Two lawsuits challenging Missouri’s new congressional district map have been heard for a second time by the State Supreme Court. The cases returned to the High Court after the map was upheld two weeks ago by a Cole County Circuit judge.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs continued their arguments that the districts drawn on the so-called Grand Compromise Map fails the state constitution’s compactness requirement. Attorney Jamie Barker Landes criticized the new 5th District, which lumps three rural GOP-leaning counties with urban Jackson County, while also adding a slice of metro Kansas City onto the rural northern Missouri 6th District.
The Missouri Senate has unanimously passed legislation to move the filing period for the state’s party primaries back by one month.
The bill is moving rapidly because the filing period is currently set to begin February 28th and end March 27th, and because of the lack of new State House and Senate district maps. The Missouri Supreme Court tossed out the Senate map, which now has to be redrawn, and a legal challenge to the new House map is also being appealed to the High Court. Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says those facts alone make it necessary to push back the filing period.
The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would push back the filing period for the state’s August primaries by one month.
The bill’s backers say the filing period needs to be moved forward to March 27th through April 24th, due to legal uncertainty over the State House and Senate district maps. Currently, the filing period begins February 28th and ends March 27th for all state and federal races this year.
The fund provides payments to workers who return to the workforce after being injured on the job, then are injured on the job again. The Attorney General’s office manages the fund, and Koster says it’s been losing money ever since lawmakers in 2005 capped the amount of money Missouri businesses have to pay to keep the fund afloat.
Legislation that would allow employers to block insurance coverage for birth control, abortions and sterilizations, all for religious reasons, has passed a Missouri Senate committee.
The bill was filed in response to President Obama’s recent mandate that church-run institutions provide coverage for birth control – that mandate has since been amended to require insurers to provide coverage if a religious employer refuses to do so. Bishop John Gaydos, representing Missouri’s Catholic bishops, spoke in favor of the bill.
There was little to no debate on the bill Monday and it was easily approved by voice-vote. The sponsor, State Senator Will Kraus (R, Lee's Summit), says the measure has failed in recent years because it was always paired with proposals to ban robo-calls.
State and federal leaders are gathering in Columbia Saturday to talk about ways to prevent last year’s devastating floods that plagued northwest and southeastern Missouri.
Heavy snow and rainfall led to record releases from South Dakota dams along the Missouri River –and as a result 200,000 acres of farmland in northwest Missouri sat flooded for months, along with a significant stretch of Interstate 29 in Missouri and Iowa. Around 130,000 acres were flooded in the southeast part of the state when the Army Corps of Engineers blew a hole in the Birds Point Levee along the Mississippi River in order to protect the town of Cairo, Illinois.