Politics & Issues

MO Statehouse/"Facebook" law compromise
5:10 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Educators working with sponsor on fix for "Facebook" law

(via Flickr/MoneyBlogNewz)

A group of educators led by the Missouri National Education Association says its confident it can strike a deal with lawmakers to settle confusion over a new state law governing how students and teachers interact using social media like Facebook.

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Disaster recovery costs
4:35 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Some Mo. senators want feds to pay 100 percent of flood damage costs

Levee breach in Atchison County, Mo., on June 13, 2011.
(Photo courtesy of Atchison Co. Emergency Management)

The federal government should pay 100 percent of the cost of flood damage in Missouri – according to some members of the Missouri Senate.   

Normally, the feds pick up the tab for disaster response and later bill the affected state government 25 percent of the cost.  State Senator Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) says Missouri should not have to pay, since the floods in the Show-Me State were the federal government’s fault.

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Peter Kinder / Health Care Lawsuit
3:51 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Hearing set on Kinder's health care lawsuit

Mo. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

A federal appeals court will hear arguments this fall on a lawsuit by Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder challenging the new federal health care law.

Kinder filed suit as a private individual challenging the federal law on several points. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in April, ruling that Kinder did not have legal standing to bring many of the claims and that others were not ripe for judicial review.

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Special Session Announced
5:33 pm
Mon August 22, 2011

Nixon issues special session call; Mo. lawmakers to return to Capitol Sept. 6th

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) has officially issued a call for a special legislative session, which will begin at noon on September 6, the day after Labor Day.

Nixon wants lawmakers to take up 11 items during next month’s special session.  As expected, it includes providing tax credits for turning Lambert Airport in St. Louis into an international air cargo hub (the Aerotropolis proposal), and moving the state’s presidential primary from February to March.

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Missouri State Fair
4:24 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

Mo. State Fair reopens after severe weather knocks out power

(Missouri State Fair)

The Missouri State Fair has reopened, after a severe thunderstorm passed through Sedalia last night, knocking out power and blowing debris across the fairgrounds.

The gates reopened to the public at 3:00 p.m., after electrical power was fully restored.  Spokeswoman Tammy Nichols says there were no injuries to people or farm animals.

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MSTA / Education / Social Media
3:09 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

Missouri State Teachers Association sues Mo. over social networking law

(via Flickr/MoneyBlogNewz)

Mo. Gov. Nixon signed SB54, also known as the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, into law in July - making national news regarding some of the bill's provisions on educators and social media.

Now the law is being challenged in court by the Missouri State Teachers Association.

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MO Statehouse/Withholding audit
2:46 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

Schweich sharply critical of budget withholdings for disasters

State auditor Tom Schweich is sharply critical of the way Gov. Jay Nixon calculated the $172 million withheld from the FY2012 budget to help pay for natural disasters like the May 22 tornado in Joplin.
(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Updated with comments from Schweich, statement from Nixon.

Missouri state auditor Tom Schweich has released a report that is sharply critical of Gov. Jay Nixon's decision to withhold $172  million from the current budget to help the state cope with a series of natural disasters.

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River management issues
5:38 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Gov. Nixon, Mo. congressional delegates, want levees rebuilt

(l-r) Mo. U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R), Mo. Congressman Todd Akin (R), Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon (D), Mo. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R); they talked about the need to make flood control the top priority along the Missouri River.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) and nearly half of Missouri’s congressional delegation are pledging to rebuild levees and pursue policies that will make massive water releases from dams unnecessary in the future.

They addressed this issue at a meeting of Missouri Farm Bureau members at the State Fair in Sedalia today.

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Mo. Special session
5:36 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

Mo. Senate leader wants disaster response included in special session

Mo. Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter)
(Missouri Senate)

As Democratic Governor Jay Nixon prepares to call lawmakers back to Jefferson City for a special session, the top Republican in the Missouri Senate wants disaster relief to be one of the issues included in the call.

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Missouri Senate / Health Exchange
10:36 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Mo. Senate committee holds public hearing on possible state health exchange

(via Flickr/rosmary)

Reporting from KCUR's Elana Gordon used in this report.

An interim state senate committee is trying to figure out whether, and, if so, how Missouri should create a state health exchange. 

During the their first public hearing on the issue yesterday, Mark Sergener, an insurance agent from St. Joseph, testified against creating such an exchange, siting concerns over how insurance carriers and coverage options would be affected.

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