Politics & Issues

MO Statehouse
10:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Mo. bill allows quicker intervention in failing school districts

(via Flickr/comedy_nose)

Will be updated.

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.

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MO Statehouse
5:33 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Gun target stickers found at Mo. Senate and House offices

One of two rifle target stickers found ouside the State Capitol office of Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City) on Jan. 24, 2012.
(Mo. Senate)

Stickers with rifle target crosshairs printed on them have been found in the office doorways of several Missouri lawmakers.

They were discovered Tuesday afternoon outside the offices of five Democratic State Senators and one Republican State Representative.  The stickers were twice found outside the Capitol office of Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal of University City.

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Photo ID for voters
3:45 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Mo. House committee passes voter ID bill

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

Legislation that would require Missouri voters to show photo identification at the polls has passed a State House committee.

Voters who don’t have a photo ID would be required to use provisional ballots, which would be counted once their identities are correctly verified.  It passed 7 to 3 on a straight party line vote, with every Republican on the House Elections Committee voting “yes” and every Democrat voting “no.”  The sponsor, House Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard), says the bill shouldn’t be divisive.

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Workplace discrimination bills
8:31 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Workplace discrimination bills getting attention in Mo. House, Senate

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

Legislation that would change Missouri’s definition on workplace discrimination is getting attention this week on both sides of the Missouri General Assembly.

On Monday, the House version of the bill was approved by that chamber’s Workforce Development Committee.  Under the bill, discrimination would have to be a motivating factor in any action taken against an employee, not a contributing factor as it is now.  Democrat Sylvester Taylor of North County voted against the bill in committee.

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France's Legion of Honor
4:11 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Three Mo. WWII vets awarded France's Legion of Honor medal

(l-r) Lloyd Cain, Frank Crooks, and "Bud" Jones. The three Jefferson City residents are the latest Missouri World War Two veterans to be awarded France's Legion of Honor medal for their service during the war.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Three Missouri World War Two veterans have received France’s Legion of Honor medal, the highest award given by the French government for service to that country.  They were recognized today at a ceremony at the Missouri State Capitol hosted by Governor Jay Nixon.

Frank Crooks, 87, is a St. Joseph native who now lives in Jefferson City. He served in the Army Air Forces as a turret gunner in a B-26 Marauder bomber.  His plane was forced to make an emergency landing at a German airstrip after being hit by enemy flack over France.

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Missouri State Budget
2:18 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Mo. plans to refinance more than $500M in debt

(via Flickr/yomanimus)

Missouri is planning to refinance more than $500 million of debt as part of Gov. Jay Nixon's plan to balance the state budget.

Nixon's budget proposal for the next fiscal year assumes the state will save $41 million from the debt restructuring.

The governor's budget office says the state already has refinanced $20 million of principal from the debt used to build Mizzou Arena at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

MO Statehouse
12:51 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Lawsuit challenges new districts for Mo. House

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Another legal challenge over Missouri's redistricting process seeks to block new districts for the 163-member state House.

In a lawsuit filed Monday, more than a dozen people, including two former lawmakers, say a new House district map violates requirements that districts be compact, contiguous and have similar populations. The plaintiffs are asking the Supreme Court to consider the case without it going before a trial court.

A panel of appellate judges drew up the map of new districts for the Missouri House after the 2010 census.

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Missouri Budget / Higher Education
4:02 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Nixon: Mo. schools should avoid big tuition hikes in response to budget cuts

The campus of the University of Missouri's flagship campus in Columbia, Mo.
(via Flickr/Adam Procter)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) is warning Missouri’s college administrators not to raise tuition to make up the difference in budget cuts he announced this week during his annual State of the State Address.

The governor wants to cut the state’s Higher Education budget by nearly $106 million, or 12.5 percent.  During his address Tuesday he indicated that he wants universities to leave tuition levels where they are.

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Capping state spending
11:50 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Mo. House approves constitutional spending limit

The chambers of the Missouri House of Representatives.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

One day after giving it first-round approval, the Missouri House has passed a proposed constitutional amendment to place spending caps on the state budget.

During final debates, State Representative Jeanette Mott Oxford (D, St. Louis) argued that limiting spending to the yearly inflation rate and population growth could make it very hard for lawmakers to address critical needs in the future.

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Election 2012
10:17 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Democrat Baker enters race for Missouri lt. gov.

Judy Baker.
(via Judy Baker for Missouri)

Former Missouri House member Judy Baker has entered the Democratic race for lieutenant governor.

Baker, of Columbia, announced her candidacy Thursday while pledging to champion initiatives for seniors and veterans.

Baker served in the state House from 2005 to 2009 and lost a 2008 bid for Congress to Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer. She recently resigned from President Barack Obama's administration as a regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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