Politics & Issues

Politics & Issues
3:33 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Without Medicaid Expansion, 193,000 Missourians Left In Coverage Gap

Almost 200,000 Missourians would have been covered by Medicaid if the program had been expanded; now they fall into a coverage gap.
Flickr/rosemary

Key provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect at midnight and health-care coverage will begin for millions of Americans.
 
Yet because some states declined to expand Medicaid, there is a coverage gap for 5 million others, including more than 193,000 in Missouri.
 
As part of the federal Affordable Care Act, those with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of federal poverty levels will be eligible for financial assistance, or subsidies, as they purchase health insurance through the new marketplace.
 

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Crime
11:36 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Police Chief Calls Transition To Local Control 'Seamless'

Police Chief Sam Dotson, left, and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce look on as Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson talks about the city's "no refusal" policy with drunk drivers. Prosecutors will now seek warrants to draw blood if somebody refuses a breath test.
Credit Bill Greenblatt/UPI

The end of state control of the St. Louis Police Department was literally centuries in the making. But St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the change hasn’t been obvious to city residents. 

  

And that, he said, is a good thing.

“Local control has been a significant step for the metropolitan police department,” Dotson said. “And really, you haven’t noticed anything. It’s been seamless and transparent like it was supposed to be.”

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Death Penalty
12:54 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Investigation: Missouri's Execution Drug Source Raises Legal, Ethical Questions

Credit (via Wikimedia Commons/California Department of Corrections)

In an investigation spanning the past few months, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon has discovered the state of Missouri may be ignoring its own laws in carrying out the death penalty by buying execution drugs from a pharmacy not licensed to do business in Missouri.

As we’ve reported in previous months, a shortage of willing drug suppliers led Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to direct the state to adopt a controversial new execution method.

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New In 2014
8:28 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Pot, Sex And Cigs Among The Focus Of New Illinois Laws

Credit Wikimedia Commons

With the start of the new year, hundred of laws are taking effect in Illinois. The marquee issues include marijuana, cell phone use, sex education and littering. But all sorts of laws will become enforceable, dealing with everything from special license plates to health-and-safety requirements. For a comprehensive list, go to the Quincy Journal.

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Politics & Issues
12:19 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Sinquefield Donates $750,000 To End Teacher Tenure

Rex Sinquefield
Credit (UPI file photo, Bill Greenblatt)

Financier Rex Sinquefield, Missouri’s largest political donor, has given $750,000 to jumpstart the initiative petition drive for a ballot measure to end teacher tenure.

According to the Missouri Ethics Commission, the money was donated on Christmas Eve to “Teachgreat.org,” the campaign committee set up to oversee the effort.

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criminal justice
2:29 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Illinois Sends $7 Million To Prison Diversion Program

The Adult Redeploy Illinois program aims to funnel non-violent offenders away from prison, into local supervision and treatment.
Credit (Flickr/neil conway)

 

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s office has announced $7 million in grants aimed at funneling non-violent offenders away from prison and into community-based services. 

The funds come through Adult Redeploy Illinois, a program that encourages local jurisdictions to treat and supervise certain offenders, using tools like drug courts and mental health courts.

Quinn's office says the program saves up to $17,000 per year for each offender.

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Metro East Rally
2:59 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Metro East Residents Rally For More Transparency In Government

Lee Griffin, the chair of Metro East Citizens for Social and Economic Progress, addresses protesters outside St. Clair County headquarters on Dec. 27, 2013.
Credit (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon)

A group of citizens fed up with what they call a lack of transparency and responsiveness in St. Clair County government aired a wide variety of concerns today outside the county's headquarters in Belleville.

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Concealed Carry Panel
2:11 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Quinn Names Panel That Will Review Objections To Concealed-Carry Permit

(via Flickr/kcdsTM)

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed the seven men and women he wants to review objections raised by local or state police to applications for concealed-carry permits.

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Politics & Issues
12:24 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

McCaskill's Family Has Purchased Another Private Plane

Sen. Claire McCaskill
Credit (via Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

(Updated 3:10 p.m., Friday, Dec. 27, 2013)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill – or rather, her husband -- has bought another plane. But this time, she’s taking steps that she hopes will prevent another political uproar.

Any flights that she takes on it will be totally on her own dime. And St. Louis County’s property taxes will be paid – and on time, she says.

Still, the news has the potential of becoming another political controversy. The Missouri Republican Party already is paying close attention.

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Technology In Law Enforcement
5:00 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Inspector Gadget? The Role Of Tech For St. Louis-Area Police

An old police call box on display at the St. Louis Police Officer's Association. Officers used this to check in with the station while out on their beats.
Credit (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon)

The technology available to a police officer on the beat has come a long way from a pen and a notebook.

Thanks to in-car computers, police now have the internet and sophisticated databases at their fingertips. Cameras can find a specific license plate or reduce the need for eyewitnesses.

But the speed at which the changes are taking place has even those using the technology concerned.

As a narcotics officer in Jefferson County in the mid-1990s, Jeff Roorda was a rock star when he got a bag phone

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