Politics & Issues

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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Mo. Congressional redistricting
6:34 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Closing arguments heard in Mo. congressional redistricting lawsuit

The Grand Compromise Map, approved by Mo. lawmakers last year. The map is being challenged in court over claims that it fails to meet the Mo. Supreme Court's standards for compactness.
(Mo. Senate)

Closing arguments were heard today (Thursday) in the lawsuit over Missouri’s new congressional district map.

Debate centered around whether the so-called Grand Compromise Map passed by lawmakers last year meets the State Supreme Court’s definition of compactness.  Gerry Greiman represents the plaintiffs.  He argued that the map’s 5th District, which lumps Kansas City together with three rural counties, fails that test.

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Workplace discrimination bill
4:57 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Filibuster over, Mo. Senate endorses workplace discrimination bill

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

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would redefine workplace discrimination, after an agreement was reached between the bill’s sponsor and a group of Democrats that had been blocking it.

The agreement took the form of an amendment to the bill, which would guarantee the right to a jury trial in any workplace discrimination case.  State Senator Brad Lager (R, Savannah), the bill’s sponsor, agreed to support the amendment.

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Workplace Discrimination
2:40 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Mo. Senate Democrats delay workplace discrimination vote

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

(2-2-2012, 1:47 a.m.:  Filibuster is over...Chappelle-Nadal agreed to stop blocking SB 592 in exchange for allowing her to add an amendment guaranteeing right of trial by jury in discrimination cases...she still voted "no" when bill received first-round approval...new story with full details will be posted.)

(10:56 p.m.:  Filibuster approaching 12 hours...Senators Chappelle-Nadal, Wright-Jones and Curls have been meeting behind closed doors, possibly considering an alternate version of the bill while other Democrats and one Republican, Kevin Engler, fill in...follow @MarshallGReport on Twitter for immediate updates.)

A filibuster launched last week by Senate Democrats to block a vote on a workplace discrimination bill has resumed today.  It would require that discrimination be a motivating factor, not a contributing factor, in any action taken by an employer against an employee.

State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City) restarted the filibuster and has so far talked about numerous topics, including taking salt from the floor of the Dead Sea during a trip to the Middle East.

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Economic Development / Jason Hall
12:16 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Mo. senators scuttle nominee for economic director

Jason Hall (at podium) with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. Nixon was introducing Hall as his nominee to be the next director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development in late Dec. 2011. Senators have since scuttled Hall's nomination.
(via Gov. Nixon's office / video screen capture)

Senate Republicans have scuttled Gov. Jay Nixon's nominee to direct the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

The Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee refused to vote Wednesday on confirming Jason Hall to head the department. Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer says he has no intention of bringing Hall up for a committee vote before the deadline to confirm him expires.

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Turner Fix bill
8:39 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Bill to stem flood of K-12 transfers heard by Mo. Sen. committee

A Mo. Senate committee hears testimony on legislation designed to address the Mo. Supreme Court's ruling in Turner v. Clayton, allowing students from unaccredited districts to transfer to adjacent accredited ones.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Legislation that’s designed to stop a potential mass exodus of students from unaccredited schools in St. Louis and Kansas City to nearby suburban schools was heard Tuesday before a Missouri Senate committee.

The bill’s provisions include scholarships for kids in unaccredited public schools to attend private schools, and it would allow accredited schools to open charter schools in unaccredited districts.  Tina Hardin of St. Louis spoke in favor of the bill.  Her son was accepted into a Catholic school, but says she can’t afford to send him there.

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Oil / Jay Nixon
12:16 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Missouri governor backs plans for new oil pipeline

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

Gov. Jay Nixon is endorsing plans for new oil pipeline that would cut across Missouri.

Nixon said Tuesday that his administration would work to approve whatever permits are necessary for Enbridge (U.S.) Inc. to build a 600-mile pipeline from Flanagan, Ill., to Cushing, Okla. The company is in the early stages of the project but hopes to begin construction in the middle of next year.

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Missouri Redistricting
9:46 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Court hearing starts over Mo. congressional map

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

Updated 12:43 with comments from hearing.

Updated 4:29 p.m. with more commentary from hearing, additional information.

A Missouri political science professor says the state's new congressional districts could have been more compact.

University of Missouri-St. Louis professor David Kimball was the first witness during a court hearing about the constitutionality of the state's new U.S. House districts.

Kimball said the districts could be considered divided in a way that gives one political party an advantage, which is known as gerrymandering.

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Workplace discrimination bills
5:41 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Mo. Legislative Black Caucus opposing workplace discrimination bills

(l-r) State Rep. Steve Webb (D, North County) and Tishaura Jones (D, St. Louis) speak out against GOP-sponsored bills that would redefine workplace discrimination in Missouri.
(Tim Bommel/Mo. House Communications)

The Legislative Black Caucus is vowing to fight attempts in both the Missouri House and Senate to pass Republican-sponsored workplace discrimination bills.

Currently, an employee can sue his or her employer if discrimination is found to be a contributing factor in any action taken against that worker.  Both House and Senate versions of the bill would require that discrimination be a motivating factor instead.   Democrat Steve Webb of North County chairs the Black Caucus.

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