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Politics & Issues

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Governor Bruce Rauner was asked Friday why he’s changed his position on an abortion law since the 2014 campaign.

Nicole Hudson has recently accepted a position as senior policy advisor to Lyda Krewson, directing racial equity and priority initiatives.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s “Behind the Headlines” with St. Louis on the Air, we took an in-depth look at some of the top news stories of the week.

This week, for the first time in 16 years, St. Louis saw the inauguration of a new mayor: Lyda Krewson. She also happens to be the city’s first female mayor ever.

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Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate’s budget committee relinquished all 13 bills to the main chamber Thursday night, choosing not to make specific cuts or increases to things like K-12 schools.

But the General Assembly is cutting the budget process close this year, and it’s a real possibility it won’t meet the 6 p.m., May 5, deadline to get the budget to Gov. Eric Greitens. If that’s the case, there’ll need to be a special session.

Gov. Eric Greitens speaks during his first State of the State address in Jefferson City.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 4:15 p.m. with Kansas City Star receiving comment from Chambers — Missouri state Sen. Rob Schaaf has his hands in a lot of important legislation this session, yet he’s still made time to criticize Republican Gov. Eric Greitens over his new nonprofit.

A New Missouri Inc., which isn’t beholden to campaign finance laws and doesn’t have to disclose its donors, is fighting back, publishing a digital ad this week that says the St. Joseph Republican is “siding with liberals” and “playing personal political games.”

The Missouri Court of Appeals will hear a case brought by a 17-year-old transgender boy from the Kansas City area.
Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

About 1,500 people are being asked to reapply for a Missouri program that shields the addresses of abuse victims after a St. Louis County judge ordered a woman to reveal her home address because of a flaw in the application process.

The Safe at Home program lets victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, human trafficking or stalking keep their addresses confidential by routing mail through a post office box run by the secretary of state's office

Mexican immigrants participating in English and Citizenship classes for new immigrants organized by the YMCA Industrial Commission. There was additional programming, like, apparently this trip to Forest Park.
State Historical Society of Missouri

Fewer than 4 percent of St. Louis city and county residents are Latino. While the Midwest as a whole has a reputation for very small Latino populations, St. Louis County Historian Daniel Gonzales says it wasn’t always on track to be that way.

Gonzales has been focused on uncovering forgotten narratives since he started his job about a year and half ago. One such story is the subject of an academic publication he's working on. It relates to the 19th and 20th century Mexican immigration to St. Louis, how the community was encouraged to blossom, and then pushed out.

Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications

It seemed like a done deal: The Missouri House would send the governor a bill Thursday that would make it harder to prove discrimination when a person is fired. But Republican leaders called off the vote — for varying reasons.

Sen. Bill Eigel, April 2017
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum welcomes Sen. Bill Eigel back to the program.

Nicole Galloway takes the oath of office as Missouri auditor from Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Russell.
File photo | Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

Updated 4:45 p.m. April 20 with Galloway news release — Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway issued a subpoena to the Department of Revenue on Wednesday with the aim of forcing the agency to turn over information on how it manages income tax refunds.

Galloway requested the information six weeks ago for an ongoing audit and said she hadn’t received anything.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Summer is approaching, a time when Missouri residents hit the road for a little rest and relaxation. It might be a rougher-than-expected journey, though, as legislators aren’t making transportation projects a priority during the 2017 session.

In the meantime, the Missouri Department of Transportation is using a reserve fund to maintain the state’s roads and bridges — money that’s supposed to go toward emergencies and natural disasters. MoDOT chief engineer Ed Hassinger said it’s not an issue right now, but will be if the department has to draw from it for another three years.

File photo | St. Louis Public Radio | Katelyn Petrin

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson retired Wednesday, one day after Mayor Lyda Krewson took over. The news was welcomed by those who've been critical of the 47-year-old, including some Board of Aldermen members and the African-American officers' association.

 

"There will be a new direction. And there's new opportunity. In a new administration, you often change key folks," Krewson said.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments Wednesday in a Missouri case with the potential to open grant programs to parochial schools.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles takes the oath of office at Ferguson City Hall Tuesday night.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles and Councilwoman Ella Jones made something perfectly clear Tuesday night: The city’s mayoral election is over, and there’s no schism between the two elected officials.

Stephanie Richmond / St. Louis Zoo

Under a bill that passed the Missouri House on Tuesday, voters in St. Louis and St. Louis County will be able to decide whether to further fund the city's zoo via a sales tax increase.

But, originally, the tax burden — an increase of one-eighth of 1 percent — would have been shared by surrounding counties as well. That option was stripped in both House Bill 935 and Senate Bill 49 for simplicity's sake, according to legislators.

A stretch of old Route 66 pavement near Mount Olive, Illinois.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, is on a road trip in Illinois this week to highlight legislative efforts to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail.

Davis kicked off a two-day publicity tour at the Wildey Theater in Edwardsville Tuesday morning, where he talked about the historical and economic significance of the Mother Road. He’s also co-sponsoring legislation in the U.S. House to establish a national commission to celebrate the centennial of the storied roadway that opened America’s West to cross-country travel in 1926.

