Politics & Issues

federal stimulus filibuster
10:17 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

All-night filibuster in Mo. Senate against federal stimulus funds ends

State Sen. Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), debating on the Senate floor back in March. Lembke was one of four senators who blocked a capital improvements bill in an attempt to reject $41 million in federal stimulus funds.
Harrison Sweazea, Mo. Senate Communications Office

Updated 1:32 p.m. May 4:

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says the all-night filibuster in the Missouri Senate of a capital improvements bill containing federal stimulus funds was "political theatrics."

McCaskill, a Democrat, says she understands that the four Republican Senators are trying to send a message to Washington, and that message has been received loud and clear.

"The people that they're really filibustering against are the people of Missouri, because those projects that are funded are creating jobs," McCaskill said. "Our economy is recovering and most importantly it's funding public education in Missouri."

Updated:  7:00 a.m. May 4:

A group of four Republican senators have ended their all-night filibuster of a capital improvements bill that contains more than $465 million in federal stimulus funds.

They began blocking the bill Tuesday afternoon after their attempt to shrink the bill by $41 million was rebuffed by the Senate.

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Mo. Auditor
3:36 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

Mo. auditor Schweich issuing subpoena over financial records

Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich at today's press conference regarding the financial records.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says he’s issuing a subpoena to the Finance Division of the State Department of Insurance, in order to force them to release records on banks, savings and loans, and other financial institutions across the state.

Finance Division officials have so far refused to release documents on their reviews of financial institutions, saying that state law bars them from doing so.  But Schweich says the records are needed to see if banking regulators are doing their jobs properly.

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Photo ID
8:13 pm
Mon May 2, 2011

Missouri House passes photo ID resolution

Mo. Capitol
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

A proposed constitutional amendment that would require Missouri voters to show photo identification at the polls has passed the Missouri House.

The resolution’s sponsor, State Representative Stanley Cox (R, Sedalia), argued that a photo ID is a better method of identification that a utility bill, which is allowed under current law.

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death of Osama Bin Laden
4:10 pm
Mon May 2, 2011

Missouri veterans say U.S. mission continues, despite Bin Laden's death

Maj. John Gillum of the Mo. National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve receives a Silver Star banner and certificate from Gov. Jay Nixon. Gillum says America's mission in Afghanistan isn't over just because Osama Bin Laden has been killed.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Some military veterans from Missouri say America’s mission in Iraq and Afghanistan isn’t over, just because Osama Bin Laden is now dead. 

Major John Gillum of Jefferson City served in Iraq and Afghanistan with both the Army Reserve and the Missouri National Guard.

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Education Funding
1:47 pm
Mon May 2, 2011

Mo. Gov. Nixon signs education funding legislation

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon shakes hands in Jan. with students after outlining his plan that would include low-income students in the A-plus Community College scholarship program. Nixon signed legislation today regarding education funding in Mo.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation allowing the use of $189 million in federal education money to fill shortfalls in state funding.

Nixon signed the measure Monday at a high school in Linn, about a half-hour east of Jefferson City.

The federal money won't yield a net increase in the funding of local school districts. But it will help avoid a reduction in basic state aid to schools during this and future academic years.

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Missouri Redistricting
5:22 pm
Fri April 29, 2011

Nixon focused on natural disasters, holds comment on redistricting map

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

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon is not commenting yet on whether he intends to sign or veto the congressional redistricting map passed this week by the Republican-led Missouri House and Senate.

When asked by reporters in St. Louis, Nixon replied that he’s been too busy dealing with natural disasters to spend any time on the map that reduces Missouri’s congressional districts from nine down to eight.

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Workplace Discrimination
2:12 pm
Fri April 29, 2011

Mo. Gov. vetoes workplace discrimination measure

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

Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a bill Friday on workplace discrimination laws, saying it would scale back protections that took decades to gain.

The Democrat took the action outside St. Louis’ Old Courthouse, where the famous Dred Scott case was tried.

The bill requires workers who claim discrimination in wrongful firing lawsuits to prove that bias was a "motivating" factor, not just a "contributing" factor as the law now states.

Nixon said it would be a step backwards.

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sTL police local control
6:20 pm
Thu April 28, 2011

STL Police local control legislation still awaits Mo. Senate action

Two bills continue to sit in the Missouri Senate that would restore local control over the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, despite last week’s announced agreement between Mayor Francis Slay (D) and the Police Officers Association.

The compromise would give police officers collective bargaining rights, preserve police pensions, and preserve officers’ ranks, salaries and benefits once they become city employees.  There would also be a no-strike clause.

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Peter Kinder
2:19 pm
Thu April 28, 2011

Mo. auditor's office to review Kinder's travel

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, pictured here in 2010.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri State Auditor's office is reviewing a reimbursement payment Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder made earlier this week.

Kinder wrote a personal check for $52,320 - up from the $35,050 he initially said he would reimburse the state.

Kinder has said all of the travel and associated costs were for legitimate state business.

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Tax Credit System
10:37 am
Thu April 28, 2011

Mo. Senate gives first-round approval to overhaul state tax credit system

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

Early this morning, the Missouri Senate gave first-round approval to a major overhaul of the state's tax credit system.  

The wide-ranging bill would phase out numerous incentive programs while reducing others.  Among those being partially eliminated is a tax break enabling low-income senior citizens to offset either property taxes or monthly rent payments.  It's sponsored by GOP Senator Chuck Purgason of Howell County.

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