As St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, duke it out in a very public fashion, a lower-key primary is transpiring on the Republican side. Missouri House Budget Chairman Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, and Green Park Alderman Tony Pousosa are angling to reach the November election, with both emphasizing their professional experience and personal styles.
Since 1991 when Buzz Westfall became county executive, the office has been in Democratic hands. But some prominent Republicans are bullish about the party’s chances this year.
With a veto of the school transfer bill all but certain, Missouri lawmakers who worked on the wide-ranging legislation say they hoped a compromise could still be reached on the question of using public money to pay tuition at nonsectarian private schools.
But they acknowledged that it won’t be easy coming up with terms that will please Republicans and Democrats, urban, suburban and rural lawmakers — and Gov. Jay Nixon.
A task force charged with making recommendations for the future of the Normandy School District finished meeting Monday and plans to send its report to state education officials later this week.
Carole Basile, dean of the school of education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said she plans to take the discussions from the task force over the past several weeks and draw up a list of recommendations that she will submit to Chris Nicastro, Missouri’s commissioner of elementary and secondary education.
Budget negotiators meet to hammer out final version of 12 remaining budget bills. At center of table, l-r, are Senate Appropriations Chair Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, and House Budget Chair Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood.
House and Senate budget negotiators have finalized the 12 remaining bills that make up Missouri's state budget for Fiscal Year 2015.
Both sides signed off on increasing funding for K-12 schools by $114.8 million. If Gov. Jay Nixon's rosier revenue projections hold true, school spending would get a $278 million spending hike. Higher education would increase by $43 million, about 5 percent. State Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, chairs the House Budget Committee. He said they also put money in next year's budget to help finance a new state mental hospital at Fulton.
The second half of Missouri's 2014 regular session is underway. Leaders in both chambers and from both parties remain focused on crafting a state budget and on easing the burden of the state's student transfer law — but they remain divided on expanding Medicaid.
The race for St. Louis County executive heated up on Friday, as Republicans began a final push for a high-profile candidate and Democrat Steve Stenger, a member of the County Council, has escalated his attacks against incumbent Charlie Dooley.
One particular Republican is attracting a lot of last-minute talk: state Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, who also chairs the state House Budget Committee.