Politics & Issues

MO Statehouse/Workplace discrimination
2:35 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Mo. House approves changes to workplace discrimination law

The Missouri House has passed its version of a bill that would redefine standards for workplace discrimination lawsuits.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Legislation that would redefine workplace discrimination standards in Missouri has passed the State House.

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.

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Workplace discrimination bill
3:49 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Mo. Senate passes workplace discrimination bill

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

The Missouri Senate has passed legislation that would redefine what constitutes discrimination in the workplace.

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.

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Missouri Redistricting
11:41 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Mo. senator urges later candidate filing period

An interior view of the Missouri Capitol building in Jefferson City, Mo.
(via Flickr/jennlynndesign)

Updated 12:19 p.m.

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.

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Higher Education / Missouri Budget
5:06 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Nixon restores $40 million to higher ed. with 2013 budget amendment

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

In the wake of a possible approximately 12.5 percent cut in higher education funding for fiscal year 2013, and ongoing discussion of tuition hikes and job cuts across the University of Missouri system in response, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has announced an a

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voter ID
2:31 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Mo. House endorses voter photo ID requirement

The chambers of the Missouri House of Representatives at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

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.

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I-70 toll road proposal
10:09 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Mo. senator files proposal to allow tolls on I-70

Interstate 70 in Columbia, Mo., between St. Louis and Kansas City. The stretch of interstate between St. Louis and Kansas City could become a toll road under a new proposal.
(via Flickr/KOMUnews)

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.

Voter photo ID bill
9:42 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Debate on voter ID underway in Mo. House

Mo. Capitol
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has begun debate on a bill that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

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.

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Tax credit bills
4:17 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Mo. House committee approves tax credits for data storage, sporting events

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

Two bills that would provide incentives for building underground data storage centers and for drawing amateur sporting events to Missouri have cleared a State House committee.

They’re now headed to the House floor.  If they pass there, Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka) says he thinks they’ll have a fair shot at being passed by the Missouri Senate.

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Missouri Congressional Redistricting
4:11 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Judge upholds Mo. congressional redistricting map

The Grand Compromise Map, approved by Mo. lawmakers last year. The map was upheld in court Friday. Plaintiffs claimed it fails to meet the Mo. Supreme Court's standards for compactness.
(Missouri Senate)

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.

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Missouri House Redistricting
2:47 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Arguments in Mo. House redistricting case due Feb. 10

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

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.

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