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.
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.
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.
Legislation has been filed in the Missouri House that would abolish the death penalty.
If the bill becomes law, any pending executions in Missouri would be halted, and all inmates sentenced to death would be re-sentenced to life without probation or parole. It’s sponsored by State Representative Penny Hubbard (D, St. Louis). She says she doesn’t believe that capital punishment is an effective deterrent.
The head of the Missouri Department of Transportation says charging tolls on Interstate 70 is the only real option for funding reconstruction of the highway, if the state wants to do something about it right now.
Among those taking part in the filibuster are Robin Wright-Jones (D, St. Louis) and Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City). They talked about several other topics besides the discrimination bill on the Senate floor Wednesday, including America’s immigration policies.
A proposed compromise to expand Missouri's texting-while-driving law appears to have fallen flat in a Senate committee.
The Senate Transportation Committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill by that would prohibit all drivers - not just those 21 and younger - from texting while driving. Because similar bills have failed in the past, Democratic Sen. Robin Wright-Jones of St. Louis proposed making texting a secondary offense - meaning police would have to pull motorists over for something else before they could write a ticket for texting.
Some Missouri lawmakers want to give state education officials authority to intervene sooner to assist failing school districts.
Districts that lose state accreditation currently are given two years to improve before state education officials can step in. A push to eliminate the grace period comes shortly after the Kansas City School District became the state's third unaccredited district.