Politics & Issues

Missouri redistricting
6:17 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Mo. Supreme Court hears congressional map suits again

The Grand Compromise Map, passed in 2011 by Mo. lawmakers, is being challenged in two lawsuits that claim that the map fails the State Constitution's compactness requirement.
(Missouri Senate)

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.

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Mo. candidate filing period
12:07 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

State Senate approves delay in Mo. filing period

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

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.

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Mo. candidate filing period
8:16 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Filing period bill moves forward in Mo. Senate

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

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.

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Second Injury Fund
7:52 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Koster, Mo. lawmakers, address 2nd Injury Fund woes

Mo. Atty. Gen. Chris Koster (D)
(Mo. Attorney General's office)

Attorney General Chris Koster (D) is urging Missouri lawmakers to either find a way to make the state’s Second Injury Fund solvent again or to get rid of it entirely.

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.

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Birth control bill
7:59 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Bill to block birth control coverage on religious grounds moves forward

The Mo. Senate's Committee on Small Business, Insurance and Industry meets at the Mo. Capitol.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

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.

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MO Statehouse - Redistricting
2:44 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Trial court rejects challenge to state House districts

A Cole County judge has rejected a legal challenge to new State House . The portion shown here is the St. Louis region.
(Missouri State Redistricting Office)

It's been a busy day in Missouri courts today.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down an ethics law because the measure originally dealt with state procurement.

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Ethics bill overturned
2:24 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

State high court strikes 2010 ethics law

The Missouri Supreme Court has struck down a 2010 ethics law that took a long and twisted path to its final form.

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Mo. candidate filing period
9:02 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Bill to move candidate filing period awaiting Mo. Senate action

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

Legislation is awaiting action in the Missouri Senate that would change the filing period for candidates planning to run in the state’s Democratic and Republican primaries in August.

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Do-Not-Call registry
8:47 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Mo. Senate endorses adding cell phone numbers to No-Call list

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

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would add cell phone numbers to the state’s Do-Not-Call list.

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.

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Missouri disaster recovery
5:38 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Levee repairs, flood recovery to be discussed in Columbia this weekend

A levee breach in northwestern Missouri in 2011.
(Atchison Co. Emergency Management)

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.

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