Politics & Issues

TIFs
7:01 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Better Together's Economic Development Report Examines TIF Use

Credit Courtesy of Better Together

A group studying the potential for a merger between St. Louis and St. Louis County released a report on regional economic development policy Wednesday. 

Among other things, Better Together’s 31-page report examines tax increment financing (TIF) in the city and the county. While the report emphasizes that some TIFs have been beneficial to municipalities, the study contends that the widespread use of TIFs is pitting municipalities against each other.

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State Spending
5:11 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Legislators, Governor Spar Over Dues To Governors Group

Gov. Jay Nixon
Credit Gov. Jay Nixon (UPI file photo/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri House and Senate budget chiefs are accusing Gov. Jay Nixon of misusing state money because his office has paid dues to the National Governors Association for the past three years out of the Department of Social Services’ budget.

“He basically misspent the money,’’ said House Budget chairman Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, during a news conference Wednesday. He was joined by House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, and state Rep. Sue Allen, R-Town and Country, who heads the House panel that oversees social-service spending. Senate leaders fired off similar complaints.

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Transportation
3:27 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Proposed Missouri Transportation Tax Heads To Ballot

Credit File photo

Missouri voters will be asked this fall to consider a three-fourth-cent sales tax to pay for highway improvements, but even supporters are pessimistic about its chances.

The Missouri House voted Wednesday to approve the ballot proposal, accepting the state Senate’s language that reduced the proposed sales tax from the initial one-cent proposal.

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Missouri General Assembly
1:24 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

General Assembly Puts Early-Voting Proposal On Ballot That Would Block Rivals

Credit (via Flickr/voxefxtm)

The Missouri House has given final approval to an early-voting ballot proposal that includes a provision aimed at knocking out a more-generous rival proposal that also may be on the same ballot.

Opponents call the Republican-backed measure “a sham,’’ while backers say it’s a reasonable compromise.

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Missouri General Assembly
11:03 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Dispute Among Republicans May Once Again Kill Gun Bill

Credit (via Flickr/kcds)

Differences between the Missouri House and Senate may once again kill an effort to nullify federal gun laws.

The Missouri House voted Tuesday evening by a veto-proof margin, 109-42, to approve a conference committee’s proposed final version of the bill, officially known as the “Second Amendment Preservation Act.”

But the chief Senate sponsor, state Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, declined to sign the panel’s compromise and told reporters that he may not bring up the version for a final Senate vote before this session ends on Friday. The result would be to kill the bill.

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Lyft
9:52 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

The Legal Fight Over Lyft In St. Louis: "Friend With A Car" Or Taxi?

Courtesy of Lyft

On April 18th, the ride-sharing service Lyft entered the St. Louis market with a party on Cherokee Street.

And immediately, it ran into legal trouble.

Lyft's drivers were operating in violation of a cease-and-desist order from the region’s taxi regulator. A few days later, a judge ordered the company to disable its mobile app.

Lyft and the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission are back in court on May 14 arguing over whether the company should be allowed to operate — and who has the power to regulate it in the first place.

Who are the players?

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Criminal Code
6:15 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Nixon Allows Criminal Code Rewrite To Become Law

  Gov. Jay Nixon has allowed a comprehensive rewrite of Missouri's criminal code to become law without his signature.

Nixon says the 645-page bill contains drafting errors that could weaken both DWI laws and laws to combat methamphetamine production.

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Infrastructure
5:40 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

In Visit To Arch, Biden Praises Investments In Infrastructure

Vice President Joe Biden, right, speaks at the Arch grounds Tuesday afternoon. He addressed the importance of investing in infrastructure. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. (second from left) and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (behind Biden) were also present.
Credit Nora Ibrahim

Vice President Joe Biden made a short stop at the Gateway Arch grounds on Tuesday, praising the Arch improvements as a prime example of successful partnerships.

Last year, St. Louis voters approved a 3/16th of one-cent sales tax hike to be used alongside federal and state grants as well as private donations to pay for improvements to the Arch grounds. The total cost of the renovation of the Arch grounds is expected to be about $380 million, with about $250 million coming from private sources. The current schedule has it on pace to be completed in 2016.

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St. Louis on the Air
4:59 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Beyond Housing’s Chris Krehmeyer On The Challenges And Opportunities Of Community Development

Chris Krehmeyer, president and CEO of Beyond Housing.

Over the years, Beyond Housing’s Chris Krehmeyer has appeared on St. Louis on the Air to discuss issues ranging from poverty to home ownership to health and the economy. Most recently, he came to the studio to discuss Beyond Housing’s work with the Normandy School District, a project called the 24:1 Initiative.

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Student Transfers
2:53 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Negotiations Completed Over Student Transfer Bill That Includes Private Option

Gov. Jay Nixon prepares to address reporters in his office in the Capitol on May 13, 2014.
Credit Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated at 6:12 p.m.)

House and Senate negotiators have wrapped up work on a final version of a bill to ease the burden of Missouri’s student transfer law.

Senate Bill 493 would allow for individual school buildings to be accredited, instead of the school district as a whole, and it would create regional authorities to oversee transfers.

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