Politics & Issues

Health insurance exchange
6:13 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Mo. Governor's authority challenged in health insurance exchange bill

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon (D)
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A State Senate committee heard testimony today on legislation designed to block Governor Jay Nixon (D) from creating a health insurance exchange.

The proposed exchange is part of the national health care law signed by President Obama nearly two years ago.  All states are required to have an online exchange where customers can buy health coverage, and any state that doesn’t have one by the year 2014 will have one created for them by Washington.  The bill sponsored by State Senator Rob Schaaf (R, St. Joseph) would block the Governor and any agency under his authority from creating an exchange by executive order.

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Election 2012
4:54 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Mo. gov. candidate Spence omits part of college degree

Dave Spence.
(Provided by Alpha Packaging)

Missouri gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence touts on his website that he "earned a degree in Economics" from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

What his website doesn't say is that the degree was in home economics.

Spence told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a story published online Tuesday that his grades weren't good enough for the business school, so he chose a different academic path that allowed him to graduate on time. He acknowledged that the description of his degree on the campaign's website may be misleading.

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Jobs Plan / Jay Nixon
2:29 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Missouri Gov. Nixon outlines jobs plan

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing additional training efforts and boosting exports to spur job creation.

Nixon traveled Monday to western Missouri to discuss a development plan he called "Missouri Works." The proposal includes setting up an online information center for Missouri businesses seeking to expand exports. It also suggests opening export offices in Asia and South America.

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MO Statehouse/GOP lt. gov race
9:59 am
Mon January 9, 2012

Another Republican contemplates lt. gov. post

State Sen. Luann Ridgeway, pictured here presiding over the chamber in 2011, says she is "very committed" to entering the GOP primary for lieutenant governor.
(website of Sen. Ridgeway)

Updated at 2 p.m. with information about potential third Democratic candidate.

The Republican primary for lieutenant governor of Missouri may get even more crowded.

State Sen. Luann Ridgeway, a Republican from the Kansas City area, said Monday she is "very committed" to the race, though she has not officially declared her candidacy.

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Missouri State Budget
3:24 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Nixon withdraws Higher Ed. funding proposal

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 3:24 p.m.

A proposal has been scrapped by Governor Jay Nixon (D) to borrow money from Missouri’s state universities to help balance the state’s budget.

The idea was floated last month, in which $106 million in reserve funds from five of Missouri’s largest universities would be used to shore up the Department of Higher Education’s budget for the next fiscal year, which begins in July.  That sparked an outcry from both university officials and lawmakers.

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Missouri State Budget
11:48 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Missouri revenues falling short of budget

(via Flickr/_J_D_R)

Halfway through Missouri's budget year, state revenues are sluggish.

The state budget office reported Thursday that Missouri's revenue increased 1.2 percent through the first six months of the 2012 fiscal year. Revenues need to grow at about 2.7 percent to meet the mark set by the budget.

Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the revenue report was "concerning." But she noted that the revenue could improve in the second half of the budget year. Missouri budgets take effect July 1.

Mo. 2012 legislative session
5:38 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

K-12 funding, Turner fix and "no new taxes" discussed on opening day of Mo. 2012 session

Floor of the Mo. House on opening day of the 2012 regular legislative session.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The 2012 Missouri legislative session is underway, and much of the first-day talk revolved around the challenges facing the state’s public schools.

In addition to Missouri’s K-12 schools not being fully funded, suburban school districts near St. Louis and Kansas City may be forced to accept thousands of transfer students from the inner cities, thanks to the State Supreme Court’s ruling in Turner v. Clayton.  House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) says any solutions to those problems should include tuition tax credits for kids in unaccredited areas, and statewide expansion of charter schools.

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Missouri Redistricting
3:12 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Court asked to invalidate new Mo. Senate districts

The latest version of the Missouri Senate redistricting maps, which was released on Dec. 9, 2011. A Columbia lawyer wants the maps invalidated.
(Missouri Office of Administration website)

Updated 4:56 p.m. with Supreme Court setting oral argument.

The Missouri Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments quickly on a Columbia lawyer's challenge to newly drawn districts for the 34-seat state Senate.

District boundaries were redrawn by a panel of state appellate judges to reflect population changes based on the 2010 census.

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State of Missouri
11:12 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Former eco devo director named to Mo. tech corp.

David Kerr.
(Mo. Dept. of Economic Development)

Missouri's former Economic Development Department director has been named to the Missouri Technology Corp.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced that David Kerr, who stepped down from his previous post at the start of this year, will join Technology Corp.

Nixon's also chose Elizabeth Canuteson, of Liberty, a regional vice president for AT&T, to the corporation.

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Jamilah Nasheed / Election 2012
4:05 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Nasheed to run for Mo. state Senate

Missouri state Rep. Jamilah Nasheed (D, St. Louis).
(Tim Bommel/Mo. House of Representatives)

State Representative Jamilah Nasheed announced Tuesday she's running for the state Senate.

The St. Louis Democrat is running against fellow Democratic incumbent Senator Robin Wright-Jones.

Following redistricting Nasheed's district now includes two other current state representatives, but she says that's not why she's chosen to run for a Senate seat.

“I'm running simply because I truly believe the city of St. Louis truly needs leadership,” Nasheed said. “Right now in the Senate under Robin Wright-Jones, the city hasn't had an effective voice.”

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