Politics & Issues | St. Louis Public Radio

Politics & Issues

Political news

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers worked through dozens of bills this week as the end of the 2018 session starts coming into view.

They include a proposal designed to evenly split most child custody arrangements. The so-called “equal parenting bill” became law in 2016, but supporters of this year’s bill say it’s not being properly enforced in some courts.

William Freivogel (left) and Shula Neuman (right) discuss the implications of Sinclair Broadcast Group's requirment for local stations to read their recent statment regarding "fake news."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of local television stations in the country, recently required its news anchors to read a scripted statement that accused other media outlets of disseminating "fake news."

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh went behind the headlines to discuss the issues raised by the statement that had led to public outcry. The broadcast company faces backlash from media critics for the conservative slant of their stations' news reporting and other programming decisions.

Artwork by David Kovaluk
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann break down all of the developments in the legal and political saga of Gov. Eric Greitens.

This week’s show zeroes in on how a special House committee investigating Greitens is set to release its report in the coming days.

An email sent to St. Louis Public Radio about a now-scuttled soccer stadium prompted Attorney General Josh Hawley to once again look into Gov. Eric Greitens’ social media policies. Jan. 2017
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Eric Greitens has been subpoenaed as part of an investigation into whether he used a list of donors to his charity, The Mission Continues, in his campaign for governor.

The fact that Attorney General Josh Hawley had issued subpoenas as part of the probe was already known. A Hawley spokeswoman confirmed in an emailed statement Thursday that the governor was one of the targets.

Lt. Gov. Mike Parson introduces Greitens before he makes his State of the State address. (Jan 10, 2018)
Tim Bommel I House Communications

A House committee looking into the conduct of Gov. Eric Greitens will release its report to the public next week.

This comes as the committee is approaching a Sunday deadline to finish its work, which some of Greitens’ attorneys wanted to move.

A bill to be heard in the state House committee today would prevent 17-year-old defendants from being tried for minor and non-violent offenses in adult courts.

Illinois Takes On Sexual Harassment

Apr 5, 2018
Illustrator Pat Byrnes​

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, state lawmakers have tried to address sexual harassment in a variety of ways. We explore what's been done and what some say may be ahead.

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt is expressing disappointment at President Donald Trump’s tweet this week, which said a federal program that allows undocumented children to remain in the U.S. is effectively “dead.”

The Republican Senator told reporters in Jefferson City Wednesday he hopes it’s not too late for a solution that allows them to stay.

Abortion opponents stand on a street median as Planned Parenthood supporters march past the organization's Central West End clinic February 11, 2017.
File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

House Republicans are giving priority to bills that would place further restrictions on abortions as the 2018 session begins winding down.

First, the House on Tuesday passed legislation designed to ban abortions on fetuses capable of feeling physical pain, which would in effect ban most of them at 20 weeks. GOP Rep. Keith Frederick of Rolla, who’s a medical doctor, spoke in favor of the bill.

St. Louis County Police car
Paul Sableman | Flickr

St. Louis County police are a step closer to using body and dashboard cameras on a full-time basis.

The department on Tuesday officially asked companies to submit bids for 350 dashboard and 120 body cameras. Companies have until May 4 to respond.

Longtime St. Louisans (from left) Mike Jones, Jamala Rogers and Virvus Jones joined Wednesday’s show to reflect on the impact of what occurred on April 4, 1968.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Mike Jones remembers being “shocked but not surprised” when he heard that Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had been murdered.

The assassination of the civil rights leader occurred a half-century ago this week in Memphis, Tennessee, when Jones was a 19-year-old freshman at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

“The forces in America that have been against black progress have always taken black lives,” Jones said during a St. Louis on the Air conversation marking the 50-year anniversary of King’s death. “Black lives have always had less value in America. And men and women who actually fight for that kind of change usually do not live to be old men or old women, so no, you wouldn’t be surprised.”

Two grizzly bear cubs arrived at the St. Louis Zoo in the summer of 2017.
File photo I David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County voters may be asked to put more tax money into improving the St. Louis Zoo.

St. Louis County Councilwoman Rochelle Walton Gray introduced a 1/8th of one cent sales tax increase at Tuesday’s council meeting. If County Council members put it on the ballot, St. Louis County voters would decide on the measure on Nov. 6. The tax would add about 12 cents to a $100 purchase.

Cardinal Ritter student leaders Deja Brown (left), senior class president, and Darius White, sophomore class officer reflected on Dr. King's legacy in April 2018.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

On March 14, students Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School walked out of their school and through their Grand Center neighborhood in St. Louis, stopping on the steps of St. Francis Xavier College Church.

Among the Cardinal Ritter students who took part in the walkout, were two members of the school’s student council: Deja Brown, 17, is senior class president, and Darius White, 16 who is a sophomore class officer.

A bust of Martin Luther King sits in the Lyon square, where he spoke 52 years ago.
Lyon Municipal Library

Fifty years ago, the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis sparked grief and protests across the United States.

British newspaper the Guardian wrote two days after his death on April 4, 1968, that the world looked on in shock. “With his assassination,” it wrote, “America has moved one step nearer to chaos, and one step farther from community.”

The United States celebrates the Martin Luther King Jr. Day, observed around his birthday. But King’s legacy is also commemorated by street names, statues and exhibits around the world.

After a meeting about Mackenzie Village's possible disincorporation, a few residents spoke about running to become village trustees. Village residents on Tuesday voted 18-15 in favor of dissolving the municipality.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

By a three-vote margin, residents of Mackenzie Village — a 72-year-old community in south St. Louis County — have voted to dissolve and become an unincorporated part of the county.

Tuesday’s vote was 18-15. The 33 votes represent roughly a quarter of the village’s 134 residents.

The village is the third small town in St. Louis county to dissolve or merge since 2011. The decision was among the most closely-watched issues on Tuesday.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

The state of Missouri’s general-revenue income in March dropped slightly compared to a year ago, which could ignite legislative concerns as lawmakers craft a budget.

March’s decline was just under 1 percent. It was fueled by a continued drop in state corporate tax collections, which were down almost 24 percent compared to March 2017. The decline is linked to business tax cuts approved by lawmakers several years ago.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announceson Nov. 24, 2014, that a grand jury has chosen not to charge Darren Wilson in Michael Brown's death.
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A member of the grand jury that decided to not charge a former Ferguson police officer in the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown will likely head to federal court to challenge Missouri’s rules around grand jury secrecy.

The juror wanted to be able to violate the oath of secrecy to “contribute to the current dialogue around race relations” and to correct what the juror saw as misconduct by St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch.

The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear the case. Two lower courts have said the state’s oath requiring grand jury secrecy does not violate the rights of the unidentified grand juror.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin holds a news conference at Boeing's St. Louis headquarters in Berkeley.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says that President Donald Trump’s penchant for making provocative comments on social media, and into microphones, makes him “nervous” about a meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

The Illinois Democrat also is worried about Trump’s possible meeting at the White House with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which could occur in the “not so distant future.”

Gwen Moore is curator of urban landscape and community identity.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The history of civil rights in St. Louis is compelling and complex.

More than 245,000 people have visited an exhibit at the Missouri History Museum detailing the area’s civil rights history. It closes April 15 after a 13-month run. 

“I think it tells us that people are really interested in St. Louis history and that they will turn out when you present that history to them,” explained Gwen Moore. “I think that we’ve done that in a very compelling way.”

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri is the latest state to go after Facebook following national news reports that the social media giant has been sharing users’ data with third parties.

Attorney General Josh Hawley has issued a subpoena in order to find out whether Facebook has violated Missouri’s merchandising practices law.

Pages