Special Session | St. Louis Public Radio

Special Session

Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications

Updated May 25 with the day's actions — The special legislative session called by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is getting closer to the finish line.

A Missouri Senate committee voted 10-1 Thursday to pass a bill designed to reopen an aluminum smelting plant in southeastern Missouri that was operated by Noranda. They made no additions to the bill, which goes before the full Senate on Friday.

Gov. Eric Greitens speaks in front of the Capitol during a rally in support of the Noranda bill on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
Krissy Lane | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House expects to send the Senate a bill Wednesday that would reopen a shuttered aluminum plant in the Bootheel region — long known as Noranda — and build a new steel plant next door.

What the Senate will do remains to be seen, considering at least one Republican is using the special session to again harangue fellow GOPer Gov. Eric Greitens for his agenda-pushing nonprofit.

Missouri Capitol, May 2017
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 7:45 p.m. May 22  with number of bills filed Monday – On the eve of his first legislative special session, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and his allied nonprofit group are attacking one of the pivotal legislators  needed to win approval of the governor’s favored bill.

The nonprofit group is called A New Missouri and can collect unlimited donations from unidentified donors. It is targeting state Sen. Doug Libla, a Republican whose southeast Missouri district includes the now-closed aluminum smelting plant that Greitens hopes to reopen, along with a possible steel mill.

Libla says he supports the projects. But the senator questions some provisions in the expected special-session bill that he says could reduce state oversight over Ameren, which provides electricity to much of eastern Missouri.

Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City, 2016
Ethan Weston | Flickr

Updated May 19 with Gov. Eric Greitens' plans to campaign for the legislation  — Missouri lawmakers will return to Jefferson City next week to consider legislation aimed at boosting the chances that the Noranda aluminum smelter plant will reopen and that a new steel plant will be built.

Gov. Eric Greitens is holding four rallies Saturday to promote legislation he says will help both southeast Missouri projects. The session will begin at 4 p.m. Monday.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed the Senate version of the Boeing incentives bill, bringing a quickly-called special session of the legislature to a quick close.

The measure would provide roughly $1.7 billion in tax breaks over a 23-year period to Boeing to expand its St. Louis facility and build its 777X passenger jet there.  Perhaps the most enthusiastic endorsement on the House floor came from State Representative Steve Lynch (R, Waynesville), who also owns a furniture store.

Rep. Anne Zerr'
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

The Boeing incentives bill continues moving forward during Missouri's special legislative session.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Governor Jay Nixon's (D) proposal to land production of Boeing's 777X passenger jet is two steps closer to success, as the Missouri Senate gave it both first-round and final approval Wednesday.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri's special legislative session kicked off late Monday afternoon, as lawmakers officially began work on Governor Jay Nixon's (D) proposal to land Boeing's contract to build the 777X passenger jet.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) has called lawmakers back to Jefferson City for a special session in an attempt to win a contract from Boeing to build the company 's 777X passenger jet.

Missouri's regular session for 2014 begins in just over a month, but in a press release issued today, Nixon says holding a special session is necessary because Boeing's deadline for proposals is December 10th.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The lead sponsor of a Missouri income tax cut wants Gov. Jay Nixon to call a special session so lawmakers can address some of the governor's concerns about the bill (HB253).

Republican House member T. J. Berry, of Kearney, said Thursday that he wants Nixon to call a special session to run concurrently with the veto session scheduled to start Sept. 11.

Nixon vetoed 29 bills this year, including Berry's bill cutting income taxes. Republican legislative leaders hope to override the veto.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers return to Jefferson City this week for the start of the 2013 regular session.  So far it appears that this year’s dominating issue will be the expansion of Medicaid, which Democratic Governor Jay Nixon has called for and which Republican leaders in both chambers say won’t happen.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at that looming battle and other issues facing Missouri lawmakers this year.

Medicaid Expansion

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Illinois Gov. optimistic special session will be fruitful

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn called lawmakers back to Springfield, Ill. for the one-day session today to vote on changes to the state's retirement system, which is at least $83 billion in debt.

The two parties have been unable to come to an agreement on a solution. Quinn is pushing a plan opposed by Republicans that would shift the cost of some benefits to local school districts.

Quinn, however, says lawmakers will do the right thing in the end.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Heading into special session, Ill. lawmakers remain divided on pensions

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has called for a special session on Friday to overhaul he state's pensions, even though Illinois lawmakers are still divided over the best way to do so.

