Politics & Issues

MO Statehouse
6:27 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

July 2011 hottest month in Mo. since 1980 heat wave, Mizzou climatologist says

Pat Guinan, State Climatologist for Missouri.
University of Missouri, Missouri Climate Center

The month of July was the sixth-hottest month on record for the state of Missouri, dating back to 1895 -- and it was the hottest month overall in the Show-Me State since the 1980 heat wave.

Pat Guinan is both the state's official climatologist and a climatology professor at the University of Missouri -- Columbia.  He says there have been numerous days this month where much of the state experienced triple-digit temperatures.

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Missouri Disaster Recovery
6:17 pm
Fri July 29, 2011

Mo. House committee recommends special session for disaster recovery

Water flows from the Missouri River over levee L-550, located north of Highway 136 in Atchison County, Mo., June 19, 2011. The local sponsor reported overtopping of the levee to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the morning of June 19.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Carlos J. Lazo

A Missouri House committee looking at how state and local officials responded to several natural disasters this year is recommending a special session to deal with storm costs.

Committee members want to use a special session to discuss accessing the state's Rainy Day fund to help storm and flood-battered cities and counties.

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Aerotropolis
6:02 pm
Fri July 29, 2011

Some Mo. lawmakers grumble about Aerotropolis proposal

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
(via Flickr/dbking)

While Missouri legislative leaders have reached an agreement on an economic development package, some lawmakers are speaking out against it.

The key component is the so-called Aerotropolis measure, which would provide $360 million in tax credits to transform Lambert Airport in St. Louis into an international air cargo hub.

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Renewable energy lawsuit
6:37 pm
Thu July 28, 2011

Cole Co. judge sets aside own ruling banning solar rebates in Mo.

(Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association)

A Cole County judge has set aside his earlier ruling that declared solar rebates in Missouri to be unconstitutional.

The rebates were part of a renewable energy ballot initiative passed by Missouri voters in 2008.

Circuit Judge Daniel Green’s initial ruling in June stated that the $2 per-watt solar rebate was essentially a seizure of private property from St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri.  But he has temporarily vacated that ruling to allow other interested parties to file briefs in the case.

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Disaster response
5:15 pm
Tue July 26, 2011

Testimony on disaster response heard by Mo. Senate subcommittee

An aerial view of Joplin, Mo., 10 days after a tornado swept through the area.
(via Flickr/xpda)

A Missouri Senate subcommittee heard testimony at the Capitol today from state officials who handle disaster response.

Andrea Spillars, Deputy Director of the Department of Public Safety, told the Subcommittee on Emergency Response that state and local officials coordinated their response efforts very well following the Joplin tornado.

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Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon / Staffing Changes
5:13 pm
Tue July 26, 2011

Missouri Gov. Nixon makes staff changes

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has hired former Missouri State University president Mike Nietzel as a senior policy adviser.

The hiring was announced Tuesday. Nixon's office tells The Associated Press that Nietzel will have a salary of $100,000 in the new, full-time position.

Nietzel retired as Missouri State president in 2010 after five years leading the Springfield school. He has advised Nixon on education issues and work force readiness since April 2010.

Nixon is also making changes in his communications office.

Amtrak service
5:18 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

Amtrak to resume full service between St. Louis and Kansas City

(via Flickr/jpmueller99)

Amtrak officials say full service between St. Louis and Kansas City will be restored on Wednesday, nearly a month after being disrupted due to flood waters.

Flooding along the Missouri River had forced more freight traffic onto tracks used by Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner.  Spokesman Marc Magliari says the high waters have subsided.

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Investment fraud
4:56 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

Mo. Sec. of State warns of investment scams

(via Flickr/iChaz)

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) is warning citizens to beware of several threats to those seeking to invest their savings.

Carnahan says one such threat is called affinity fraud, which is used to target church congregations, senior centers and social networking websites.

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Historic Preservation tax credits
5:34 pm
Thu July 21, 2011

Historic Preservation tax credits to be cut nearly in half as part of Mo. special session

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The economic development deal struck by lawmakers will cut one of Missouri’s most popular tax credits nearly in half.

The deal between House and Senate leaders would cut the amount of Historic Preservation tax credits issued each year from $140 million down to $80 million.

Ruth Keenoy with the non-profit Landmark Associates of St. Louis, Inc., says the smaller cap would be detrimental to Missouri’s economy.  She wants the incentives to be left as-is.

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Local Control / Special Session
5:25 pm
Thu July 21, 2011

Chappelle-Nadal: special session not the place for local control discussion

Mo. State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City
(Missouri Senate Website)

St. Louis city leaders say that returning control of the city's police department should be a priority during any upcoming special session of the General Assembly.

Speaking Wednesday, leaders of the Republican controlled state House and Senate said they didn't see any problem with passing the measure.

But not everyone is on board with that plan.  

St. Louis County Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal has been a vocal critic of local control in the past and says it should not be part of any special session.

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