Politics & Issues

ENGLISH-ONLY DRIVER's Tests
1:53 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Mo. House passes English driver's license mandate

The Missouri House has passed legislation requiring driver’s license exams to be given in English only.

The final debate boiled down to safety versus respect for immigrants.  State Representative Tishaura Jones (D, St. Louis) says she represents constituents from several different nationalities, and added that every member of the House descended from immigrants.

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Election 2012
11:51 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Rural prosecutor Warren enters Mo. attorney general race

Adam Warren.
(courtesy Adam Warren)

The Republican race for Missouri's attorney general's office has gained a second candidate.

Livingston County Prosecutor Adam Warren announced Thursday that he will seek to challenge Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster in this year's elections. Warren joins St. Louis attorney Ed Martin in the GOP field.

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Mo. Senate redistricting
3:50 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Commission to redraw Mo. Senate map reaches tentative agreement

A copy of the State Senate map rejected last month by the Missouri Supreme Court. A citizens' commission appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon has reached a tentative agreement on a new map, a link to which is provided in the article below.
(Mo. Office of Administration)

A tentative agreement has been reached on a new redistricting map for the Missouri Senate.

A bipartisan commission appointed by Governor Jay Nixon (D) to draw a new map negotiated for more than 13 hours Wednesday, and reached a consensus after 12:00 this morning.  The "Tentative Plan" map can be viewed here.  Marc Ellinger is the top Republican on the 10-person commission.

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MOSIRA
11:57 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Mo. AG Koster to appeal MOSIRA ruling

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster
(Missouri Attorney General's office)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster plans to appeal a court ruling that invalidated a state fund designed to offer incentives to science or technology companies.

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MOSIRA
7:38 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Mo. lawmakers react to MOSIRA law being struck down

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

Many Missouri lawmakers are expressing disappointment over Tuesday's ruling that struck down the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, more commonly known as "MOSIRA."

The measure would have used revenues generated by a group of science and high-tech companies to create a pool to lure more such companies to Missouri and to keep the ones already here from leaving.  State Senator Luann Ridgeway (R, Smithville) is not happy with the ruling.

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Farm Taxes
12:43 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Mo. House rejects plan to increase some farm taxes

(via Flickr/Dodo-Bird)

Missouri House members have voted to reject a tax plan that would increase property taxes for the best farms.

Property taxes for farms are based on the land's "productive value." Farms are divided into eight groups based on land quality, with the best in Grade 1 and the worst in Grade 8. The Missouri Tax Commission has recommended increasing productive values for the four highest grades.

The property tax changes for 2013 and 2014 take effect unless the Legislature approves a resolution to reject them. House members voted 117-39 on Tuesday to reject the tax proposal.

English-only driver's tests
8:56 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Mo. House endorses English-only driver's exams

Mo. House chambers
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require driver’s license exams be given only in English.

Currently, the state of Missouri provides the written driver’s exam in English and eleven other languages.  House Member Mark Parkinson (R, St. Charles) says his bill follows the spirit of the state constitution’s mandate that public proceedings be conducted in English.

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Mo. candidate filing period
7:08 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Mo. House leader may push for 2-week candidate filing period

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

Legislation that would move the candidate filing period for the August primary back by one month is now moving through the Missouri House.

On Monday it passed the House Elections Committee and it next goes to the Rules Committee.  However, House Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka) seems to favor an alternate approach:  Having a two-week filing period that would begin sometime in mid-March and end on March 27th as currently scheduled.

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Term Limits
4:47 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Mo. Senate endorses expansion of term limits

The Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri voters could get to decide whether to impose term limits on all executive officeholders under a proposal endorsed by the state Senate.

The proposed constitutional amendment would limit the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and auditor to serving two, four-year terms. A similar limit already is in place for Missouri's governor and treasurer. State lawmakers also are subject to term limits.

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worker's compensation
6:30 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Mo. Senate passes workers' comp bill

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

The Missouri Senate has passed legislation that would prohibit employees from suing co-workers for injuries they sustain on the job.

Senators voted 28-6 in favor of the bill Thursday. Majority Leader Tom Dempsey, who sponsored the measure, says the change will be fairer to workers and protect them from having to pay large court judgments.

The legislation also provides for workers' compensation coverage of occupational diseases. Such diseases were removed from the program under a 2005 law.

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