Politics & Issues

MO Statehouse
6:40 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

Kansas City schools lose accreditation

The State Board of Education meeting in Jefferson City
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri’s State Board of Education voted unanimously today to strip Kansas City schools of their accreditation.

The reasons for the action include a decline in meeting academic standards and a failure to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning.  Chris Nicastro is Commissioner of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

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Education / Normandy
3:00 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

State Board: Normandy School District accreditation to keep provisional status, for now

The gates of Normandy High School, one of the institutions in the Normandy School District.
(via Google Maps screen capture)

The State Board of Education has voted unanimously to keep the Normandy School District in St. Louis County provisionally accredited.

Normandy may retain that status for up to a year -- however, the State Board could also choose to revoke the provisional accreditation entirely at any time during the next year.  State Board Member Peter Herschend says Normandy schools are improving, but not enough to warrant full accreditation.

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MO Statehouse
3:46 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Mo. House committee passes "Facebook fix"

(via Flickr/MoneyBlogNewz)

A Missouri House committee has unanimously passed legislation that would remove confusing language from a new state law regarding the use of social media between teachers and students.

The bill was passed last week by the Missouri Senate.  It’s being handled in the House by State Representative Chris Kelly (D, Columbia).

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Agriculture / Disaster Declaration
4:35 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Disaster declared for farmers in 23 Mo. counties

(via Flickr/Dodo-Bird)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a disaster declaration for farmers in 23 Missouri counties, including several in the St. Louis area, hit by floods and heavy rain since May 1.

Friday's declaration allows farmers in those counties and 26 neighboring counties to seek federal assistance for losses caused by the severe weather. Gov. Jay Nixon had requested the declaration last month.

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MO Statehouse: Univ. contract review
2:51 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Mo. state auditor has concerns about some university contracts

The quadrangle at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo. Truman State is one of the universities subject to an audit released today by Mo. state auditor Tom Schweich.
(via Wikimedia Commons)

Mo. state auditor Tom Schweich says contracts between five state universities and former presidents may not be in the best interest of the schools, and some may violate provisions of state law.

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health insurance exchange
2:46 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Mo. delays work on health insurance exchange

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

Missouri insurance officials have postponed a vote to draw down $13 million from Washington that would be used to help set up a health insurance exchange.  The exchange is required by the new federal health care law.

Members of the state’s health insurance pool had tentatively planned to take action today, but State Senators Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield) and Rob Schaaf (R, St. Joseph) dropped in on the meeting and persuaded them to postpone the vote.

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Agriculture / Disaster Declaration
1:11 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

Gov. Nixon requests disaster declaration from USDA

(via Flickr/Dodo-Bird)

Gov. Jay Nixon is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help farmers whose crops wilted this summer amid high temperatures and a lack of rain in much of the state.

On Thursday, Nixon asked Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to designate 101 Missouri counties (full list of counties below) as primary disaster areas. That would allow eligible farmers to get emergency loans and other federal help.

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MO Statehouse
7:04 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Movement to dump Mo. presidential primary and restore caucuses

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

The Missouri Senate has delayed debate on a bill that would move the state’s presidential primary from February to March.

The holdup involves a pending amendment that would scrap the primary altogether and return Missouri to its former status as a caucus state.

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MO Statehouse
3:00 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

No overrides by Mo. General Assembly during 2011 veto session

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

Today was the Republican-led Missouri General Assembly’s annual veto session, but neither chamber made any attempt to override any of the 14 vetoes issued by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon this year.

However, House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) used the occasion to blast the governor for withholding money from various state agencies.

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MO Statehouse: Aerotropolis, Joplin relief
1:09 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Senate passes scaled-back Aerotropolis; tax relief for Joplin businesses delayed

The state Senate is unlikely to take up a measure that would provide relief to businesses destroyed by natural disasters, like the Home Depot in Joplin, Mo.
(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Updated 5:32 p.m. with reaction from the Mo. House Speaker

A measure that sharply reduces the amount of tax credits available to support the creation of an international cargo hub at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is in the hands of the Missouri House.

The State Senate approved the measure this morning.

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