A group of Republicans in the Missouri Senate has blocked a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a one-cent sales tax to help fund the state’s transportation needs.
The tax would require voter approval and would expire after 10 years unless voters renew it. Five percent of revenues raised would be designated for cities and another five percent for counties to pay for local transportation needs. Those factors were not enough to sway several Republicans, including Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph, who conducted a filibuster Tuesday night.
Legislation has stalled in the Missouri Senate that would allow investor-owned electric companies to charge consumers for infrastructure improvements.
Opponents argued that Ameren Missouri, Empire District and Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) make enough money to pay for improvements without levying an Infrastructure System Replacement Surcharge (ISRS) on their customers. Several Senators are blocking the measure, including Republican Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph.
Two bills that would create a prescription drug monitoring program in Missouri received a hearing Thursday before a State Senate committee.
One of the bills, though, is structured in a way that’s designed to block the proposal from ever becoming reality. Physician and State Senator Rob Schaaf (R, St. Joseph) is an outspoken critic of prescription drug monitoring. He says it would violate citizens’ privacy rights.
“But I have agreed to carry (Senate Bill 146), given that it goes to a vote of the people, and that nothing will be construed to require a pharmacist or prescriber to obtain information about a patient from the database,” Schaaf told the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Health.
Missouri Senator Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield) has been released from a Jefferson City hospital and is resting at her Capital-area residence.
She left the State Capitol Wednesday afternoon after becoming light-headed during debate on an education bill. Her Chief of Staff, Kit Crancer, did not disclose the nature of her illness. He described it as a serious but non-life threatening situation.
St. Louis to demolish plywood shacks near Mississippi River
Demolition will begin Friday at a row of plywood shacks near the Mississippi River in St. Louis where 10 homeless people have been evacuated.
It is the first of three riverfront encampments the city ordered shut down. St. Louis Human Services Director Bill Siedhoff has said that he hopes to have all three encampments cleared out by May 18 after reports of violent crime and rat infestation.
The proposed exchange is part of the national health care law signed by President Obama nearly two years ago. All states are required to have an online exchange where customers can buy health coverage, and any state that doesn’t have one by the year 2014 will have one created for them by Washington. The bill sponsored by State Senator Rob Schaaf (R, St. Joseph) would block the Governor and any agency under his authority from creating an exchange by executive order.