The bill would change the definition by making discrimination a motivating factor in any action taken by an employer against an employee, instead of a contributing factor as established by court rulings in recent years. House Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka) argued that the current standard is killing small businesses in Missouri.
The vote was a mere formality following last week’s battle to kill the measure. Maria Chappelle-Nadal of University City and several other Senate Democrats had conducted a filibuster, but gave in after language guaranteeing jury trials in discrimination lawsuits was added to the bill. But she still spoke out against it, in particular, the Missouri Chamber’s claim that the bill would help curb frivolous lawsuits.
A Missouri senator has introduced legislation that would push back the state's time period for candidates to file for public office.
The legislation introduced Wednesday would push the filing period back to begin on March 27. The filing period was originally scheduled to begin Feb. 28. The change will affect races for seats in the state legislature and the U.S. House.
Sen. Mike Parson, a Bolivar Republican, said the change was necessary because state lawmakers might not have enough time to file for their candidacies.
Democrats and Republicans remain deeply divided over the issue: The 104-54 vote split along party lines, with every Republican present voting “yes,” and every Democrat “no.” Supporters argued that the bill would help prevent voter fraud. But State Representative Leonard Hughes (D, Kansas City) countered that the bill is unnecessary.
A central Missouri lawmaker has filed legislation that would allow Interstate 70 to be turned into a toll road.
The measure would allow the state Department of Transportation to contract with a private company to fix I-70 in exchange for being allowed to charge tolls. Sponsoring Sen. Mike Kehoe, a Republican from Jefferson City, says that is the only way the state can afford the improvements the highway needs to accommodate increasing traffic.
House leaders had intended to hold a first-round vote on the measure Monday, but it was delayed because of the large number of Democrats who spoke against the bill. Joe Aull (D, Marshall) used former Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton (D) as an example of how he says some elderly citizens could be disenfranchised by the bill. Aull says Skelton attempted to get a photo ID for himself after the 2006 voter ID law was passed, but he was turned down.
The congressional redistricting map passed last year by Missouri lawmakers has been upheld by a Cole County judge.
Following a three-day court battle, Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled late Friday that the districts in the so-called Grand Compromise Map do comply with the state constitution’s requirement that congressional districts be “as compact as may be.” Gerry Greiman, one of the plaintiff’s attorneys, disagrees.
A Missouri judge could rule in mid-February on a lawsuit challenging new boundaries for state House districts.
The case was scheduled for a Friday hearing before Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce. Instead, the judge gave attorneys on both sides a Feb. 10 deadline for submitting written arguments. Joyce could rule the following week. Candidates currently can start filing Feb. 28 for this year's elections.