Politics & Issues

MOSIRA
7:38 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Mo. lawmakers react to MOSIRA law being struck down

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

Many Missouri lawmakers are expressing disappointment over Tuesday's ruling that struck down the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, more commonly known as "MOSIRA."

The measure would have used revenues generated by a group of science and high-tech companies to create a pool to lure more such companies to Missouri and to keep the ones already here from leaving.  State Senator Luann Ridgeway (R, Smithville) is not happy with the ruling.

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Farm Taxes
12:43 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Mo. House rejects plan to increase some farm taxes

(via Flickr/Dodo-Bird)

Missouri House members have voted to reject a tax plan that would increase property taxes for the best farms.

Property taxes for farms are based on the land's "productive value." Farms are divided into eight groups based on land quality, with the best in Grade 1 and the worst in Grade 8. The Missouri Tax Commission has recommended increasing productive values for the four highest grades.

The property tax changes for 2013 and 2014 take effect unless the Legislature approves a resolution to reject them. House members voted 117-39 on Tuesday to reject the tax proposal.

English-only driver's tests
8:56 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Mo. House endorses English-only driver's exams

Mo. House chambers
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require driver’s license exams be given only in English.

Currently, the state of Missouri provides the written driver’s exam in English and eleven other languages.  House Member Mark Parkinson (R, St. Charles) says his bill follows the spirit of the state constitution’s mandate that public proceedings be conducted in English.

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Mo. candidate filing period
7:08 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Mo. House leader may push for 2-week candidate filing period

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

Legislation that would move the candidate filing period for the August primary back by one month is now moving through the Missouri House.

On Monday it passed the House Elections Committee and it next goes to the Rules Committee.  However, House Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka) seems to favor an alternate approach:  Having a two-week filing period that would begin sometime in mid-March and end on March 27th as currently scheduled.

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Term Limits
4:47 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Mo. Senate endorses expansion of term limits

The Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri voters could get to decide whether to impose term limits on all executive officeholders under a proposal endorsed by the state Senate.

The proposed constitutional amendment would limit the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and auditor to serving two, four-year terms. A similar limit already is in place for Missouri's governor and treasurer. State lawmakers also are subject to term limits.

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worker's compensation
6:30 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Mo. Senate passes workers' comp bill

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

The Missouri Senate has passed legislation that would prohibit employees from suing co-workers for injuries they sustain on the job.

Senators voted 28-6 in favor of the bill Thursday. Majority Leader Tom Dempsey, who sponsored the measure, says the change will be fairer to workers and protect them from having to pay large court judgments.

The legislation also provides for workers' compensation coverage of occupational diseases. Such diseases were removed from the program under a 2005 law.

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Missouri redistricting
6:17 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Mo. Supreme Court hears congressional map suits again

The Grand Compromise Map, passed in 2011 by Mo. lawmakers, is being challenged in two lawsuits that claim that the map fails the State Constitution's compactness requirement.
(Missouri Senate)

Two lawsuits challenging Missouri’s new congressional district map have been heard for a second time by the State Supreme Court.  The cases returned to the High Court after the map was upheld two weeks ago by a Cole County Circuit judge.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs continued their arguments that the districts drawn on the so-called Grand Compromise Map fails the state constitution’s compactness requirement.  Attorney Jamie Barker Landes criticized the new 5th District, which lumps three rural GOP-leaning counties with urban Jackson County, while also adding a slice of metro Kansas City onto the rural northern Missouri 6th District.

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Mo. candidate filing period
12:07 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

State Senate approves delay in Mo. filing period

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

The Missouri Senate has unanimously passed legislation to move the filing period for the state’s party primaries back by one month.

The bill is moving rapidly because the filing period is currently set to begin February 28th and end March 27th, and because of the lack of new State House and Senate district maps.  The Missouri Supreme Court tossed out the Senate map, which now has to be redrawn, and a legal challenge to the new House map is also being appealed to the High Court.  Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says those facts alone make it necessary to push back the filing period.

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Mo. candidate filing period
8:16 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Filing period bill moves forward in Mo. Senate

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

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would push back the filing period for the state’s August primaries by one month.

The bill’s backers say the filing period needs to be moved forward to March 27th through April 24th, due to legal uncertainty over the State House and Senate district maps.  Currently, the filing period begins February 28th and ends March 27th for all state and federal races this year.

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Second Injury Fund
7:52 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Koster, Mo. lawmakers, address 2nd Injury Fund woes

Mo. Atty. Gen. Chris Koster (D)
(Mo. Attorney General's office)

Attorney General Chris Koster (D) is urging Missouri lawmakers to either find a way to make the state’s Second Injury Fund solvent again or to get rid of it entirely.

The fund provides payments to workers who return to the workforce after being injured on the job, then are injured on the job again. The Attorney General’s office manages the fund, and Koster says it’s been losing money ever since lawmakers in 2005 capped the amount of money Missouri businesses have to pay to keep the fund afloat.

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