Politics & Issues

Election 2012
2:27 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Judge: Taylor, like Nasheed, doesn't qualify for ballot due to residency requirement

The Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo.
(via flickr/ensign_beedrill)

The Missouri Supreme Court is being asked to decide who qualifies to run for the state Legislature when boundaries are changed during redistricting.

Democratic House members Rochelle Walton Gray and Sylvester Taylor each filed to run in the 75th House District in St. Louis County. That district was redrawn last year and includes pieces of both lawmakers' current House districts. Gray lives in the new 75th District, and Taylor does not.

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Developing: Illinois Medicaid
8:52 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Quinn signs Medicaid cuts, cigarette tax hike

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation making $1.6 billion in cuts to Medicaid and increasing the state's tobacco tax by a dollar.

This story will be updated.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed nearly $1.6 billion worth of cuts to Medicaid into law.

His signature means that nearly 25,000 working parents will lose state-funded health care on July 1. Regular dental care is being eliminated for adults. Those who need eyeglasses will be able to get a new pair once every two years. And patients who take more than four prescription drugs will have to get prior approval from the state.

Quinn this morning also signed a dollar-a-pack increase in the state’s cigarette tax.

"Smishing" scam
5:21 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Mo. AG Koster warns of 'smishing' scam targeting smart phones

(via Flickr/denharsh)

The Missouri Attorney General’s office is warning the public of a new scam that’s targeting smartphone and cellphone users.

The scam is known as "smishing," and it involves text messages telling recipients that they’ve won prizes or gift cards from big-name retailers such as Wal-Mart or Costco and instructs them to claim them by clicking on a link.  Attorney General Chris Koster (D) says clicking the link will infect phones with malware that gives identity thieves access to personal information.

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Election 2012
5:08 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Judge: Nasheed 'ineligible' to run in 5th District, case goes to Mo. Supreme Court

Missouri state Rep. Jamilah Nasheed (D, St. Louis).
(Tim Bommel/Mo. House of Representatives)

Whether Mo. House member Jamilah Nasheed will qualify to be on the Democratic primary ballot against incumbent Sen. Robin Wright-Jones in the 5th Senate District is now up to the Missouri Supreme Court.

The Missouri Court of Appeal's Eastern District said in a ruling Wednesday that Nasheed does not appear to meet the residency requirement for running in the 5th District. But the court transferred the case to the state Supreme Court because of the importance and general interest of the issue.

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McCaskill/Micro-Unions
3:24 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

McCaskill asked to reveal position on micro-unions

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
(via Flickr/Senator McCaskill)

A group billing itself as non-partisan is calling on U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D, Missouri) to reveal where she stands on micro-unions.

Micro-unions are smaller groups of workers within an officially-sanctioned labor union.  The National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) issued a ruling last year that allowed the creation of micro-unions.  Jason Klindt with the Coalition to Protect Missouri Jobs says micro-unions are a threat to small businesses.

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Prayer
2:40 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Appeals court upholds Mo. prayer ballot measure

A state appeals court has upheld the ballot summary for a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution on public prayer.

The proposed amendment asserts the right in Missouri to:

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Election 2012
3:47 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Enyart makes it official; will vie for House seat

William Enyart, in an Ill. National Guard photo.
(Illinois National Guard Website)

The man who last week stepped down after five years heading the Illinois National Guard says he's running for a southern Illinois congressional seat as a Democrat.

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Election 2012/GOP Primary
6:32 am
Tue June 12, 2012

GOP Senate debate sticks close to party themes

U.S. Rep. Todd Akin announces his Senate candidacy on May 17, 2011.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The three Republicans vying for the right to challenge Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in November didn't stray far from the party's script at a debate in St. Charles last night.

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Firefighters /Police Officers
6:17 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Slay ties firefighter pension reform to police cuts

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says firefighter pension costs have gone up by more than 500 percent in the last 10 years.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says cutting the fire department’s pension costs will enable the city to take 30 police jobs off the chopping block.

The Board of Police Commissioners voted Monday to hold onto 30 of the 80 police positions this year’s budget eliminates through attrition, but only if a pension reform bill is passed by the Board of Alderman.

Slay says the bill, which requires firefighters to pay more into the system and prevents full retirement benefits until age 55, would save the city more than $8 million.

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Missouri River
6:16 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Farmers and environmentalists at odds over plans to dump sediment into Missouri River

Over 120 people crowded into a meeting room at the Lewis and Clark Building in Jefferson City for a hearing on the Jameson Island project on June 11, 2012.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Farmers and environmentalists faced off at a hearing today in Jefferson City over a water project on the Missouri River west of Boonville.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to build a new chute at Jameson Island designed to protect the pallid sturgeon and other native fish species.  Building it would involve dredging along the Missouri River, and the Corps wants to dump the sediment back into the river.  The move is strongly opposed by farm interests.  Dale Ludwig with the Missouri Soybean Association says up to a million cubic yards of sediment could be dumped into the Missouri River.

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