Politics & Issues

Tom Schweich
1:57 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Schweich will not run for U.S. Senate

Missouri state Auditor Tom Schweich.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich has decided not to enter the Republican race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Schweich said in a statement Tuesday that he determined his candidacy would have made the Republican Senate primary more contentious, and thus would not have helped Republican chances of defeating McCaskill in November.

The Senate race already includes three prominent Republicans - former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin and businessman John Brunner.

Read more
Health Insurance Exchange
1:25 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Mo. Senate votes down health insurance exchange

(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

The Missouri Senate has rejected an attempt to set up a state-run health insurance exchange.

The exchanges are part of the federal health care law approved in 2009. States are required to create exchanges by 2014 so that individuals and small business can compare health insurance plans.

On Monday, Sen. Joe Keaveny tried to add an amendment setting up the exchanges to a life insurance bill being debated by the Senate.

The full Senate rejected the amendment in a voice vote.

firefighter pensions
9:30 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

STL firefighter pensions bill heard by Mo. House committee

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A Missouri House committee heard testimony Monday on legislation that would make cuts to the pension system for St. Louis firefighters.

The bill would not go as far as a proposal made by Mayor Francis Slay:  Among the differences, Slay’s plan would have all firefighters put 9 percent of their salaries into the system, and new hires would not get any of that money back upon retirement.  The bill in the State House would have new firefighters put in 8 percent, and upon retirement would get back 25 percent of what they paid in.  F.I.R.E. Chairman and St. Louis firefighter Abram Pruitt, Junior, traveled to Jefferson City to support the bill.

Read more
Ethics
2:10 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Mo. House Democrats propose new ethics measure

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

House Democrats are backing legislation they say would toughen Missouri’s ethics standards.

The bill would restore many provisions recently struck down by the State Supreme Court:  They include banning committee-to-committee money transfers and giving the Missouri Ethics Commission the authority to launch its own investigations.  The High Court struck them down because they were tacked onto another bill that had nothing to do with ethics.  State Rep. Tishaura Jones (D, St. Louis) says she’s filing a new bill because GOP leaders have so far done nothing following the Supreme Court ruling.

Read more
Nixon vetoes bills
5:45 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Nixon vetoes workplace discrimination and workers' comp bills

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

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has vetoed two workplace-related bills passed by Missouri lawmakers this year.  They are the first vetoes issued this year.

First, he vetoed the House version of the workplace discrimination bill, which would have redefined discrimination as a “motivating factor” instead of a “contributing factor” in any action taken by an employer against a worker.  The Senate version of the bill is still alive, however.  It was sponsored by State Senator Brad Lager (R, Savannah).

Read more
MO Statehouse
4:21 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Voter photo ID lawsuit heard in Jefferson City

(via Flickr/ Daniel Morrison)

A lawsuit seeking to block a proposed constitutional amendment regarding voter identification in Missouri was heard today in Cole County.

The ballot measure was passed last year by the General Assembly and is scheduled to go before Missouri voters in November.  If approved, it would clear the way for lawmakers to pass enabling legislation to require voters to show a photo ID at the polls.  Tony Rothert is an attorney with the ACLU of Eastern Missouri.  He calls the ballot measure misleading.

Read more
Hall of Famous Missourians
11:25 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Mo. House Dems propose rules for induction into Hall of Famous Missourians

An interior view of the dome of the Missouri State Capitol.
(via Flickr/jennlynndesign)

Missouri House Democrats are proposing new criteria and a requirement for bipartisan approval before people are inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians - a reaction to criticism of the selection of Rush Limbaugh for the honor.

Read more
legislative spring break
7:42 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Mo. lawmakers leave Capitol for spring break

iPad photo of (l-r) Mo. House Majority Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka), Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville), and Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard).
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri lawmakers have left Jefferson City for their annual spring break.

Read more
Gun owner discrimination
3:38 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Mo. House votes to add gun owners to state's protected groups

(via Flickr/kcds)

Legislation that would add gun owners to the state’s list of protected minority groups has passed the Missouri House.

Under the bill, gun owners who carry their firearms with them in a lawful manner (i.e. possess a concealed-carry permit) cannot be fired, denied benefits, or otherwise discriminated against.  It was sponsored by State Rep. Wanda Brown (R, Cole Camp).

Read more
Workplace Discrimination
1:21 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Mo. Senate sends workplace discrimination measure to Gov. Nixon

Ceremonial doors of the Mo. Governor's office inside the State Capitol.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Senate has sent the House version of the workplace discrimination bill to Governor Jay Nixon.

Senate Democrats spent five hours Wednesday blocking the bill before sitting down.  Today, there was no debate, only a 23 to 8 straight party-line vote.  Brad Lager (R, Savannah) handled the bill in the Senate.  He says he fully expects the governor, a Democrat, to veto the bill.

Read more

Pages