Politics & Issues

MO Statehouse/"Facebook" law
2:20 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Mo. repeals teacher-student Internet restrictions

Updated at 6:23 p.m. to include comments from the bill's sponsor, and Gov. Nixon's criticism of the bill, despite signing it

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation repealing a contentious law, known by some as the "Facebook law," that had limited online discussions between teachers and students.

Nixon's signature Friday will delete a law enacted earlier this year barring teachers from using websites that allow "exclusive access" with current or former students 18 or younger. Some teachers raised concerns that they would be restricted from using social media sites such as Facebook, which allow private messages.

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MO Statehouse / Special Session
10:18 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Missouri Senate leader Mayer to end special session without approval of business incentives

The Missouri State Capitol building in Jefferson City, Mo.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The head of the Missouri Senate has announced he’s going to pull the plug on the special legislative session next week.

President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) believes it’s too late to pass any kind of economic development bill before the session expires in two weeks.  Despite Thursday’s move by the Missouri House to appoint lawmakers to negotiate a final version of the wide-ranging tax credit bill, Mayer says any agreement must include 7-year expiration dates, or sunsets, on historic preservation and low income housing tax credits.

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Tax credit review
6:49 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Mo. House endorses 4-year reviews of tax credits

Mo. House of Representatives
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would require all tax credits to undergo a regular review process.

If it succeeds, each tax credit would have to be voted on by the full General Assembly every four years.  The resolution is the House’s alternative to expiration dates for tax credits favored by the Missouri Senate.  It’s sponsored by House Budget Chair Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City).

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MO Statehouse/Nixon trade trip
5:06 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Nixon says lack of China hub agreement won't change trade trip to the country

Gov. Jay Nixon and Chinese ambassador Zhou Wenzhong, during a state dinner in Feb. 2010. Nixon leaves for China tomorrow on a eight-day trade mission.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

In August, Gov. Jay Nixon, with much fanfare, called for a special session of the Missouri General Assembly.

So, what's the top priority for everyone? A package of tax credits affectionately known as "Aerotropolis," which would provide incentives for the creation of a hub for Chinese cargo at Lambert Airport.

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Mo. Special session
4:43 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Mo. House seeks compromise with Senate on tax credit bill

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

The Missouri House has done an about-face and now wants a joint committee to negotiate a final version of a wide-ranging tax credit bill that has divided the House and Senate throughout the ongoing special session.

House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) had suggested weeks ago that a conference committee wasn’t necessary and that any differences on tax credits could be worked out during floor debates.  Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter), meanwhile, had pushed for going to conference because that’s the normal route for reaching compromise on bills.  Tilley says he’s decided to take Mayer at his word.

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Boeing / Mo. Statehouse
2:18 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Mo. House bails out from fighter jet controversy

A Boeing FA-18 fighter jet.
(via Boeing)

Missouri House members are trying to eject from their earlier support for a jet built in Texas.

House members this month approved a resolution urging Congress to fund the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which is built by Lockheed Martin Corp. in Texas. Some now fear the jet could compete for funding with the F/A-18, which is built by Boeing Corp. in St. Louis.

Boeing is among Missouri's biggest employers with about 15,000 workers in the state and 5,000 connected to the F/A-18.

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Primary vs. caucus
7:05 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Mo. House to push for caucus bill

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

Missouri House leaders will now attempt to get rid of the state’s presidential primary and replace it with party caucuses.  A similar move fell short in the Missouri Senate.

Some Senate Republicans tried and failed Monday night to swap out the bill to move the primary from February to March with one that would have replaced it with caucuses.  Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard) has filed a new bill in the House that would do the same thing.

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Missouri Supreme Court
1:49 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Draper named as new Mo. Supreme Court judge

George W. Draper III
(Mo. Supreme Court)

After three finalists were announced in September, Missouri now has a new Supreme Court judge. George W. Draper III, currently a judge in the Eastern District Court of Appeals, has been selected by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) for the job, in an announcement released today.

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Mo. State Auditor
7:14 pm
Tue October 18, 2011

Mo. Auditor Schweich wants legislation assuring his access to bank records

Mo. Auditor Tom Schweich (R) addresses reporters in his State Capitol office regarding proposed legislation that would give his office complete access to bank exam records.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich (R) will push for legislation next year he says will enable his office to oversee the state’s Division of Finance without interference from state agencies or private entities.

The proposed bill is, in part, the result of an ongoing legal battle with the Missouri Banker’s Association.  Schweich says the MBA is seeking to block his office from examining how the Finance Division examined the records of a number of failed banks in Missouri.

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Jerry Lee / Public Safety Director
4:03 pm
Tue October 18, 2011

Former St. Louis County police chief Lee named Mo. public safety director

Jerry Lee.
(via St. Louis City Board of Police Commissioners website)

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon has announced that the former police chief of St. Louis County, Jerry Lee, has been named as the new state public safety director.

Lee will replace former director John Britt, who left the position last Thursday.

The appointment of Lee now leaves a vacancy on the St. Louis City Board of Police Commissioners to be filled by gubernatorial appointment "in due time," Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said.

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