Politics & Issues

I-70 toll road proposal
4:45 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

MoDOT Director: Toll roads only option if state wants to rebuild I-70 right now

The head of the Missouri Department of Transportation says charging tolls on Interstate 70 is the only real option for funding reconstruction of the highway, if the state wants to do something about it right now.

MoDOT Director Kevin Keith told a gathering of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Thursday that converting I-70 to a toll road could have short-term benefits, namely, job creation.

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Missouri Redistricting
1:29 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Mo. Supreme Court declines redistricting case

The Missouri Supreme Court is declining to weigh in on the constitutionality of new state House districts - at least for now.

The high court had been asked in a lawsuit to block a new map for the 163-member House from being used in this year's elections.

The plaintiffs contend the new maps violate requirements that districts have similar populations and be contiguous and compact.

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Workplace discrimination bill
5:17 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Workplace discrimination bill being blocked in Mo. Senate

A group of Democratic State Senators is blocking a bill that would redefine Missouri’s workplace discrimination standards.

Among those taking part in the filibuster are Robin Wright-Jones (D, St. Louis) and Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City).  They talked about several other topics besides the discrimination bill on the Senate floor Wednesday, including America’s immigration policies.

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Texting While Driving
10:05 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Mo. senator Wright-Jones wants texting ban as secondary offense

(via Flickr/MrJasonWeaver)

A proposed compromise to expand Missouri's texting-while-driving law appears to have fallen flat in a Senate committee.

The Senate Transportation Committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill by that would prohibit all drivers - not just those 21 and younger - from texting while driving. Because similar bills have failed in the past, Democratic Sen. Robin Wright-Jones of St. Louis proposed making texting a secondary offense - meaning police would have to pull motorists over for something else before they could write a ticket for texting.

MO Statehouse
10:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Mo. bill allows quicker intervention in failing school districts

(via Flickr/comedy_nose)

Will be updated.

Some Missouri lawmakers want to give state education officials authority to intervene sooner to assist failing school districts.

Districts that lose state accreditation currently are given two years to improve before state education officials can step in. A push to eliminate the grace period comes shortly after the Kansas City School District became the state's third unaccredited district.

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MO Statehouse
5:33 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Gun target stickers found at Mo. Senate and House offices

One of two rifle target stickers found ouside the State Capitol office of Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City) on Jan. 24, 2012.
(Mo. Senate)

Stickers with rifle target crosshairs printed on them have been found in the office doorways of several Missouri lawmakers.

They were discovered Tuesday afternoon outside the offices of five Democratic State Senators and one Republican State Representative.  The stickers were twice found outside the Capitol office of Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal of University City.

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Photo ID for voters
3:45 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Mo. House committee passes voter ID bill

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

Legislation that would require Missouri voters to show photo identification at the polls has passed a State House committee.

Voters who don’t have a photo ID would be required to use provisional ballots, which would be counted once their identities are correctly verified.  It passed 7 to 3 on a straight party line vote, with every Republican on the House Elections Committee voting “yes” and every Democrat voting “no.”  The sponsor, House Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard), says the bill shouldn’t be divisive.

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Workplace discrimination bills
8:31 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Workplace discrimination bills getting attention in Mo. House, Senate

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

Legislation that would change Missouri’s definition on workplace discrimination is getting attention this week on both sides of the Missouri General Assembly.

On Monday, the House version of the bill was approved by that chamber’s Workforce Development Committee.  Under the bill, discrimination would have to be a motivating factor in any action taken against an employee, not a contributing factor as it is now.  Democrat Sylvester Taylor of North County voted against the bill in committee.

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France's Legion of Honor
4:11 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Three Mo. WWII vets awarded France's Legion of Honor medal

(l-r) Lloyd Cain, Frank Crooks, and "Bud" Jones. The three Jefferson City residents are the latest Missouri World War Two veterans to be awarded France's Legion of Honor medal for their service during the war.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Three Missouri World War Two veterans have received France’s Legion of Honor medal, the highest award given by the French government for service to that country.  They were recognized today at a ceremony at the Missouri State Capitol hosted by Governor Jay Nixon.

Frank Crooks, 87, is a St. Joseph native who now lives in Jefferson City. He served in the Army Air Forces as a turret gunner in a B-26 Marauder bomber.  His plane was forced to make an emergency landing at a German airstrip after being hit by enemy flack over France.

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Missouri State Budget
2:18 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Mo. plans to refinance more than $500M in debt

(via Flickr/yomanimus)

Missouri is planning to refinance more than $500 million of debt as part of Gov. Jay Nixon's plan to balance the state budget.

Nixon's budget proposal for the next fiscal year assumes the state will save $41 million from the debt restructuring.

The governor's budget office says the state already has refinanced $20 million of principal from the debt used to build Mizzou Arena at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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