Politics & Issues

State of Missouri Budget
3:18 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Missouri facing $500M hole in upcoming budget

An interior view of a domed ceiling at the Missouri State Capitol building in Jefferson City, Mo. Lawmakers face a $500 million budget gap as they begin their 2012 session Jan. 4.
(via Flickr/jennlynndesign)

Missouri lawmakers will be trying to plug a half-billion-dollar gap in next year's budget when they convene their 2012 session on Wednesday.

State budget director Linda Luebbering says much of the hole is due to a reduction in federal money, such as stimulus funds and Medicaid payments.  However, State Senator David Pearce (R, Warrensburg) suggests that that number is not set in stone.

“There are predictions anywhere from $400 to $900 million, (that could) be our shortfall for this upcoming year," Pearce said.  "How do you fill that?  It’s gonna be tough.” 

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MO Statehouse: texting ban
4:50 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Lawmaker will again attempt to ban texting while driving

This fatal wreck along Interstate 44 in March 2010 was caused by a driver who was texting. A state senator hopes this accident, and a federal recommendation, lead to a statewide ban on texting while driving.
(UPI/KMOX)

In December, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that states ban drivers from using their cell phones in any way while operating a car.

In its report, the NTSB cited an Aug. 2010 accident that killed two people and injured at least 50 others. The crash took place on Interstate 44 near Gray Summit, Mo.

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Mo. PSC member stepping down
4:23 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

Jeff Davis stepping down from Mo. Public Service Commission

Mo. Public Service Commissioner Jeff Davis (R).
(Mo. Public Service Commission)

 A Missouri utility regulator is resigning next month from the Missouri Public Service Commission.

Jeff Davis said Friday his resignation from the commission would be effective Jan. 16. Davis joined the Public Service Commission in 2004 and served as the chairman from 2005 to 2009. His six-year term on the commission was expiring in April.

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MO Statehouse: New development director
12:30 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

Head of state technology agency named Mo. economic development director

Gov. Jay Nixon has named Jason Hall, the current director of the Mo. Technology Corp., to be the state's new economic development director.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri  Gov. Jay Nixon has picked the head of the state-funded Missouri Technology Corp. to be the state's third economic development director in less than four year.

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Missouri State Revenue
2:05 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Mo. estimate predicts 3.9 percent revenue growth

(via Flickr/Rob Lee)

Missouri officials are predicting a 3.9 increase in state revenue in the next fiscal year.

The so-called consensus estimate of general state revenue for the budget year that begins in July was released Wednesday. The estimate predicts total revenue of roughly $7.6 billion in the 2013 fiscal year.

The estimate is calculated by state and outside experts and agreed to by the governor and key legislators. It's one factor in developing Missouri's next state budget.

Gov. Jay Nixon is scheduled to release his budget proposal in January.

Office of Administration / Kelvin Simmons
11:41 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Simmons resigns as Mo. administration commissioner

Kelvin Simmons.
(Missouri Public Service Commission website)

The head of Missouri's Office of Administration is stepping down effective Feb. 1.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced Tuesday that Administration Commissioner Kelvin Simmons was leaving the position. In a resignation letter dated Monday, Simmons said he was pursuing an "opportunity outside of state government" but did not elaborate.

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Missouri Redistricting
1:35 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Mo. proposal calls for open redistricting meetings

State Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, is proposing a constitutional amendment to require redistricting commissions to follow the state's public meetings and open records law.
(Harrison Sweazea/Mo. Senate)

Updated 1:48 p.m. with quote from Crowell, more information.

A Missouri senator wants to change the secretive process used to draw new legislative districts.

Republican Sen. Jason Crowell, of Cape Girardeau, is proposing a constitutional amendment to require redistricting commissions to follow the state's public meetings and open records law.

He said redistricting is fundamental to the democratic process, and new boundaries for state legislative seats should not be drawn behind closed doors.

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Illegal immigration
4:46 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Enforcement of immigration laws in Mo. at issue in to-be-debated bill

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

Legislation to be considered by lawmakers next year would require Missouri’s Attorney General to sue the federal government to enforce federal immigration laws.

The bill is sponsored by GOP Senator Will Kraus.  He says whenever state or local authorities arrest someone who happens to be in the US illegally, the feds release that person about 60 percent of the time.

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Mo. House/Sen. redistricting
4:40 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Panel tweaks redrawn Mo. Senate redistricting map

The revised version of the Missouri Senate map released today by a six-judge panel. Click on the links in the story below to explore the full map.
(Missouri Office of Administration website)

A six-judge panel that redrew Missouri’s State House and Senate districts has made a few changes to the Senate map.

The original map had raised constitutional concerns because it divided rural Johnson County in western Missouri among two separate Senate districts.  The county is represented in the Senate by Republican David Pearce of Warrensburg.

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Mo. Congressional redistricting
7:00 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Lawsuits challenging Mo.'s congressional redistricting maps to be tossed

A Cole County judge has decided to dismiss a legal challenge to the congressional redistricting maps passed this year by Missouri lawmakers.

Two suits were heard jointly Thursday, one from St. Louis-area Democrats and the other from Kansas City-area Republicans.  Both stated that the so-called Grand Compromise Map was geared to protect incumbents, and would weaken the political voices of St. Louis and Kansas City.  Attorney Gerry Greiman represents the St. Louis area plaintiffs.  He says they’ll appeal directly to the State Supreme Court.

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