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Politics & Issues

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Lawmakers in the Missouri House work to pass legislation before the close of session Friday evening. May 16, 2018.
Casey Nolan | KSDK, published with permission

The Missouri House has approved a massive tax bill that, among other things, trims the state’s historic tax credit program, and bars any general-revenue spending for sports stadiums.

The bill approved Wednesday also would punish developers who provide false information to obtain state tax credits by barring them from the state aid for 10 years.

And it would require homeowners who rent out rooms under such programs as Airbnb to pay the local tourism taxes already assessed on hotels.

The task force will explore what kinds of affordable housing county residents need and how to finance the trust fund.
Creative Commons

Housing experts say goals to build more moderate-cost housing to St. Louis County could founder without incentives. Developers are less likely to build properties for low-income renters without them because the cost of development could outweigh profits.

The 2018 For the Sake of All report, “Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide,” shows how neighborhoods a few miles apart vary in unemployment, poverty, income and life expectancy rates. It identifies how a few changes in housing policies in the region could give low-income households greater access to areas with more opportunities, such as employment. Several organizations, including ArchCity Defenders, Empower Missouri and Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council, helped produce the report. 

Michael and Danielle Abril pose for a portrait in front of their home in Kirkwood's Meacham Park neighborhood. April 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Michael and Danielle Abril are active members of the Meacham Park Neighborhood Association. They show up at meetings. They volunteer. They help inform others in the community.

“Meacham Park is a blessing to us because it allowed us to be relatively close to my work and in a great place, a great community,” Michael Abril said.

The neighborhood is a mostly black area of Kirkwood that had been segregated from the rest of the city for years. But that’s changing.

Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has overwhelmingly approved a wide-ranging criminal justice bill that would revamp the state’s system.

Among other things, the measure ends the statute of limitations for prosecuting sex crimes when the victim is under the age of 19.

The House also has passed a different bill, which includes a provision that would allow the lieutenant governor to step in and appoint members of boards and commissions if the governor fails to make those appointments within six months after the posts become vacant.

Dozens of Palestinians and supporters, including Hadeel Salameh, marched in downtown St. Louis to commemorate Nakba Day.  May 15, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A planned local observance of Nakba, the day Palestinians commemorate their displacement following Israel’s establishment in 1948 and the Arabic word for "catastrophe," took on greater significance for a group of St. Louis activists and business owners Tuesday.

Joining host Don Marsh on Tuesday’s show to unpack the developments of the past 24 hours were (from left) St. Louis Public Radio reporter Rachel Lippmann, former Missouri Supreme Court chief justice Michael Wolff and STLPR reporter Jason Rosenbaum.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the surprising turn of events that made headlines late Monday afternoon in the continuing legal saga surrounding Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

As St. Louis Public Radio reported Monday, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner dropped the felony invasion of privacy charge against Greitens after the prosecutor was herself endorsed as a witness in the case. The news came with jury selection for the trial already well underway.

Governor Eric Greitens speaks to reporters outside the Civil Courts Building in downtown St. Louis after his felony invasion of privacy charge was dropped. May 14, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In a saga that’s featured twists, turns, drama and intrigue, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s decision to drop a felony invasion of privacy charge was genuinely surprising.

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The committee investigating Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens released two emails this morning, one that suggests he might have tried to hide some campaign donations.

However, Greitens’ use of outside groups to not identify some donors has been known publicly for at least two years. He previously had defended the practice as necessary to protect donors.

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Missouri Capitol on April 24
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has given final approval to a proposal that would ask voters later this year to put right-to-work language into the state’s constitution.

Monday night’s action is part of a two-pronged effort by predominantly Republican supporters to protect a right-to-work law they passed last year.

Under right to work, unions and employers are barred from requiring workers to pay dues or fees. Supporters say right to work would give workers more freedom and attract more business to the state. Opponents say such a law drives down wages and is a GOP effort to hurt unions because they primarily support Democrats.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens walks out of the Civil Courts Building in downtown St. Louis after his felony invasion of privacy charge was dropped. May14, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In a stunning move, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has dropped the felony invasion of privacy charge against Gov. Eric Greitens — short-circuiting the unprecedented trial of a sitting Missouri chief executive.

While Gardner’s office is promising to refile the case with a special prosecutor, the governor’s attorneys are confident that another prosecutor won’t touch the case.

Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, chairs the House committee that's investigating Gov. Greitens.
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The chairman of the Missouri House committee that’s investigating Gov. Eric Greitens said Monday they’re getting pushback from the governor’s camp.

Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, told reporters that they’ve issued a subpoena to Greitens’ advisor Austin Chambers, and to the groups Greitens for Missouri and A New Missouri, via attorney Catherine Hanaway. He said the groups have provided some documents but are refusing to provide others.

State Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome state Rep. Peter Merideth to the program.

Merideth is a St. Louis Democrat who represents south-central portions of the city in the Missouri House. He was elected to his seat in 2016 and is running for re-election later this year.

Police Data Show Gun Violence A Chronic, Growing Problem Across Illinois

May 14, 2018

His name was Devon McClyde, and he was 16 years old when he was caught in the crossfire of an argument while playing basketball one evening in a local park in Danville on June 8, 2016.

He died three days later – the victim of another gun crime in Central Illinois.

 


Defense attorney Scott Rosenblum leaves the Civil Courts building in downtown St. Louis on May 10, the first day of jury selection in Governor Eric Greitens' felony invasion of privacy trial.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Opening arguments in Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' felony invasion of privacy trial have been pushed back until at least Wednesday, as jury selection is taking longer than expected.

Attorneys will spend a third day Monday questioning potential jurors about how much they have heard about the case, and whether they've formed any early opinions.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov 16, 2011 - Gov. Jay Nixon jumped into a controversial fight over St. Louis County parks, noting Wednesday that his administration is working with St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley.

Dooley has been under fire for a plan to close roughly 23 parks and lay off 133 employees. Opposition to the plan is fierce, as seen with a standing-room only budget meeting last night in the St. Louis County Council chambers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 16, 2011 - Gov. Jay Nixon says he plans to move swiftly to find a replacement for Missouri Economic Development Director David Kerr, who will be leaving his post as of Dec. 31.

Kerr has headed the department since November 2009. According to Kerr's statement, he wants to spend more time with his family "after well over 35 years in the public and private sectors."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 21, 2011 - A former cheerleader at Normandy High School says a man who coached football there in 1984 sexually assaulted her -- and she made the charge on national television.

Goldie Taylor, now 43, didn't name her alleged abuser when she was interviewed on MSNBC's "The Last Word" this week, but later, on her website  she did: Pat Sullivan, a longtime coach at high schools in the St. Louis area and member of a statewide coaching hall of fame who just completed his last stint coaching boys and girls in cross country at Clayton High School.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 17, 2011 - Only 146 years after Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, Missouri has finally decided to take a side in the Civil War. We've elected to join the Confederacy.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 16, 2011 - An overflowing crowd packed the St. Louis County Council's chambers, and poured into the hall, to unleash a torrent of criticism Tuesday against St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley's proposal to make steep cuts in the county's park system.

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