Politics & Issues

Missouri Senate Redistricting
3:46 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

Mo. Senate redistricting panel gives up, will let judges redraw map

The Missouri Senate's current districts, which took effect in 2003.
(Missouri Senate)

A commission tasked with redrawing State Senate districts in Missouri has thrown in the towel and will allow a panel of judges to do the job.

The main sticking point was over the 24th Senate District in St. Louis County.  Despite an approximate 59 percent Democratic population, the seat is held by a Republican, Senator John Lamping.

The Democrats on the redistricting commission, including Chairman Doug Harpool, cited population shifts for seeking to eliminate Lamping’s district and create a new one in southwestern Missouri.

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Missouri Employers Mutual hearing
6:25 pm
Mon August 15, 2011

Mo. Senate committee examines Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance

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

A Missouri Senate committee heard testimony Monday on whether a state-created company needs more oversight, or has even outlived its usefulness.

Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company was created nearly 20 years ago to help small businesses obtain workers’ compensation insurance.  Forrest Miller of the Missouri Restaurant Insurance Trust, testified that the Trust he chairs is shutting down, and that the state-owned insurance company may be partially to blame.

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Missouri Redistricting
3:30 pm
Fri August 12, 2011

Mo. House redistricting panel can't reach deal

The Missouri State Capitol building in Jefferson City, Mo.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Here's an update to a story we told you about this morning:

A state commission charged with drawing new Missouri House districts cannot agree on a new map and is wrapping up its work.

The 18-member commission on Friday voted to conclude its business and authorized its chairman and vice chairwoman to sign the paperwork needed to discharge the commission. That will mean responsibility for drawing new House districts will fall to a panel of appeals court judges.

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Veterinary Medicine / State of Missouri
10:04 am
Thu August 11, 2011

Sitting down with Missouri's state veterinarian

Dr. Taylor Woods, Missouri's state veterinarian.
(Courtesy Missouri Department of Agriculture)

The state of Missouri is paying tribute Thursday to State Veterinarian Dr. Taylor Woods on the opening day of the State Fair in Sedalia.  Woods has served as the State Veterinarian twice, collectively serving for nearly 20 years. 

During that time, he’s been credited with developing policy and procedures to combat numerous diseases that threaten Missouri’s livestock industry.  Dr. Woods sat down this week with St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin and talked about just what it is that a State Veterinarian does. You can listen to their conversation above.

Peter Kinder
5:19 pm
Wed August 10, 2011

Allegations of Kinder history with ex-stripper could damage his political future, UMSL prof. says

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

Political observers say Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder’s political future could be in jeopardy, if reports alleging his pursuit of a former stripper and nude model are true.

The St. Louis Riverfront Times published an interview with Tammy Chapman, who worked as a stripper in the St. Louis area in the 90’s and claimed that the then-State Senator was “one of her best customers.”

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Missouri Health Insurance
11:46 am
Tue August 9, 2011

Mo. high-risk insurance pool cuts rates 23 percent

(via Flickr/rosmary)

Missouri's high-risk health insurance pool is cutting its rates by 23 percent.

The state Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration announced the cut in rates Tuesday.  The high-risk insurance pool is funded by an $81 million federal grant.

Department spokesman Travis Ford says the decrease is for both new and existing policyholders.

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Missouri Senate Redistricting
5:32 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Commission on Mo. Senate redistricting facing deadline next week

The Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The commission to redraw State Senate district boundaries in Missouri has given itself one more week to agree on a new map, or else it will hand over the responsibility to a panel of state judges.

The biggest dispute remaining is over how to redraw St. Louis County’s State Senate districts, according to commission chair Doug Harpool.

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Sales tax holiday
3:40 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Back-to-school sales tax holiday in Mo. this weekend

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

Back-to-school shoppers in Missouri are getting a break this weekend, as the state’s annual sales tax holiday is in effect.

Today through Sunday, shoppers don’t have to pay the state sales tax on clothing items under $100 a piece, school supplies of up to $50 per purchase, computer software purchases up to $350, and computers and accessories up to $3,500.

Ted Farnen is with the Missouri Department of Revenue.

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Special Session / Tax Credits / NorthSide
2:51 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Nixon: No land tax credit in Mo. special session

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

Gov. Jay Nixon says he is not including the expansion of a tax credit for assembling and maintaining large swaths of land in his planned call for a special legislative session.

Nixon and lawmakers have been working on an agreement for an economic development package. One part of the lawmakers' proposal would remove the time limit for the tax credit program while offering fewer credits annually.

The tax credits are being used by a developer, Paul McKee, who has promised a multi-billion dollar makeover for north St. Louis.

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Missouri State Fair
3:38 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Heat wave not expected to plague Mo. State Fair opening

(Courtesy Missouri State Fair)

It appears that the record-setting heat wave may have finally let up in portions of Missouri, which is good news for State Fair organizers.

The annual event begins one week from today in Sedalia, and forecasters are predicting high’s in the low 80’s for opening day.

Governor Jay Nixon says there’ll be plenty of emergency responders on hand if the excessive heat returns.

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