Politics & Issues

Political news

Worker at one of Community Link's workshops for adults with developmental disabilities.
courtesy Community Link

Social service agencies that provide support to thousands of people in the Metro East will be operating without state funding starting Wednesday if Illinois lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner can’t reach a budget compromise before the start of the new fiscal year.

Funding for most state programs, including child care subsidies and early intervention for children with developmental disabilities, have yet to be approved.

Monica Rea, left, and Pam Grakanoff lean back from a kiss after exchanging rings Saturday, June 27, 2015 at St. Louis City Hall.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 9:22 Sunday, June 28 with confirmed number of participants.

The St. Louis City Hall Rotunda echoed with laughter and cheers Saturday as same-sex couples were legally married. The ceremony took place just one day after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

Monica Rea and Pam Graklanoff were one of twelve couples who exchanged wedding vows.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III meets the press on Wednesday. He announced Police Chief Tom Jackson was stepping aside.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

An effort to recall Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III appears to have narrowly fallen short.

St. Louis Board of Elections Democratic director Eric Fey told St. Louis Public Radio that critics of the mayor had gathered 1,787 valid signatures – which was 27 short of the 1,814 needed amount to trigger a recall. Petitioners were given additional time to gather signatures after initially submitting too few.

U.S. Supreme Court
supremecourt.gov

The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision recognizing a constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry traversed centuries of arguments about how the court should find new rights that are fundamental to individual liberty.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for a five-justice majority, came down firmly on the side of a Constitution that grows with time and that recognizes the “dignity” and “autonomy” of the individual. He said it is the job of judges to identify and protect newly recognized fundamental rights that haven’t been enumerated in the Constitution.

Alderman Joe Vaccaro, D-23rd Ward, plunged the future of a minimum wage bill into doubt after cancelling committee hearings on the issue.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ ambitious push to raise the minimum wage may be dead after the alderman in charge of the committee examining the bill -- Alderman Joe Vaccaro -- canceled hearings.

It’s a move that caught supporters of the bill off guard and incensed staffers of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. And with a state deadline potentially looming, it may have brought a dramatic end to deliberations over the issue.

Arlene Zarembka and Zuleyma Tang-Martinez got married in Canada in 2005.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

In a resounding victory for the rights of same-sex couples, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the U.S. Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to those couples.

States cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions, the Supreme Court says in a ruling that for months has been the focus of speculation. The decision was 5-4.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen as a pivotal swing vote in the case, wrote the majority opinion. All four justices who voted against the ruling wrote their own dissenting opinions: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

Jim Obergefell is the lead plaintiff in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that will likely decide whether same-sex marriage is legal throughout the country.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on June 26 with news of ruling  — Today in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution required states to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in that case, sat down to talk with St. Louis on the Air three weeks before the decision was handed down. 

Our original story.

Confederate battle flag beside the Confederate Monument in front of the South Carolina Statehouse
J. Stephen Conn | Flickr | 2006

Symbols matter, as the groundswell against the Confederate flag  reminded us this week. But even if retailers shun it and South Carolina lowers it, how much substantive difference will that make? That will depend on whether the emotion of the moment reflects a deeper change of heart or a diversion from further action.

Stadium Approach from the Southeast
HOK | 360 Architecture

It's now up to a St. Louis judge to decide whether city voters get to approve any public assistance for sports stadiums.

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