Politics & Issues

worker's compensation
7:27 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Scaled-back workers' comp bill sent to Mo. Gov. Nixon

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

The Missouri House and Senate have both passed a scaled-back version of a workers’ compensation reform bill.

The measure would bar employees from suing each other over workplace injuries and illnesses, but it leaves occupational disease claims within the court system and does not address the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund.  State Rep. Dave Schatz (R, Sullivan) sponsored a different workers’ comp bill that addresses the fund and would move occupational disease claims to the workers’ comp system.  He hopes it will pass, too.

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Abortion alternative centers
7:07 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Bill forbidding interference with crisis pregnancy centers passes Mo. House

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

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would bar local governments from interfering with the day-to-day operations of alternatives to abortion agencies.

The bill would forbid municipalities from regulating advertising and advice given out by crisis pregnancy centers run by pro-life groups.  Supporters say they’re trying to protect the First Amendment free speech rights of volunteers and staff at the centers.  The sponsor, State Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger (R, Lake St. Louis), admits it’s a preemptive move.

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Kansas Jayhawks
3:17 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Mo. House passes measure designed to bar Jayhawks specialty license plate

A depiction of the Jayhawk, the symbol of the University of Kansas.
(via Flickr/ensign_beedrill)

The Missouri House has approved language designed to bar the creation of a Kansas Jayhawks specialty license plate.  The measure was added onto a larger higher education bill passed by the House Tuesday.

It would require legislative approval of specialty license plates that feature out-of-state colleges and universities.  The sponsor, State Rep. Stephen Webber (D, Columbia), says it’s a direct result of Kansas dropping its football rivalry with Mizzou.

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Hall of Famous Missourians
1:02 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Rush Limbaugh inducted into Hall of Famous Missourians

Rush Limbaugh and Mo. House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) pose beside the bust of Limbaugh after the ceremony.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians today, in a ceremony that was kept under wraps until less than an hour before it happened.

Word of the ceremony leaked out after various media members spotted Limbaugh inside the Missouri Capitol.  The ceremony was by invitation only, and the audience consisted of Republican lawmakers and family and friends.  Limbaugh told the audience that other members of his family were more deserving of the honor, but he also thanked House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) for not rescinding it.

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Politics - Ill. budget
6:49 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Ill. lawmakers face complicated task as session enters last month

Ill. lawmakers have less than a month to pass a state budget "on time."
(via Flickr/JimBowen0306)

Reporting from Amanda Vinicky was used in this story.

Like its counterpart in Missouri, the Illinois General Assembly is heading into the home stretch.

Lawmakers there have a bit more time to get through their agenda - their session isn't scheduled to end until the end of May. But unlike lawmakers in Missouri, Illinois legislators have a monumental task in front of them - passing a state budget.

Most state agencies will have their budget cut by 9 percent.

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MO Statehouse
6:03 am
Mon May 14, 2012

A few hot-button items left for last week of Mo. legislative session

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

Most of the big issues this legislative session were tied to the state budget, which has been passed and sent to Governor Jay Nixon.  That has many political pundits wondering if the last week of the 2012 session will be anticlimactic.  But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin tells us, there are still a few hot-button items left to fight over.

Workers' comp

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Missouri Budget
2:38 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Mo. lawmakers send $24B budget to governor

A chart which compares the amounts allocated for specific state agencies in the Missouri State Budgets of FY 2012 and FY 2013. Some 2013 figures are higher because legislators used precise amounts for some budget items. Click to enlarge for a better look.
(Associated Press Data/compiled by Kelsey Proud/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri General Assembly has passed and sent next year’s state budget to Governor Jay Nixon (D).

The $24 billion spending plan passed both chambers with little difficulty, but not without some complaints.  State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) was not happy with language restoring a health care program for blind Missourians.  He says he’ll file a constitutional objection.

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Judicial selection
1:33 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Mo. voters to decide on changes to judge selection

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

A proposed constitutional amendment to revise the selection process for appellate judges is headed to Missouri voters.

Members of the Missouri Supreme Court and the state Court of Appeals are appointed by the governor from three finalists recommended by a special commission. The commission is made up of one Supreme Court judge, three lawyers and three non-lawyers picked by the governor.

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Veterans' Homes
10:53 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Veterans home funding bill sent to Mo. governor

Will be updated.

Missouri lawmakers have sent the governor a measure providing a dedicated funding source to veterans' nursing homes.

The bill given final approval Thursday by the House would earmark most of the state's fees from casinos to a trust fund for the Missouri Veterans Commission. The intent is to provide a permanent, predictable funding stream for the state's seven nursing homes that serve more than 1,300 military veterans.

Roy Blunt / Education
4:43 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Blunt says student loan debate is red herring

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
(via Flickr/Senator Roy Blunt)

Missouri’s Republican Senator says he’ll continue his opposition to a plan put forth by Democrats to extend federal subsidies for student loans for another year.

Roy Blunt says an alternative plan would accomplish the same goal, without raising the deficit.  Blunt says he supports freezing student loan interest rates where they are now, at 3.4 percent, but says he would pay for the subsidy by taking the money from part of the President’s 2010 healthcare overhaul— which he claims is partially funded by interest payments from student loans.

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