There was little to no debate on the bill Monday and it was easily approved by voice-vote. The sponsor, State Senator Will Kraus (R, Lee's Summit), says the measure has failed in recent years because it was always paired with proposals to ban robo-calls.
State and federal leaders are gathering in Columbia Saturday to talk about ways to prevent last year’s devastating floods that plagued northwest and southeastern Missouri.
Heavy snow and rainfall led to record releases from South Dakota dams along the Missouri River –and as a result 200,000 acres of farmland in northwest Missouri sat flooded for months, along with a significant stretch of Interstate 29 in Missouri and Iowa. Around 130,000 acres were flooded in the southeast part of the state when the Army Corps of Engineers blew a hole in the Birds Point Levee along the Mississippi River in order to protect the town of Cairo, Illinois.
Before the vote, Democrats hammered away at Republicans’ arguments that the bill would combat voter fraud, saying there hasn’t been a documented case of voter fraud in decades – and that the bill does nothing to deal with voter registration fraud. State Representative Todd Richardson (R, Poplar Bluff) disagreed.
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.