Politics & Issues

MO Statehouse
7:11 pm
Wed March 2, 2011

Mo. Senate filibuster blocking $81 million in unemployment benefits

Mo. Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay)
Mo. Senate

Some Republicans in the Missouri Senate are blocking legislation to draw down $81 million in federal unemployment benefits.

The funding would go to Missouri residents who've been out of work for more than 79 weeks, and a State House bill authorizing the draw down must be passed by Thursday or else the money will go to other states.

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MO Statehouse
4:47 pm
Wed March 2, 2011

Mo. House committee considers 3 texting bills

(via Flickr/MrJasonWeaver)

A Missouri House committee heard three bills today that would extend the state's texting-while-driving ban to all motorists.

But the bills differ in how the law would be enforced.

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Mo. Tax Amnesty
2:22 pm
Wed March 2, 2011

Missouri House endorses tax amnesty period

(via Flickr/JD Hancock)

Missouri House members have endorsed legislation to offer amnesty to delinquent taxpayers.

The measure would waive interest and penalties for those who pay their tax bills between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31. Supporters estimate the measure could bring in as much as $74 million to the state. Plus, they say it would give individuals and companies an opportunity to wipe their slate clean.

The legislation gained first-round approval Wednesday and needs another vote before moving to the Senate.

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Teacher Tenure
10:57 am
Wed March 2, 2011

Mo. lawmakers call for end to teacher tenure

Some Missouri lawmakers say the state should do away with its tenure system for teachers and make students' academic performance a big part of their evaluations.

A House panel heard testimony Wednesday on legislation that would require 50 percent of a teacher's evaluation to be based on students' scores on state tests. Teachers would not be guaranteed salary increases based on their classroom experience. The changes would take effect in July 2012.

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Missouri Republican Party
9:51 am
Wed March 2, 2011

Missouri Republicans call Mo. Gov. "Air Jay" in radio spot

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon during his 2011 State of the State address.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri's Republican State Committee is taking aim at Governor Jay Nixon already.

There's no Republican candidate yet in the 2012 race for Missouri governor.

But the GOP committee is already running a radio spot that lambasts the Democratic governor's air travel expenses, referring to him as "Air Jay".

Nixon has come under fire for billing state agencies $400,000 over two years for his air travel around the state.

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MO Statehouse
4:59 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Mo. House endorses minimum wage restriction

Mo. Capitol
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would prohibit the state's minimum wage from exceeding the federal rate.

In 2006, Missouri voters approved a ballot initiative that set the state's minimum wage at $6.50 an hour, and allowed future minimums to rise based on the rate of inflation.  It now matches the federal level of $7.25 an hour.

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MO Statehouse
6:32 pm
Mon February 28, 2011

Mo. Auditor Schweich backs language aimed at Gov. Nixon's travel policy

Mo. State Auditor's Office

Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) says he supports legislation that would require details about the governor's flights around the state to be posted to a state website.

The bill in question has been approved by the Missouri House and is now before the Senate.

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Red light cameras
4:42 pm
Mon February 28, 2011

Lembke not satisfied with recent opinion on red light cameras

Red light cameras at an intersection in Hazelwood, Mo.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

South County Republican state Senator Jim Lembke says the opinion issued last week by attorney general Chris Koster still doesn't convince him that some municipal ordinances authorizing red light cameras are legal.

Lembke, who's introduced legislation again this year that would ban the use of the cameras, says he agrees that local governments are allowed to put up the cameras.

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MO Statehouse
5:58 pm
Fri February 25, 2011

Legislative walkout unlikely in Missouri

Protesters demonstrate at the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison.
AP photo/Andy Manis

Missouri legislative leaders don't expect walkouts by Democrats in Wisconsin and other Midwestern states over labor union issues to happen here.

Democrats and union leaders in the Show-Me State are opposing legislation in the State Senate that would make Missouri a right-to-work state.

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Stouffer for Sec. of State
9:51 am
Fri February 25, 2011

Stouffer to run for Mo. secretary of state

Republican Mo. state Sen. Bill Stouffer. (via Flickr/MoBikeFed)

Updated 5:40 p.m. Feb. 25, 2011.

A State Senator from rural western Missouri has announced he'll seek the Republican nomination for Secretary of State next year.

Bill Stouffer (R, Napton) was first elected to the Missouri Senate in 2004 and re-elected in 2008.

He made an unsuccessful bid for Congress last year, losing the GOP nod to Vicky Hartzler in Missouri's 4th District.  Hartzler later unseated incumbent Democrat Ike Skelton.

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