There's an $83 billion gap in what the state has promised its employees they'll get when they retire, and what Illinois actually has in the bank.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri lawmakers have wrapped up the 2012 legislative session.  They passed 115 bills this year, nearly 50 of them on the final day alone.  But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin tells us, several high-priority issues didn’t make it to the finish line.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri lawmakers continue debating bills in the closing minutes of the 2012 regular session.

Among the bills passed so far today is one that would require legislative approval before a health care exchange can be created in Missouri.  State Rep. Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) accused Governor Jay Nixon (D) of trying last year to create an exchange via executive order.

(via Flickr/jimbowen0306)

Workers' comp, civil lawsuits top priorities for business groups this legislative session

Missouri business groups are listing changes in workers' compensation, employment law and civil lawsuitsas their top priorities in the legislative session that starts at noon today.

Representatives of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Missouri Merchants and Manufacturers Association and other groups outlined their priorities at a news conference Tuesday.

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.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Mayor Francis Slay is fuming over the results of the just-concluded special session.

"Goodbye state legislators. Thanks for (almost) nothing," the mayor tweeted this afternoon, a day after the state Senate adjourned without taking action on a large economic development package and a measure that would end more than 150 years of state oversight of the St. Louis police department.

(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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Sen. Jason Crowell may not be a household name to most Missourians.

But the Republican from Cape Girardeau is getting a lot of credit -- and blame -- for what passed and what didn't make it through the Missouri General Assembly's meandering seven-week special session, which ended today.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Cardinals lose Game 4

Derek Holland gave the Texas Rangers’ bullpen a much-needed break last night while helping the Rangers even the World Series at two games apiece. Holland came within two outs of a two-hit shutout while striking out seven as the Rangers bounced back from Saturday's 16-7 loss to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0. He faced just two batters over the minimum and didn't allow a hit after Lance Berkman's leadoff single in the fifth. Holland struck out seven, walked two and was aided by a pair of double-play grounders.

(via Flickr/breahn)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation directing state money to help new companies doing business in science or technology fields.

The measure signed Friday creates a fund to offer incentives to companies that conduct research or make products related to agricultural biotechnology, veterinary medicine, biochemistry, forestry, homeland security, information technology and pharmaceuticals. The fund would be overseen by the Missouri Technology Corp.

(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)

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would require all tax credits to undergo a regular review process.

If it succeeds, each tax credit would have to be voted on by the full General Assembly every four years.  The resolution is the House’s alternative to expiration dates for tax credits favored by the Missouri Senate.  It’s sponsored by House Budget Chair Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City).

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri House has done an about-face and now wants a joint committee to negotiate a final version of a wide-ranging tax credit bill that has divided the House and Senate throughout the ongoing special session.

House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) had suggested weeks ago that a conference committee wasn’t necessary and that any differences on tax credits could be worked out during floor debates.  Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter), meanwhile, had pushed for going to conference because that’s the normal route for reaching compromise on bills.  Tilley says he’s decided to take Mayer at his word.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Cardinals win Game 1 of World Series

The Cardinals claimed Game 1 of the World Series last night at Busch Stadium against the Texas Rangers.

Pinch-hitter Allen Craig drove in the go-ahead run to give the Cardinals a 3-2 win. Lance Berkman put the Cardinals ahead with a two-run single in the fourth, and Rangers catcher Mike Napoli tied the game with a home run the next inning. Pitcher Chris Carpenter got the win, allowing five hits in six innings. Allen Craig says it worked out to have Carpenter on the mound during the first game.

(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.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says a business incentive bill passed by the House has widened the differences with the Senate in a special legislative session.

Nixon said Tuesday that he prefers the Senate version of the legislation but hopes lawmakers can still settle their differences and send him a bill.

Republican senators were to meet privately later Tuesday to discuss the legislation passed last week by the House.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri House leaders have confirmed they’re returning to Jefferson City next week to resume the special legislative session -- but their return doesn’t mean that there’s been any breakthrough on an economic development deal.

The special session ground to a halt last week because House and Senate leaders could not agree on whether to place expiration dates, or sunsets, on historic preservation and low-income housing tax credits, or on how much oversight Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) Economic Development department should have over some incentives.

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