Politics & Issues

Political news

Former U.S. Senator Kit Bond
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond to the program for an in-depth look at his career and legacy.

Gov. Jay Nixon
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A recent court ruling that excuses tobacco companies from making a $50 million payment to Missouri has resulted in the first cuts to the current year's state budget.

Gov. Jay Nixon is withholding approximately $46.1 million from the budget that took effect July 1.

The United Soybean Board | Flickr

St. Louis-based Monsanto is joining 80 other U.S. companies in pledging to back a White House campaign to build support for climate talks this December in Paris, France, where the Obama administration says it hopes to see a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The fire at New Life Missionary Baptist also damaged the siding.
Peter Armstrong | Christ Church Cathedral

The St. Louis Regional Bomb Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating what they describe as a series of six arsons at predominately black churches in north St. Louis and north St. Louis County.

The latest, Ebenezer Lutheran Church at 1011 Theobald St., in the Baden neighborhood of St. Louis, was damaged sometime between 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m Sunday. The buildings have all been empty at the times of the fires, which began when the arsonist lit exterior doors on fire.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt are the front runners for the Democratic and Republican nominations in the next Senate race.
official photos

(Updated Thursday, Oct. 22 with a link to the ad)

A tax exempt group with ties to Bush adviser Karl Rove plans to launch a major TV and radio ad blitz in Missouri this week on behalf of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

The group is called One Nation and is assisting Republican senators around the country who are up for re-election next year.

The Missouri General Assembly placed most of this year's amendments on the ballot.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

If there was one big lesson that John Lamping learned during his tenure in the Missouri Senate, it was that it’s very difficult to pass a bill – but very simple to kill one. 

Case in point: The former GOP lawmaker proposed two-year ban on lawmakers going into lobbying, something that’s taken hold in other states and throughout the U.S. Congress. But Lamping’s proposal never got off the ground.

Volunteers put furnishings together for the Ferguson Youth Initiative space behind city hall Oct. 17, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The Ferguson Youth Initiative now has a more inviting space for local teens to study and have fun. A couple dozen volunteers spent the past two weekends renovating the workshop bay and basement behind Ferguson City Hall for the teen outreach program.

Youth initiative members said Saturday the space now feels more like a place they want to hang out.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has called Amendment 5 "a disaster." She's been heaping criticism on the "gun rights" measure for months.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

For the second time this year, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce’s office has subpoenaed St. Louis Public Radio and “requested” that we keep silent about it. For the second time, we’re speaking out because the public — you — has much at stake when a prosecutor goes on a fishing expedition in a news organization's files.

In "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," Jimmy Stewart, right, portrays a senator who tries to use the filibuster for good. Now the threat of a filibuster is enough to stop votes.
Columbia Pictures | Wikipedia

In January, Republicans celebrated taking control of both gavels on Capitol Hill and promised to advance legislation important to their conservative base. After months of thwarted efforts and leadership compromises with Democrats to fund the government, the House majority is in disarray and Senate Republicans are considering a change in a longstanding rule that empowers the minority — a key function of the Senate as envisioned by the framers of the U.S. Constitution.

a rolling dollar bill
dleafy | sxc.hu

(Updated 12:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 16,  with additional candidate filings)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster continues to hold a huge financial edge over all of his Republican rivals for governor next year.

Koster, a Democrat with no major opposition from his own party, has banked more than $5 million, according to his latest campaign-finance report filed Thursday.

His bank account is more than twice as fat as that of the top-raising Republican seeking the job, former Navy Seal Eric Greitens., who reported $2.3 million.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri House committee is putting together recommendations that could place further restrictions on abortion providers, namely Planned Parenthood.

Several Republican lawmakers began brainstorming various proposals toward the end of a public hearing Wednesday at the State Capitol.

They included random inspections of any facility that performs abortions, including hospitals.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt are the front runners for the Democratic and Republican nominations in the next Senate race.
official photos

The latest campaign-finance reports show that U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has almost three times as much money in the bank as his Democratic rival, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, as the two prepare to face off next year.

Supporters of raising St. Louis' minimum wage listen to testimony Tuesday at St. Louis City Hall.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Low-wage workers in St. Louis will not be getting the raise they expected on Thursday.

Judge Steven Ohmer ruled Wednesday afternoon that a law boosting the city's minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2018 violated Missouri's Constitution because it conflicted directly with state law. The first increase, to $8.25 an hour, was to take effect at midnight Wednesday.

Jason Rojas | Flickr

In a letter released Wednesday to staff and media, East St. Louis City Manager Alvin Parks announced eight police officers are being laid off effective October 28.

Parks said that the police layoffs are “temporary but indefinite.” The layoffs would reportedly leave the East St. Louis police department with 44 officers, representing a 15 percent reduction in force.

Rep. Eric Burlison
Scott Harvey I KSMU

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome state Rep. Eric Burlison to the show (with some generous assistance from our friends at KSMU).

(via Flickr/david_shane)

A new commission set up by the Missouri Supreme Court will examine ways to ensure that minorities receive fair and just treatment from the state's court systems and legal profession.

Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge announced the formation of the commission at a recent Missouri Bar meeting in St. Louis. She cited findings in two Department of Justice reports, one on Ferguson and the other on St. Louis County's juvenile division, as reasons for forming the commission.

The St. Louis County Council approved a new version of legislation requiring owners of rental property in unincorporated St. Louis County to obtain licenses.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council revived stalled legislation requiring owners of rental property in unincorporated St. Louis County to obtain licenses.

Yet even though the legislation went through more alterations, the bill’s critics contended they didn’t get enough time to review the changes before they were adopted.

District Three nominee DeBorah Ahmed talks with District Seven nominee Steve Rovak after Mayor Francis Slay announced their nominations in August.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Members of the public get a chance Tuesday night to express their opinions about the nominees for St. Louis’ new police civilian oversight board.

The audience will not get to question the potential board members directly.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

After every school shooting, the push to reform gun laws becomes the object of much debate. Ultimately, not much changes. Will the shooting that took place last week at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon have any different legal response? Monday’s “Legal Roundtable” discussed the subject with “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh, among other pressing legal matters of the day.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Steven Conway, D-8th Ward, expects a number of hearings on a stadium funding bill. Conway is a CPA and plans to analyze the financial costs of the legislation.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s fair to say last week produced plenty of copy about St. Louis’ proposed riverfront football stadium.