Lyda Krewson waves after taking the oath of office to become the 46th mayor of St. Louis on April 18, 2017)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Flanked by family, friends and four former mayors, Lyda Krewson became St. Louis’ 46th mayor on Tuesday — and, as she was sure to note, the first woman to do so.

Her address then took a swift, and somewhat surprising turn as she signaled that one of her main goals is to encourage an urban coalition that includes St. Louis County and Kansas City.

Courtesy of U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay's office

Updated at 2:30 p.m. April 18 with judge rejecting reinstallation efforts — A federal judge rejected efforts Tuesday to reinstall in the U.S. Capitol a painting some lawmakers and police groups found offensive.

Gov. Eric Greitens and his wife, Sheena, brought their two children to a polling place before the November general election. Greitens signed an executive order extending paid parental leave for some state employees.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 2:05 p.m. April 18 with state attorney general's office recusing itself — A U.S. Supreme Court case over who qualifies for state grant money in Missouri should move forward, lawyers for the state and a Columbia, Missouri, church said Tuesday.  Their letters to the high court came despite Gov. Eric Greitens reversing a rule last week that prevented religious organizations from receiving grant money from the Department of Natural Resources. Also Tuesday, the state attorney general's office recused itself from the case, for which oral arguments are scheduled to start Wednesday.

Echo Bluff State Park
Courtesy of Missouri Department of Natural Resources

The Missouri House approved a measure last week that would block the creation of state parks until maintenance on the nearly 100 existing parks is completed.

Rici Hoffarth / St. Louis Public Radio

For the first time in 16 years, St. Louis is welcoming a new mayor into office.

The shift in power from Francis Slay to Lyda Krewson led Curious Louis participant and St. Louis native, Whitney Panneton to ask St. Louis Public Radio: What exactly does the mayor do?

Basketball players take advantage of the Fox Park courts in April 2017.
Paul Sableman | Flickr

Jeffrey Perry doesn’t mind having to leave his St. Louis neighborhood to shoot some hoops with friends.

“It’s not the hoop, it’s the company,” Perry said as he and Calvin Lonzo played a little one-on-one in Fox Park recently. But he remembers when he didn’t have to go as far away from his home in Shaw to find a court in a public park.

U.S. Rep Ann Wagner, a Republican from Ballwin, raised $804,000 from Jan. 1 to March 31.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

While Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and potential GOP rival U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner collect millions of dollars in campaign donations, many Missouri officials are raising far less as they adjust to new state campaign donation limits.

Campaign finance reports from Jan. 1 to March 31 also showed that Gov. Eric Greitens spent more than a half-million dollars in that timespan, with a large chunk going toward a media services firm run by Georgia-based consultant Nick Ayers, who also has done work for Vice President Mike Pence.

Forward Through Ferguson's Nicole Hudson is joining St. Louis Mayor-elect Lyda Krewson's administration.
Photo courtesy of Nicole Hudson I Lindy Drew

St. Louis Mayor-elect Lyda Krewson has hired a woman who’s twice worked to help institute policy changes in Ferguson after Michael Brown’s 2014 shooting death.

Jim Craig, James Petersen, Heath McClung, and Jonathan Hurly, all veterans, joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss what it is like to be a student veteran.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

When people think of the issues faced by veterans in their return to civilian life, the mind often goes to stereotypes: trauma, PTSD, disability. That’s not the only story to tell, said Jonathan Hurly, president of the Saint Louis University Veterans Association.

Judge Jimmie Edwards swears in members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. The ceremony had to be moved outside after a bomb scare at City Hall.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

On Friday’s "Behind the Headlines" on St. Louis on the Air, we  took an in-depth look at one of the top news stories of the week.

On this week’s program, St. Louis Public Radio Statehouse Reporter Marshall Griffin joined us to give us an update on the political happenings Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City. No Missouri budget has yet been passed, but the the General Assembly has been busy passing other bills.

Read more of Marshall's reporting this week here

File photo | Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio / Uber, MTC

Updated at 1:35 p.m. with bill passing — The three-year battle to get a ride-hailing bill to the governor’s desk is finally over.

The Missouri House overwhelmingly passed HB 130 on Thursday by a 144-7 vote, which would craft statewide regulations for Uber, Lyft and other app-based companies to operate anywhere in the state.

File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

After hours of debate Thursday evening, the Missouri Senate passed the bill that would create a statewide prescription drug monitoring program by a 22-9 vote. But opponents added language that could be problematic when the bill returns to the House in the final weeks of the 2017 session. 

Missouri is the only state in the U.S. without a prescription drug monitoring program, and Gov. Eric Greitens has said he backs the creation of one.

Forest Park Trolleys will operate on two routes beginning Saturday, April 13 2017.
Marie Schwarz | St. Louis Public Radio

Beginning Saturday, the Forest Park bus trolley will have two routes instead of one. The blue route and green route will serve attractions in the western and eastern parts of the park separately.

 

The two different routes will help with passenger convenience and easier navigation through the park, said Ray Friem, executive director of Metro Transit.

 

Today marks the 274th anniversary of the birth of the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson.
Rembrandt Peele | Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, April 13, 2017 marked the 274th anniversary of the birth of American founding father Thomas Jefferson.

On St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh looked back on the complicated legacy of the United States' third president and explored the impact of his presidency regionally with Washington University professor Peter Kastor.

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