Politics & Issues

St. Louis on the Air
5:21 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Discussion: What Can We Expect In The Next Session Of The Missouri Legislature?

Missouri State Capitol.
(via Flickr / jimbowen0306)

The next session of the Missouri Legislature opens Wednesday, January 8, and with it an uptick in political activity in the state.

Terry Jones, Founders’ Professor of Political Science and Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis joined St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum in studio with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss what to expect during the 2014 session.

Among the issues to keep an eye on this session will be the school transfer issue, Medicaid expansion and transportation tax.

Read more
Politics & Issues
4:36 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

White, Harpool Renominated To Federal Bench In Missouri

Ronnie White (left) and M. Douglas Harpool
Credit White photo from Missouri Supreme Court, Harpool photo provided by his law firm

Former Missouri Supreme Court Judge Ronnie White will have his fourth shot to be a federal judge, as a result of President Barack Obama’s decision Monday to renominate  judicial nominees who had been blocked by Republicans.

White is among two Missourians on the new judicial list sent to the U.S. Senate. The other is former state Rep. M. Douglas Harpool of Springfield, who also saw his earlier nomination die late last year.

Read more
Politics & Issues
1:26 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Missouri Property Rights Advocates Laud End Of Blueways Program

U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem
Credit Courtesy of Jason Smith's campaign.

Updated 3:40 p.m. Jan. 7:

Missouri opponents of the National Blueways System – a designation granted to the White River and its watershed in Missouri and Arkansas – praised its demise on Monday. Federal officials had announced the news over the weekend.

U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem, was among the critics who said that the riverways designation threatened property rights and could lead to “land grabs.”

Read more
On the Trail
11:31 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

McKenna's Departure Leaves Nixon With Special Election Conundrum

Former Sen. Ryan McKenna, D-Jefferson County

It make take longer than expected to fill Ryan McKenna's void in the Missouri Senate.

When the Jefferson County Democrat resigned in December to become director of the state labor department, he left open the possibility that his Senate seat may remain vacant throughout 2014. If that occurs, the Missouri Senate would not be at full membership for an entire calendar year.

Read more
Politics & Issues
11:30 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

As Session Opens, Missouri Legislature May Refight Old Battles But Resolve Some New Ones

Missouri state capitol
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

As the Missouri General Assembly prepares to open on Wednesday for its five-month session, those involved – in and out of the state Capitol – say the big unknown about this year’s proceedings centers on one major question:

Will the session be about the past – the continued debates over Medicaid expansion and tax cuts? Or will it be controlled by new matters – notably, the unrest over student transfers from failed districts and the looming 2014 elections?

Read more
Board of Aldermen
1:29 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Murphy May Have Inside Track For Soon-To-Be-Vacant 13th Ward Seat

Credit Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

As St. Louis Alderman Fred Wessels prepares to leave his post to lead the city’s Community Development Association, a long-time committeewoman is primed to take his aldermanic seat. 

Read more
Politics & Issues
10:54 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Editor's Weekly: Shining Light on Execution Controversies

Credit (via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

Missouri's new execution drug continues to spark controversy -- or, to be more precise, several controversies. The death penalty raises ethical, legal and practical questions. And this situation raises another overarching issue as well -- government secrecy.

Read more
Politics & Issues
6:22 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Shoppers Fuel Huge Increase In Missouri's Sales Tax Collections

Credit dleafy | sxc.hu

Missourians flocked to the stores in December, causing a huge increase in the state’s sales tax collections that, in turn, has helped fatten the state government’s coffers more than expected.

State Budget Director Linda Luebbering on Thursday credited a rosier public mood – which apparently led to more holiday shopping – for a  25.9 percent increase in Missouri’s sales tax collections in December, compared to December 2012.

Read more
Death Penalty
2:11 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Inmates' Lawyers Ask Mo. Board Of Pharmacy To Act Before Execution

A container of pentobarbital. Missouri's execution drug isn't like this one though, which is made by a manufacturer. The state is instead relying on a compounding pharmacy to emulate the drug.
via Flickr/Nottingham Vet School

Lawyers representing death row inmates have filed a complaint with the Missouri Board of Pharmacy, citing St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon’s investigation from earlier this week.

On Tuesday, we reported that the Department of Corrections has been obtaining its execution drug from an out-of-state compounding pharmacy that isn't licensed to do business in Missouri. Under normal circumstances, the pharmacist could be guilty of a felony.

Read more
Politics & Issues
11:33 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Missouri House Speaker Launches Tour to Promote 2014 Agenda

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones
Credit Tim Bommel, Mo. House Communications

Despite the bad weather,  Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones hit the road early Thursday to begin his three-day tour through southern Missouri to highlight his “4G Agenda” for the new legislative session, which begins next week.

Jones’ planned focus includes revisiting the tax cuts that dominated much of the 2013 session as well as his push to revamp public education, promote energy production and examine such issues as “right to work,’’ which bars unions and employers from requiring all workers to become members when a majority votes for union representation.

Read more

Pages