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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.