Politics & Issues

Politics & Issues
1:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Blunt Claims Carbon Tax Would 'Devastate' Missouri Jobs, Drive Up Energy Costs

Roy Blunt
Credit (via Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is stepping up his longstanding focus on energy — and his opposition to a federal carbon tax that he believes will increase energy and fuel costs for Missourians.

“The carbon tax would have a huge impact on our state,’’ Blunt said in a conference call Wednesday with reporters. “We’re very coal dependent. It would have a devastating impact on our utility bills.”

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Politics & Issues
1:32 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Sen. McCaskill Holds Decisive Role In Approving Keystone XL Pipeline

Clare McCaskill
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri could play a crucial role in approving the controversial Keystone XL pipeline this week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated a vote could be held in the next few days to authorize the pipeline that would carry Canadian crude oil through the U.S. to the Gulf Coast.

McCaskill is one of the few Senate Democrats in favor of the project. During a conference call with reporters Wednesday, she argued the oil will be flowing regardless of the pipeline’s approval.   

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Jefferson-Jackson Dinner
11:30 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Illinois' Durbin To Headline Missouri Democrats' Biggest Fundraising Event

Dick Durbin
Credit (via Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate)

The Missouri Democratic Party has tapped U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to be the keynote speaker for the state party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, to be held June 7 at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis.

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The Rundown
5:23 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Political Rundown: On Veto Overides, New BFFs And Governors' Clout

Claire McCaskill and Kirsten Gillibrand
Credit / Claire McCaskill's congressional office

Politics can be a 24/7 occupation, as anyone with a cell phone, computer or cable subscription knows. It's not hard to find political news, commentary or just plain rants. They are everywhere. Sometimes it takes a little more digging to find the context, perspective or background on major issues of the day.

Once a week, our political team shares stories that gave them insight into the news of the day or perhaps just some reading pleasure.

Veto overrides

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Chesterfield
4:41 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Chesterfield Mayor's Secession Talk Raises Eyebrows — And Faces Long, Long Odds

Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation caused a stir when he suggested that his city may secede from St. Louis County if changes aren't made to the county's sales tax distribution system.
Credit / Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated on Wednesday at 4 p.m.)

The mayor of Chesterfield is sticking by his threat for his city to secede from St. Louis County, contending that his city is fed up with a lack of progress on changing the county’s sales tax distribution system. 

But St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley has dismissed the threat, calling Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation’s comments “over the top.”

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Little disagreement
10:27 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

House, Senate Negotiators Finish Work On Missouri Budget

Budget negotiators meet to hammer out final version of 12 remaining budget bills. At center of table, l-r, are Senate Appropriations Chair Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, and House Budget Chair Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood.
Credit Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

House and Senate budget negotiators have finalized the 12 remaining bills that make up Missouri's state budget for Fiscal Year 2015.

Both sides signed off on increasing funding for K-12 schools by $114.8 million. If Gov. Jay Nixon's rosier revenue projections hold true, school spending would get a $278 million spending hike. Higher education would increase by $43 million, about 5 percent. State Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, chairs the House Budget Committee. He said they also put money in next year's budget to help finance a new state mental hospital at Fulton.

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Medicaid Expansion
9:33 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Medicaid Expansion Supporters Disrupt Missouri Senate

Members of Mo. Senate pause and watch a group of protesters chant slogans calling for Medicaid expansion. Nearly two dozen were arrested, but they were released shortly afterward.
Credit Marie French, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Twenty-three people were arrested at the Missouri Capitol Tuesday following a protest supporting Medicaid expansion. The protesters began shouting slogans and singing songs from the public gallery above the State Senate floor during debate on an unrelated bill.  

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Politically Speaking
2:04 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Politically Speaking: Sen. Nasheed Discusses Tax Cuts And Photo ID

Jamilah Nasheed
Credit Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Politically Speaking crew this week  once again conducts a “split show” format.  On the first part of the show, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Chris McDaniel, Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies discuss the fallout from the General Assembly’s successful override of Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the tax-cut bill.

Note: You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

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Lobbying
11:53 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Missouri House Considers Ethics Changes. Here's What The Proposal Would (And Wouldn't) Do

Credit "Tax Credits" / Via Flickr

The Missouri House could debate a bill this week that would enact some changes to how lobbying is conducted and disclosed in Jefferson City.

Currently, there are no limits on how much a lawmaker can receive in gifts from lobbyists. The gifts from lobbyists can include anything from food and drinks to expensive travel to sports tickets. Altogether, lobbyists spend about $1 million each year on the gifts.

A bill by state Rep. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, would make some changes to lobbying practices, but it wouldn't be the sweeping ethics reform that many have called for.

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Mike Anderson
11:26 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Commentary: What Is The Point Of Prison?

Credit (via Flickr/neil conway)

The saga of Mike Anderson, a man convicted of armed robbery 13 years ago and amazingly never put in prison (except for a few months at the time he should have been released), is seemingly at an end. A circuit judge decided that making Anderson serve his sentence would “serve no purpose” and released him to live the rest of his life a free man.

The series of events raises troubling questions on the front end of the Missouri criminal justice system: How could a person guilty of a serious crime be able to escape punishment without anyone noticing?

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