Missouri senators have endorsed changes in the procedure for nominating candidates for the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.
A seven-member commission screens applicants for vacancies on the state's high court and the three districts of the Court of Appeals. The panel recommends three finalists, from which the governor makes the appointment.
The commission is currently made up of a judge, three lawyers and three people selected by the governor.
The Missouri House has approved legislation that could make it harder for employees to be shielded from retaliation by their employer for reporting wrongdoing in the workplace.
In an 86-66 vote Thursday, the House approved a measure that limits "whistleblower" status to employees who report or refuse to carry out illegal acts. The bill also caps the amount of punitive damages a person can recover if a company retaliates against the whistleblower.
The budget chairman for the Missouri House is not happy with the Senate’s decision early Wednesday morning to restore $28 million for blind pensions.
An amendment by State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) reversed the cut that the House wanted to use for Higher Education. State Rep. Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) authored the original cut, stating that the pension program is for blind residents who have too much money to be on Medicaid. He calls the Senate’s actions puzzling.
The Missouri Senate passed a $24 billion state budget early this morning, following several hours of debate and closed-door negotiations.
The Senate spending plan for FY2013 directly challenges the Missouri House's position on blind pensions. By a narrow margin, Senators restored $28 million in state funding cut by the House last month, while leaving in $18 million in federal Medicaid dollars. Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) says they now have more room to maneuver when negotiations with the House begin on the final version of the budget.
The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require most teenagers to get their parents’ permission to use tanning beds. Those younger than 17 would have to have a parent or guardian show up in person at the tanning salon and sign a document giving their consent.
The bill’s sponsor, GOP House Member Gary Cross of Lee’s Summit, says his daughter suffered cell damage from regular tanning bed use.
Legislation before the Missouri House would make it easier and cheaper for a Canadian company to ship radioactive material through the state.
If the bill becomes law, Ontario-based Nordion Inc. would not have to pay fees or have shipments of colbat-60 undergo mandatory inspections in Missouri. The company sells colbat-60 for use sterilizing medical devices.
The Republican from Cape Girardeau had promised weeks ago that he would block the budget over its use of one-time funds to fill holes in next year’s spending plan. Gradually throughout the evening, other fiscally conservative Senators joined in, including Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), Rob Schaaf (R, St. Joseph), and Luann Ridgeway (R, Smithville).
Early on, Crowell spent part of the filibuster lampooning the Missouri House for cutting pensions for the blind.