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Politics & Issues

Political news

Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

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

The Oakville Republican has served in the Missouri House for close to eight years. She is a member of the House Budget Committee and the chairwoman of the House Fiscal Review Committee.

Sisters Rosa Rojas (L) and Suleima Rojas (R) are officers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
Char Daston | St. Louis Public Radio

The seventh floor conference room of St. Louis Police Headquarters is windowless and sterile, but it was the designated location for an interview with officers Suleima and Rosa Rojas.

Suleima and Rosa are sisters, they live together and are very much the opposite of the uninteresting conference room environment. They're friendly, talkative, and eager to joke around.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Jan. 22 — Federal employees will return to work Tuesday, after hundreds of thousands of federal workers were not on the job because of a government shutdown.

Congress on Monday passed a stopgap spending bill and sent it to President Donald Trump.

The shutdown occurred after Republican lawmakers in Washington failed to pass a short-term spending Friday and continued to disagree over the weekend on funding for immigration proposals, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, natural disasters and other priorities.

Updated at 9:05 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a stopgap spending bill passed by Congress on Monday, ending the partial shutdown of the federal government after three days.

The White House has said normal government operations will resume by Tuesday morning.

Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Young women and mothers at the St. Louis Women’s March for Truth want people to know they plan on leading the world into a more equal society.

Maplewood teen Anabel Parveno held a sign with words from Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech: “A new day is on the horizon.”

“It’s time for a change, you know,” Parveno said. “And if women keep coming out like this to this march and we keep speaking up against all these injustices, a new dawn is going to come and we’re gonna rule.”

Parveno, 16, said those injustices for her include the wage gap and sexual harassment.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

The federal government is in the midst of a partial shutdown, and it appears it will be that way for some time.

President Trump and members of Congress publicly say they want to reopen the federal government, but, in the first day of a shutdown, Republicans and Democrats on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue showed no signs of ending their stalemate.

File Photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

One busy week leads to another as Missouri lawmakers wrestle with tax credits, a major ethics bill, and next year’s state budget.

The House this week sent a proposed lobbyist gift ban to the Senate, which is conducting a public hearing on it next week. The bill has died two years in a row over concerns that accepting a piece of gum or a slice of pizza could become illegal. But Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, said he’s committed to crafting a gift ban that the full Senate can support.

St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jo Mannies and politics editor Fred Ehrlich talk about Gov. Greitens' governance after his exposed affair.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio


On Friday’s Behind the Headlines segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed Gov. Eric Greitens’ impact on governance after his admission to having an extramarital affair. Joining the discussion were St. Louis Public Radio politics editor Fred Ehrlich and reporter Jo Mannies.

A crowd likely numbering in the thousands filled Luther Ely Smith Square during the rally after the St. Louis Women's March January 21, 2017.
File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The first National Women’s March was held in Washington, D.C., one year ago. That's when thousands of pink pussyhat-clad people filled streets in the nation’s capital and cities across the country to rally for the rights of women.


Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has released portions of his plan to cut taxes in Missouri.

Greitens said in a written statement Thursday afternoon that most of the details of his proposal will be laid out “in the coming weeks.” But the Republican governor has listed several goals, or “principles,” that make up the plan.

Rep. Crystal Quade was a supporter of a plan to fund in-home care for low-income elderly Missourians.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome state Rep. Crystal Quade to the show for the first time.

The freshman legislator is the only Democrat to represent a House district in southern Missouri. She is a member of the powerful House Budget Committee, which makes big decisions about the state's financial future.

St. Louis County Executive-elect Steve Stenger said his transition into his new office is going much more smoothly than last week.
File photo | Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri's attorney general has accused St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger of multiple violations of the Missouri Sunshine Law.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Josh Hawley, a Republican, accuses Stenger, a Democrat, of failing to respond to records requests by the deadline set in state law. Stenger’s office is also accused of failing to have one person handle all records requests.

St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards speaks at a Citizen Advisory Committee meeting in 2017.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards made remarks about crime in St. Louis that prompted a sharp response from civil rights law firm ArchCity Defenders.

Edwards told a crowd at a Martin Luther King Day event that black-on-black crime was a problem African-American residents need to tackle.

Colorful photos hang on the walls at HCI Alternatives in Collinsville. The marijuana dispensary is set up like a typical doctor's office.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Jim Neely, one of a handful of doctors in the Missouri General Assembly, believes medical marijuana would help people with terminal illnesses.

That includes his daughter, who died of cancer several years ago.

A view looking out on the rotunda from the second floor of St. Louis city hall.
File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

An effort to change the city of St. Louis charter and eliminate the residency requirement for city employees is underway.

Aldermen on the city’s legislation committee heard about two hours of testimony on the measure Wednesday night. A vote by the committee and the full Board of Aldermen will come on later dates. Because it’s a charter change, eliminating the residency requirement would also take a 60-percent vote of the people.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

It was a short but busy day for the Missouri House, as they sent three bills - on lobbyist gifts, human trafficking and hair braiding - to the Senate on Wednesday.

For the third year in a row, the House passed legislation banning most gifts from lobbyists to elected officials. The exceptions allowed in the lobbyist gift ban include flowers for weddings, funerals and similar events, and free food at catered events as long as every lawmaker and statewide elected official is invited.

Anna Crosslin (left) and Betsy Cohen (right) address the decline of refugee resettlement in St. Louis.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

This year, the International Institute estimates the arrival of only 450 refugees arriving to St. Louis. That’s a sharp decline compared to the amount of refugee resettlement in previous years – 659 refugees in 2017 and 1135 refugees in 2016.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh addressed the decline of refugees arriving to St. Louis over the past couple of years. Joining him for the discussion was Betsy Cohen, executive director of the St. Louis Mosaic Project and Anna Crosslin, president and CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis.

John Hayden was picked on Dec. 28, 2017, to be St. Louis' next police chief. Hayden is a 30-year veteran of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

A plan by the top two public safety officials in St. Louis to battle crime by directing more resources to higher-crime areas has the backing of aldermen on the public safety committee.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Hayden and public safety director Jimmie Edwards spent more than two hours addressing questions from committee members on Wednesday. Both pledged to come before the committee as often as needed to update its members on the progress of the plans, but asked for help from the lawmakers as well to meet their goals.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen chambers on July 7, 2017.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis alderwoman wants to lift the requirement that St. Louis employees have to live in the city.

Carol Howard, D-14th Ward, said she introduced the measure after hearing from the director of personnel that requiring people to move into the city was making it hard to fill vacant positions.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

Former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch is pledging to accept no campaign donations for his Republican campaign for St. Louis County Council. And if elected this fall, he says he’ll work for a county charter change that would limit campaign donations for county officials.

At his campaign kickoff today in Sunset Hills, Fitch blamed the lack of donation limits for some of the rancor between council members and County Executive Steve Stenger.  He contends that large contributions to Stenger, in particular, have exacerbated some of the disputes.