Politics & Issues

Tax Cuts
12:38 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Missouri House Joins Senate To Override Veto Of Tax-Cut Bill

Credit Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House acted quickly Tuesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a tax-cut bill that is estimated to cut the state's revenue by about $620 million a year when fully implemented.

The House obtained the exact number of votes needed — 109 — with the help of one Democrat, Rep. Keith English of Florissant.  He joined all of the chamber's 108 Republicans.

The House joined the Senate, which voted 23-8 on Monday to override the governor's veto, which he issued last week.

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Scott Air Force Base
4:45 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Two Generals Step Up As New Leaders At Scott Air Force Base

This is a file photo from 2011 of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (L) shaking the hand of Gen. William Fraser (C) after Fraser assumed command of United States Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base. Gen. Paul Selva was appointed head of U.S. Transportation command Monday. Fraser is retiring after 40 years of service.
Credit (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Two Change of Command ceremonies commemorated new leadership at Scott Air Force Base on Monday.

Gen. Paul Selva now leads U.S. Transportation Command at Scott after Gen. William Fraser’s retirement. Gen. Darren McDew replaces Selva as head of Air Mobility Command.

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Military Spending
4:28 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Boeing's Growler Aircraft Unites Missouri's Congressional Delegation

Boeing E/A-18G Growler
Credit Boeing Co.

To hear the region’s members of Congress tell it, their bipartisan effort to restore federal funding for Boeing’s Growler aircraft is fueled more by the plane’s unique capabilities than by the jobs at stake in the St. Louis area.

“I think we have a powerful story here,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. “It is only this aircraft that can provide the electronic warfare that is so important today. It is the only aircraft that can do the jamming of radar that is so important to defend our assets.”

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St. Louis County Council
11:22 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

Parties Choose Nominees To Fill Vacant Seat On St. Louis County Council

Credit File photo

St. Louis County’s Democratic and Republican central committees have chosen their nominees for the Aug. 5 special election to fill the vacant seat on the County Council created by the death of Kathleen Burkett. 

The Democratic nominee for the 2nd District post is a familiar one:  Dr. Sam Page of Creve Coeur, a physician and former state representative who was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2008.  He lost to incumbent Republican Peter Kinder.

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On the Trail
9:16 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

A Missouri Power Broker's Fall: Rod Jetton's New Book Raises Questions About Politics

Former House Speaker Rod Jetton's personal and political fortunes floundered amid intra-party conflict and personal turmoil. He has written a book detailing his downfall.
Tim Bommel, House Communications

Rod Jetton was once the most powerful lawmaker in Missouri.

As speaker of the Missouri House, he had the power to exalt or kill any bill that flowed through the General Assembly. From all appearances, he had a bright political future.

Behind the scenes, however, Jetton was on a course for self-destruction. 

By the time he left office, the FBI was investigating him for bribery. He was facing serious jail time after being accused of felony assault. Just months after being one of the most powerful men in Missouri politics, Jetton was broke and without a job.

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Missouri Budget
9:15 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

Missouri Revenue Drops In April, Raising Questions And Concerns

Credit sxc.hu

For Missouri state government’s bottom line, April wasn’t a great month.

And that fact could throw a last-minute wrench into the General Assembly’s final tinkering with the state budget for the coming fiscal year, which must be on Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk by next Friday.

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Ballot Initiatives
7:12 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

Backers Submit Signatures For Ballot Proposal To Eliminate Teacher Tenure

Credit St. Louis Public Schools

A group seeking to revamp teacher-hiring in Missouri, including the elimination of tenure, turned in more than 275,000 signatures Sunday to get its proposal on the November statewide ballot.

Called “Teach Great,” the group’s initiative-petition effort has largely been financed by financier Rex Sinquefield.

Among other things, the ballot proposal seeks to base teacher retention on performance-based evaluations and "quantifiable student performance data." It also would end the use of tenure and seniority in determining teacher retention or layoffs.

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Law Scoop
5:37 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Judge Boosts Missouri's 2014 Tobacco Settlement Payment To $110 Million

Credit Flickr/SuperFantastic

A St. Louis judge has boosted the amount of tobacco settlement money Missouri will receive in 2014.

Judge Jimmie Edwards ruled on Friday that an arbitration panel improperly calculated part of a penalty. The penalty was levied against Missouri because it is failing to properly enforce the 1998 settlement between the states and major tobacco companies. The ruling means Missouri should get $110 million, up from $60 million. 

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ALEC Conference
1:38 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Some Missouri Lawmakers Attend Conservative Group's Spring Summit

Credit (St. Louis Public Radio/Marshall Griffin)

The Missouri House and Senate aren’t in session today, but some of their members are expected to have traveled to Kansas City to take part in the American Legislative Exchange Council’s spring task-force summit.

The council, often referred to as ALEC, is a conservative group that focuses on state issues, often helping develop proposed legislation that some of its lawmaker-members then seek to advance in state capitols around the country.

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, serves on ALEC’s board.

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Campaign Money
12:36 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

U.S. House Speaker Boehner To Be In St. Louis For Fundraising Event

John Boehner
Credit (via Flickr/Medill DC)

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner will be the special guest – and the chief beneficiary – at a fundraising event in St. Louis this evening at the Ladue home of wealthy businessman Dave Spence and his wife, Suzie Spence.

The gathering – billed as a “roundtable and reception” -- is co-hosted by all six of Missouri’s Republican members of Congress, including Ann Wagner of Ballwin. Most are expected to attend.

Tickets range from $1,000 a person to $25,000 for host-committee couples for the event, slated for early this evening.

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