Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.
On this week's episode: Jason reports from Jefferson City about possible layoffs at the DMV, the Governor's press statement, the possibility of a veto-override of tax cuts, and fast food strikes in St. Louis.
According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, the wait time for veterans to receive benefits has skyrocketed from 116 days in 2009 to 330 days now. In response, US Representative Bill Enyart is sponsoring legislation to try to reduce that wait.
What the bill would do is pay partial, provisional benefits for veterans whose cases aren't handled within 125 days after they are submitted. Currently, that would apply to more than half a million veterans.
Governor Jay Nixon (D) is threatening to lay off state workers unless Republican lawmakers fully fund the Missouri Department of Revenue's Motor Vehicles Division for a full fiscal year.
The warning comes one day after House and Senate budget negotiators agreed to only fund the state division for eight months, as a means of pressuring state Revenue officials to stop scanning and storing source documents of driver's license applicants. Nixon says he'll treat the 8-month appropriation as a full year's funding if GOP leaders don’t reverse themselves.
Republicans in the Missouri Senate have scaled back a proposal to cut state taxes in order to emulate tax cuts in neighboring Kansas and Oklahoma.
Governor Jay Nixon (D) has strongly objected to the bill's sales tax hike, saying it would hurt the poor and elderly the most. That provision has been dropped. House Bill 253 would now cut the personal income tax rate by half a percentage point and the corporate rate by three points, and phase them both in over the next 10 years. Republican Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit is handling the measure in the Senate.
Missouri House and Senate budget negotiators have crafted a final version of next year's state budget.
The nearly $25 billion spending plan includes a $66 million increase for K-12 schools, and a $25 million hike for state universities and community colleges. It still does not include the Medicaid expansion proposed by Governor Jay Nixon (D), which disappointed committee member and State Senator Kiki Curls (D, Kansas City).
Millions of consumers have an error on their credit report. In response, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri held a hearing Tuesday on the consumer report industry.
One out of every five consumers has an error on at least one of their major credit reports, according to a study released a few months ago by the Federal Trade Commission. Those errors can cause consumers to pay more or be denied credit or housing.
McCaskill, who recently became chairman of the Senate subcommittee on consumer protection, called the system “kafkaesque.”