Politics & Issues

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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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.

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