Politics & Issues

Peter Kinder / Health Care Lawsuit
3:51 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Hearing set on Kinder's health care lawsuit

Mo. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

A federal appeals court will hear arguments this fall on a lawsuit by Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder challenging the new federal health care law.

Kinder filed suit as a private individual challenging the federal law on several points. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in April, ruling that Kinder did not have legal standing to bring many of the claims and that others were not ripe for judicial review.

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Special Session Announced
5:33 pm
Mon August 22, 2011

Nixon issues special session call; Mo. lawmakers to return to Capitol Sept. 6th

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

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) has officially issued a call for a special legislative session, which will begin at noon on September 6, the day after Labor Day.

Nixon wants lawmakers to take up 11 items during next month’s special session.  As expected, it includes providing tax credits for turning Lambert Airport in St. Louis into an international air cargo hub (the Aerotropolis proposal), and moving the state’s presidential primary from February to March.

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Missouri State Fair
4:24 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

Mo. State Fair reopens after severe weather knocks out power

(Missouri State Fair)

The Missouri State Fair has reopened, after a severe thunderstorm passed through Sedalia last night, knocking out power and blowing debris across the fairgrounds.

The gates reopened to the public at 3:00 p.m., after electrical power was fully restored.  Spokeswoman Tammy Nichols says there were no injuries to people or farm animals.

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MSTA / Education / Social Media
3:09 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

Missouri State Teachers Association sues Mo. over social networking law

(via Flickr/MoneyBlogNewz)

Mo. Gov. Nixon signed SB54, also known as the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, into law in July - making national news regarding some of the bill's provisions on educators and social media.

Now the law is being challenged in court by the Missouri State Teachers Association.

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MO Statehouse/Withholding audit
2:46 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

Schweich sharply critical of budget withholdings for disasters

State auditor Tom Schweich is sharply critical of the way Gov. Jay Nixon calculated the $172 million withheld from the FY2012 budget to help pay for natural disasters like the May 22 tornado in Joplin.
(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Updated with comments from Schweich, statement from Nixon.

Missouri state auditor Tom Schweich has released a report that is sharply critical of Gov. Jay Nixon's decision to withhold $172  million from the current budget to help the state cope with a series of natural disasters.

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River management issues
5:38 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Gov. Nixon, Mo. congressional delegates, want levees rebuilt

(l-r) Mo. U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R), Mo. Congressman Todd Akin (R), Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon (D), Mo. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R); they talked about the need to make flood control the top priority along the Missouri River.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) and nearly half of Missouri’s congressional delegation are pledging to rebuild levees and pursue policies that will make massive water releases from dams unnecessary in the future.

They addressed this issue at a meeting of Missouri Farm Bureau members at the State Fair in Sedalia today.

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Mo. Special session
5:36 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

Mo. Senate leader wants disaster response included in special session

Mo. Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter)
(Missouri Senate)

As Democratic Governor Jay Nixon prepares to call lawmakers back to Jefferson City for a special session, the top Republican in the Missouri Senate wants disaster relief to be one of the issues included in the call.

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Missouri Senate / Health Exchange
10:36 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Mo. Senate committee holds public hearing on possible state health exchange

(via Flickr/rosmary)

Reporting from KCUR's Elana Gordon used in this report.

An interim state senate committee is trying to figure out whether, and, if so, how Missouri should create a state health exchange. 

During the their first public hearing on the issue yesterday, Mark Sergener, an insurance agent from St. Joseph, testified against creating such an exchange, siting concerns over how insurance carriers and coverage options would be affected.

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Pending special session
5:41 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

Letter to Mo. Gov. Nixon calls for special session date, criticizes exclusion of tax credit

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

Republican leaders of the Missouri General Assembly are criticizing Democratic Governor Jay Nixon’s decision to exclude land assemblage tax credits from the special session planned for next month.

In a letter to Nixon, House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) and Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) said that his “personal agenda against an individual developer (Paul McKee)...has no place in this debate and should not impact the overall priority of tax credit reform.”

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Missouri Senate Redistricting
3:46 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

Mo. Senate redistricting panel gives up, will let judges redraw map

The Missouri Senate's current districts, which took effect in 2003.
(Missouri Senate)

A commission tasked with redrawing State Senate districts in Missouri has thrown in the towel and will allow a panel of judges to do the job.

The main sticking point was over the 24th Senate District in St. Louis County.  Despite an approximate 59 percent Democratic population, the seat is held by a Republican, Senator John Lamping.

The Democrats on the redistricting commission, including Chairman Doug Harpool, cited population shifts for seeking to eliminate Lamping’s district and create a new one in southwestern Missouri.

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