison)

A Cole County judge has thrown out a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution that would allow lawmakers to require voters to show IDs at the polls. 

The ruling, which you can view the full text of here, was filed on Tuesday. In it, Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce calls the summary statement, which outlines to voters what the proposed amendment would do, "insufficient" and "unfair."

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Workers' Compensation
12:34 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Mo. Senate overrides veto on workers' comp, but the House likely won't

An interior view of the Missouri Capitol dome.
(via Flickr/jimbowen0306)

The Missouri Senate today overrode a veto by Governor Jay Nixon (D) that would make changes to the state’s workers’ compensation system.

But the likelihood that the House will also override the Governor’s veto is virtually nonexistent, according to Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka).  He says they just don’t have the votes, even within their own party.

“We would have to first convince our caucus," Jones said.  "And even if we did, we’re still simply three votes short on a bill that no Democrat, I believe, has supported to this point…that’s a tough vote.”

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Missouri State Budget
5:36 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Nixon proposes use of Medicaid money to restore benefit cuts for blind

The dome shines brightly on the Missouri State Capitol as the sun begins to set in Jefferson City, Missouri on March 22, 2011.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says his administration has identified some additional federal money that could help avoid cuts to a program that provides health benefits to the blind.

Nixon's administration said Wednesday that most of the additional $18 million of federal Medicaid money could be used to restore the blind benefit cuts included in a budget plan passed by the House.

Rush Limbaugh/Hall of Famous Missourians
5:23 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Rally at Mo. Capitol opposes Limbaugh induction into Hall of Famous Missourians

A protester holds a sign opposing Rush Limbaugh's planned induction into the Hall of Famous Missourians.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Around a hundred demonstrators rallied outside the State Capitol today to protest plans to induct conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh into the Hall of Famous Missourians.

Limbaugh has come under fire for calling Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute" on his nationally-syndicated radio program.  Fluke had testified in favor of President Obama’s birth control policies before Congressional Democrats.  Fellow Democrat and State House Member Jeanette Mott Oxford told the crowd in Jefferson City that it would be wrong for visitors to the State Capitol to see a bust of Limbaugh in the third floor Rotunda.

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meth and Missouri
1:41 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Possible 'game-changer' in meth battle manufactured by St. Louis-area company

Pseudoephedrine, found in some cold medications, can be used to manufacture methamphetamine. But a new form of pseudophedrine manufactured by a St. Louis-area company apparently cannot be used to make the drug.
(via Flickr/ellie)

Some are calling it a "game-changer" in the battle against methamphetamine labs - a new form of pseudoephedrine that apparently can't be used to make the dangerous and addictive drug.

The formulation known as Tarex, was developed by Highland Pharmaceuticals, a suburban St. Louis company that hopes to have it on the market by summer under the brand name Releva.

Some narcotics officers believe Tarex holds promise in finally turning the tide against meth labs.

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Pro-union rally
7:37 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Massive pro-union rally at Mo. Capitol

iPad photo of pro-labor union rally on March 27, 2012. Gov. Jay Nixon (D) is addressing the crowd.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Well over a thousand labor union members rallied outside the State Capitol Tuesday against various bills in the General Assembly they say is anti-worker.

In particular, they oppose legislation that would suspend the prevailing wage law in tornado-ravaged Joplin and other parts of Missouri declared to be federal disaster areas.  Governor Jay Nixon (D) spoke at the rally, accusing Republican lawmakers and their backers of attacking working people in Missouri.

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Mo. Capitol rallies
1:32 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Hundreds rally against contraception mandate at Mo. Capitol

iPad photo of the Protect our Religious Liberty rally inside the Mo. Capitol on March 27, 2012.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Two rallies in Jefferson City today each called for the repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and for employers to have the right to not provide coverage for birth control.

Several hundred people attended the rally held at the State Capitol, led by several religious leaders.  Maggie Karner with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod told the crowd that President Obama’s birth control mandate is an attack on religious freedom.

“This debate is simply about us being forced to pay for products and services that are contrary to our religious beliefs, and we cannot be expected to check our faith at the door," Karner said.

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Public Schools
5:10 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Wide-ranging public school bill still looking for spot on Mo. House schedule

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

With less than two months left in this year’s legislative session, House Republicans still haven’t scheduled a wide-ranging public school bill for debate.  It would create tax credit scholarships that would pay for students to transfer from unaccredited schools to adjacent better-performing schools, and expand charter schools beyond St. Louis and Kansas City. 

Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones admits there are wide differences of opinion on the bill, even among Republicans.

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cigarette tax
5:47 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

5th bill filed in Mo. Gen. Assembly to raise cigarette tax

(via Flickr/Fried Dough)

Yet another bill has been filed in the General Assembly this year that would raise Missouri’s cigarette tax, currently the lowest in the nation.

This one would raise it to 75 percent of the current national average – in other words, from 17 cents per pack to $1.09-1/2 cents per pack.  Missouri’s tax per pack would also rise or fall as the national average changes, and it would require a referendum by Missouri voters to take effect.  The bill was filed by State Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford (D, St. Louis), who spoke in favor of raising the cigarette tax during budget debates on Thursday.

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