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Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Brian Mackey contributed reporting from Springfield, Ill.

It was an odd sight at the Illinois state Capitol today - supporters of the oil and gas industry sharing a podium with environmental activists.

knittymarie / Flickr

State and local-level school officials would be required to develop guidelines for teaching evolution under legislation making its way through the Missouri House.

If passed, school districts would have to, “encourage students to explore scientific questions” regarding the “strengths and weaknesses” of both biological and chemical evolution.  The sponsor, State Representative Andrew Koenig (R, Winchester), says House Bill 179 stresses academic freedom.

“It does not mandate curriculum to the teacher," Koenig said.  "It’s really up to the school district, and if evolution is gonna be taught, it just allows them to teach the scientific strengths and weaknesses.”

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

Feb 21, 2013
Alex Heuer

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.

On this week's episode: mayoral shenanigans and talents, Lincoln Days speeches, Nixon's Medicaid tour and legislative trolling.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon hasn’t stopped advocating for Missouri to accept the federal government’s money for Medicaid expansion, in spite of state Republican lawmakers leaving it out of their proposed budget.

Nixon lobbied in St. Charles Wednesday for the state to accept $900 million to expand the program to over a quarter of a million low income adults.

Nixon has appealed throughout the state. What makes Nixon’s stop in St. Charles unique is that the area is typically conservative turf.

MoDOT

The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would name the new Mississippi River Bridge under construction in St. Louis after Cardinals’ legend Stan Musial.

Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate energy committee has advanced legislation that would let power companies seek permission for an infrastructure surcharge.

Under legislation approved by the committee with two dissenting votes Wednesday, power companies could seek to levy the surcharge between formal rate cases.

Tim Bommel, Mo. House Communications

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R) addressed the Missouri House today during a visit to the State Capitol.

He told House members that state and local governments should play a bigger role in solving problems than the federal government.

“Everyone of you should fight everybody in Washington when it’s clear to you that Washington’s trying to take some responsibility from this Capitol that you can do better than people can do in Washington," Blunt said.

(Rep. Leara's campaign site)

Updated at 2:00 p.m. with quotes from State Reps. Mike Leara (R) and Stacey Newman (D).

Lawmakers proposing gun control legislation could end up in prison under a bill introduced by a Missouri House Republican.

Rep. Mike Leara, of St. Louis County, said Tuesday that he has no illusions that his bill actually will pass and become law.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Four bills dealing with the ongoing cultural battle surrounding women’s reproductive health were heard Monday night before a Missouri Senate committee.

They include a measure that would require a doctor to be physically present whenever abortion-inducing drugs are administered to a woman.  It’s sponsored by freshman Senator Wayne Wallingford (R, Cape Girardeau).  He says women who take RU-486 or other abortion-inducing drugs at home run a severe risk of complications.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

House Democrats are sponsoring legislation to expand Medicaid in Missouri, despite the fact that the state budget filed by Republicans leaves out the proposed expansion.

House Bill 627 would expand Medicaid to an additional 300,000 Missourians, and House Democrats say not passing it would cost the state 5,000 jobs and could force some rural hospitals to close their doors.  Kerry Noble is CEO of Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems in the Missouri Boot-heal.

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