Rob Mayer

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Among the 115 bills sent to Governor Jay Nixon (D) this year is one that would make it a crime to deliberately disturb worship services in Missouri.

The measure would make it a misdemeanor to use, “profane discourse, rude or indecent behavior,” or make loud disruptive noises within or just outside a public or private building where a worship service is being held.  It was sponsored by Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter).

“It’s important for citizens here in Missouri to have their First Amendment rights protected," Mayer said.  "There (have) been instances across the country where there have been actual disturbances in churches and synagogues.”

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

House and Senate budget negotiators remain at an impasse on what’s become the main barrier to reaching an agreement:  finding a way to fund veterans’ homes.

The House this week passed legislation that would fund veterans homes with gaming revenues currently designated for early childhood programs, and replace it with money from a tobacco settlement.  The Senate has so far refused to take up the measure.  House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) accuses Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) of playing games.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Many Missouri lawmakers are expressing disappointment over Tuesday's ruling that struck down the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, more commonly known as "MOSIRA."

The measure would have used revenues generated by a group of science and high-tech companies to create a pool to lure more such companies to Missouri and to keep the ones already here from leaving.  State Senator Luann Ridgeway (R, Smithville) is not happy with the ruling.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Legislation that would change Missouri’s definition on workplace discrimination is getting attention this week on both sides of the Missouri General Assembly.

On Monday, the House version of the bill was approved by that chamber’s Workforce Development Committee.  Under the bill, discrimination would have to be a motivating factor in any action taken against an employee, not a contributing factor as it is now.  Democrat Sylvester Taylor of North County voted against the bill in committee.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Mayer hopes federal health care law among first debated in Mo. Senate this year

A very contentious special legislative session ended with a whimper in Jefferson City this week.  It was dominated by seven weeks of head-butting over a wide-ranging tax credit bill that in the end boiled down to a long-running battle between the Missouri House and Senate over whether tax credits should have expiration dates.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at what happened.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri’s special legislative session is over.

President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) adjourned the Missouri Senate exactly seven weeks after lawmakers returned to Jefferson City.  Only two bills were passed, the “Facebook Fix” and a high-tech jobs measure – but the top priority, an economic development bill, died because House and Senate leaders couldn’t agree on expiration dates for historic preservation and low-income housing tax credits.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The head of the Missouri Senate has announced he’s going to pull the plug on the special legislative session next week.

President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) believes it’s too late to pass any kind of economic development bill before the session expires in two weeks.  Despite Thursday’s move by the Missouri House to appoint lawmakers to negotiate a final version of the wide-ranging tax credit bill, Mayer says any agreement must include 7-year expiration dates, or sunsets, on historic preservation and low income housing tax credits.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri’s special legislative session may, in effect, be over, following Monday's actions in the Missouri Senate.

First, the Senate rejected the House version of a wide-ranging tax credit bill, voting to send it back to the House and urging passage of the Senate version.  Then Senate leaders chose not to vote on a presidential primary bill, following a failed attempt to swap it out with an alternate version that would have replaced the primary with county-level caucuses.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The full Missouri Senate is set to convene next week, October 17th, to make one last attempt at reaching an agreement on a wide-ranging economic development bill.

The biggest sticking point remains whether to place 7-year expiration dates, or sunsets, on low income and historic preservation tax credits.  The Missouri House removed the sunsets before passing the bill last week, a move opposed by the Senate.

President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says he’ll ask the Senate to vote to appoint conferees, who would meet with House leaders and try to hammer out a final version of the bill.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The special legislative session in Missouri did not come to an end today, despite warnings from House and Senate leaders that they would go home if an agreement on a wide-ranging tax credit bill wasn’t reached by today's adjournments.

Instead, both chambers will hold technical sessions, where just a handful of lawmakers gavel in for a few minutes and then adjourn.  Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says his chamber will only meet in technical sessions until an agreement is reached on tax credits, or until time runs out in early November, whichever comes first.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The special legislative session called by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) could end as soon as Friday without any legislation being passed.

House and Senate leaders continue to butt heads over what should and should not be included in the wide-ranging tax credit bill, and that includes the compromise version that House leaders announced that they’ve reached with the governor.  Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says the chances of reaching a compromise by Friday look very slim.

(via Flickr/dbking)

The Missouri Senate has postponed debate on the massive tax credit bill which includes $360 million for a cargo hub at Lambert Airport in St. Louis.

Debate was set to begin this morning, but some senators asked President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) for more time to read the 268-page bill, which he granted.

(Missouri Senate)

As Democratic Governor Jay Nixon prepares to call lawmakers back to Jefferson City for a special session, the top Republican in the Missouri Senate wants disaster relief to be one of the issues included in the call.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Republican leaders of the Missouri General Assembly are criticizing Democratic Governor Jay Nixon’s decision to exclude land assemblage tax credits from the special session planned for next month.

In a letter to Nixon, House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) and Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) said that his “personal agenda against an individual developer (Paul McKee)...has no place in this debate and should not impact the overall priority of tax credit reform.”

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Some minor progress, but no breakthrough yet in efforts to pass both the St. Louis Police local control and tax credit legislation.

The Missouri Senate this evening confirmed Governor Jay Nixon’s appointment to the state-run board that oversees the St. Louis Police Department.  Tom Irwin’s appointment is seen as a precursor to implementing local control.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Four Missouri State Senators have ended their filibuster of legislation to draw down $105 million in extended federal unemployment benefits.

On Wednesday, the four senators, led by Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), had offered to end their filibuster if Governor Jay Nixon (D) would reject $300 million in federal stimulus funds.

Mo. Senate

A group of fiscally conservative Missouri senators is continuing to block legislation to draw down $81 million in federal unemployment benefits, even though Senate Republican leaders support the bill.

State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) has been leading the filibuster for weeks.  He says rejecting the money would send a message to Washington that it needs to reign in spending.

The Missouri General Assembly has begun its annual legislative session in Jefferson City.

New Republican leaders in both chambers emphasized job growth as their top priorities.

Missouri lawmakers return to Jefferson City this week for the 2011 legislative session.  There’ll be many new faces, thanks to term limits, along with new leaders for both the State House and Senate.  And Republicans now hold a veto-proof majority in the Senate and fall only three votes short of one in the House.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at the major issues they’ll be facing this year.