Politics & Issues | St. Louis Public Radio

Politics & Issues

Maplewood on June 7, 2017
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The City of Maplewood may soon overhaul a controversial public-nuisance law that has been challenged by two recent lawsuits.

Maplewood’s City Council introduced an ordinance Tuesday that would add protections keeping victims of crimes from eviction and exclude calls to police from counting as a nuisance against residents.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen addresses election officials from roughly a dozen states at an election security summit held in St. Louis County.
Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

As some election officials see it, public fears about the hacking of American elections are almost as serious of an issue as the actual threat of such hacking.

“The product we’re trying to generate here is voter confidence,’’ said Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap at an election security conference Monday in St. Louis County.

File photo I Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s latest special legislative session is underway as House and Senate members work to revise two bills vetoed earlier this year by Gov. Mike Parson.

The legislation would promote science, technology, engineering and math curriculum, known commonly as “STEM,” and expand treatment courts.

This composite photo taken on April 10, 2018, shows the planned new site of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. McKee owned nearly 60 percent of the land in the 97-acre site.
File Photo | Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis circuit judge Monday afternoon denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the City of St. Louis aimed at showing it has clear title to land slated for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new $1.75 billion facility.

The city filed the suit against the Bank of Washington on July 27, seeking “quiet title,” which requests the judge to make a judgment that declares one party the clear holder of a property’s title.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Missouri can’t prevent any political action committee from donating to another political action committee.

The decision from the 8th District Court of Appeals could make it permanently more difficult to track the true source of donations to PACs — entities that have become much more powerful since the passage of campaign donation limits.

St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Brendan Kelly, the Democratic candidate in the 12th Congressional District, talked extensively with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about his decision to enter the highly-competitive congressional contest.

Kelly is squaring off against Congressman Mike Bost, who became one of the first Republicans to represent the 12th District in generations when he captured the seat in 2014. The Bost-Kelly contest is expected to be one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation this year.

Missouri Capitol
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

State lawmakers return to the Missouri Capitol on Monday for a special session designed to pass two pieces of legislation vetoed by Gov. Mike Parson.

And Wednesday they’re scheduled to hold their annual veto session, which may be relatively short and quiet.

Onlookers watch as Air Force One lands at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in March 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

There’s one person who will affect Missouri’s U.S. Senate race more than a pointed attack ad or dumptrucks full of money: President Donald Trump.

Both U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley believe he’ll make an impact in their nationally-watched contest.

The question, though, is who will benefit?

Stan Shoun, president of Ranken Technical College, guides Gov. Mike Parson, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James through the school on Sept. 7, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson pledged Friday to work with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Kansas City Mayor Sly James to boost workforce development and infrastructure.

“These cities are critical to the state of Missouri,” Parson told the St. Louis Board of Aldermen Friday, one of nine stops he made on a tour of the city Friday. “What you do here matters. We’re not going to agree on some things, but I will tell you this. If we will be open-minded with one another, there will be many, many things that we will agree on that will be the best thing in the world for the state of Missouri.”

Gov. Mike Parson greets students at Ranken Technical College during a day-long tour of St. Louis on Sept. 7, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin joins Jason Rosenbaum to talk about Gov. Mike Parson’s decision to call a special session.

The GOP chief executive wants the legislature to pass two bills he vetoed dealing with expanding STEM education and drug courts. Unlike previous special sessions, lawmakers of both parties agree with the ideas — and could approve the new legislation in fairly short order.

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire lifts his 10-year-old son, Matt, after hitting his 62nd home run of the 1998 season on Sept. 8, 1998, breaking Roger Maris' record.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

On Sept. 8, 1998, St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire sent a low line drive over Busch Stadium’s left field wall to break Roger Maris’ 37-year-old home run record.

McGwire’s 62nd home run of the season sent the sellout crowd and the city into a frenzy. But for some fans, McGwire’s eventual admission that he used steroids has taken the shine off the record-breaking summer.

On Friday evening, the Archdiocese of St. Louis is holding a Mass of Reparation at the Cathedral Basilica for victims of sexual abuse.
Brian Plunkett | Flickr

The word “outrage” doesn’t quite capture how Catholics in St. Louis have been reacting to a recent report revealing that nearly 1,000 young people were sexually abused by hundreds of priests in Pennsylvania over a 70-year period.

“I think everyone is just really grieving … there’s so much anger and some hostility even,” said Sandra Price, executive director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. “The reports that were outlined in the grand-jury report in Pennsylvania [were] grisly, detailed reports of abuse – that’s what sexual abuse is. And that the public has seen what sexual abuse really looks like, it’s traumatic – there’s just no words.”

Price, along with colleague Carol Brescia, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh for a conversation leading up to Friday’s planned Mass of Reparation. The segment also included comments from Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley and from David Clohessy, founder of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

Kavanaugh hearings continue Thursday: Opening statements are underway in the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Watch the hearing live.

MORE: McCaskill raises familiar topics as she sits down with Kavanaugh

The Missouri Supreme Court is expected to decide within months whether state law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But the American Civil Liberties Union alleges in a lawsuit that the Missouri Commission on Human Rights has determined that LGBTQ people are not protected.

Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann to talk about Gov. Mike Parson’s transition in the state’s chief executive office — and what the legislature could deal with in 2019.

The Lake Saint Louis Republican represents a portion of St. Charles County. He’s running for re-election against Democrat Patrice Billings.

Kerah Braxton, an employee of the St. Louis County Justice Center, speaks at the Sept. 4, 2018, meeting of the St. Louis County Council. Nurses and corrections workers will get between a 10 and 16 percent raise under a plan that could be finalized soon.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

After a long and bitter impasse, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger and members of the St. Louis County Council are planning to provide a pay boost for nurses who treat county inmates.

The plan could get final approval from the council in the next few weeks.

John Baugh began studying linguistics when he was researching the topic of housing discrimination in California.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

From New York to Los Angeles, people everywhere develop speech patterns unique to their region; however, these varied dialects are discriminated against at times. While this phenomenon is nothing new, two recent films explore the cultural responses to dialects with a racial perspective: Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” and Boots Riley’s “Sorry to Bother You.”

“From a linguistic point of view, the dialect that’s distinctive to slave descendants in the United States is the result of racial isolation and also the fact that slavery was legal in the South, so the black dialect has been strongly influenced by white Southern speech,” John Baugh said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “And then once blacks migrated to other parts of the country, they were still racially isolated in Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, so the distinctive character of the dialect prevailed.”

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley speaks to GOP volunteers on Aug. 31, 2018, in Imperial, Mo.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

GOP Senate candidate Josh Hawley is pushing for a major overhaul of the earned income tax credit, one of the federal government’s most popular programs aimed at helping the working poor.

In an interview with St. Louis Public Radio, Hawley said he wants to instead deliver a wage boost directly in the paychecks of low and moderate income workers.

Kali takes a swim at the Saint Louis Zoo.
File photo | Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County residents will decide in November whether to spend more tax money to bolster the St. Louis Zoo.

The proposal would help spruce up the world-class attraction and build a new breeding facility and potential adventure park in north St. Louis County. But backers will need to convince county voters to raise the sales tax when some surrounding areas don’t directly contribute to the zoo.

Beverly Nance and Mary Walsh pose for a portrait at their home in Shrewsbury on Aug. 28, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

After Mary Walsh and Beverly Nance were married in 2009, they thought their right to live together as a couple was secure.

Now the two women are at the center of a landmark legal case against a St. Louis County retirement community. The same-sex couple was denied housing at Friendship Village in 2016 on the basis of a “Cohabitation Policy” that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, “as marriage is understood in the Bible.”

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