State of the State

(WUIS Radio)

 Gov. Bruce Rauner has laid out a first-year agenda he says will make Illinois more competitive and "empower" people and local governments.  The Winnetka Republican delivered his first State of the State address Wednesday.    He says Illinois must make changes to become more welcoming to businesses.  

"Our workers compensation, unemployment insurance and liability costs all rank among the worst in America. Those costs add up to far more than just numbers on an accountant's balance sheet," Rauner said. "They impact real people with real jobs and real families."

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon sits with school children from Marion Elementary School as they discuss the school's "Lead the Way," program in Overland, Missouri on January 22, 2015. Lead the Way is a project-based program that provides hands-on learning exp
Bill Greenblatt | UPI / UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon sat in the library of Marion Elementary School in the Ritenour School District as fifth graders learned about the robots they would build this semester.

The class is part of Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a national nonprofit that uses hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The overwhelming number of Missouri schools with PLTW programs offer it only at the high school level. Nixon was at the school to promote his plan to expand this type of learning into 350 grade-school classrooms across the state.  

Gov. Jay Nixon speaks during last year's State of the State address. The governor's speech comes amid heightened scrutiny of his actions during the Ferguson unrest and unprecedented GOP majorities in the Missouri General Assembly.
Tim Bommel, House Communications

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon delivered his seventh State of the State address Wednesday night. On Thursday, “St. Louis on the Air” asked a panel to analyze the speech and the Republican response, starting with the headline they would have put on the speech.

“Nixon’s speech more subdued in places,” said Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio’s Missouri statehouse reporter.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon shakes hands with legislators as he exits the House of Represenatives after delivering the annual State of the State address at the state capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri on January 21, 2015.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A former basketball player himself, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon used the sport Wednesday to illustrate ways that the state can advance racial healing as it seeks to get beyond the months of protests prompted by last summer’s police shooting in Ferguson.

In Wednesday’s State of the State address, the governor recounted how Highway Patrol officers assigned to keep order pooled some of their own money to pay for a basketball net and new basketball. That generosity, Nixon said, later led to a pickup basketball game.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will deliver the annual State of the State address on Wednesday night. Ahead of the speech, “St. Louis on the Air” asked its listeners to weigh in on what they want to hear from the governor.

Following are some of the responses we received. They have been edited for length and clarity.

Pam E.: I want to see Medicaid expanded, legalization of marijuana and improved infrastructure.

Gov. Jay Nixon speaks during last year's State of the State address. The governor's speech comes amid heightened scrutiny of his actions during the Ferguson unrest and unprecedented GOP majorities in the Missouri General Assembly.
Tim Bommel, House Communications

When Gov. Jay Nixon steps in front of the lectern for his seventh State of the State speech, he’ll be speaking arguably at the lowest point of his power over the Missouri General Assembly. 

Any bit of his agenda that arouses even a hint of controversy can be slapped away by the huge Republican majorities in the House and Senate. And even some Democrats are upset over the way he handled the unrest in Ferguson. He has, in essence, entered the twilight of his governorship.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

House budget writers have passed Missouri's state budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins July 1.

The roughly $28 billion spending plan still includes a funding increase for the state's K-12 schools, which would be around $122 million if projections by House and Senate Republican leaders turn out to be correct.  If Gov. Jay Nixon's rosier revenue picture turns out to be correct, then K-12 spending would increase by $278 million.

Medicaid expansion blocked again

Credit Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics. 

It's another two-part edition of the podcast. Marshall Griffin joins the Politically Speaking crew to talk about Gov. Jay Nixon's State of the State speech and the latest developments involving Missouri's death penalty. Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, joins Chris, Jo and Jason for the second part of the show. 

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing a budget that would set state government spending at roughly what it was seven years ago, before the nation’s economy – and the state’s budgets -- took a nose dive.

And that’s a huge difference from the frugal budgets the state has seen for years.

The biggest beneficiary of the increased spending, should the General Assembly agree, will be public education.

Tim Bommel/Mo. House Communications

(This event has now concluded. See our story for a full recap)

Welcome to our live blog of tonight's State of the State address from Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. 

We invite you to join in on the conversation below - what are your reactions to the governor's speech? How do they impact your life? Do you agree or disagree with him?

Nixon's speech will be followed by the Republican response, delivered by House speaker Tim Jones of Eureka.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will deliver his annual State of the State address Tuesday night, during which he'll unveil his proposed budget for fiscal year 2015.

The governor was expected to announce funding increases for both K-12 schools and higher education, along with a warning to House and Senate GOP leaders not to cut taxes.  Nixon vetoed last year's tax cut bill (HB 253) and successfully fought off an attempted veto override last fall.  The Democratic governor is also expected to make another pitch for expanding Medicaid.

Tim Bommel, Mo. House Communications

Governor Jay Nixon, on Monday night, delivered the first State of the State Address of his second term.

He discussed a broad range of topics which included education, Medicaid, mental health and domestic violence.  An in-depth breakdown of his speech as well as reaction from House Speaker Tim Jones is available here.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

 

Updated at 5:45 a.m. to include feature story on the Governor's State of the State Address by Marshall Griffin.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) pitched a $25.7 billion budget to the state of Missouri during Monday’s State of the State Address.  It includes spending increases for K-12 schools, Higher Education, and the proposed Medicaid expansion he’s been calling for since late November.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at the Governor’s speech and his proposed spending plan for next year:

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) will lay out his proposed budget tonight (Monday) when he delivers his annual State of the State Address.

The Governor’s address will include his call for expanding Medicaid coverage, which GOP leaders in both chambers have already said won’t happen.  He will also call for more education funding from Kindergarten through college – that would mark an about-face for Higher Education, which has undergone budget cuts for the past three years, including a $9 million cut last year.  Nixon is also expected to ask lawmakers to lengthen the state's school year and to spend money on mental health training as a means of improving school safety.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) will deliver his 2013 State of the State Address three weeks from today.

(via Flickr/Adam Procter)

University of Missouri to raise tuition

The University of Missouri system wants to increase tuition next year by 7.5 percent at its Columbia campus and even more at its campuses in St. Louis and Rolla.

A proposal released Tuesday afternoon spells out proposed in-state tuition hikes of 8.2 percent at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and 9 percent at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. The Kansas City campus would see a 3 percent increase.

Similar increases are being sought for graduate programs and non-resident undergraduates.

Flickr/KDavidClark

Mo. lawmakers considering I-70 toll proposals

Missouri Department of Transportation Director Kevin Keith told a panel of lawmakers Tuesday that changes to the interstate, such as widening it to six lanes, could create construction jobs and make the state more economically competitive. Keith said such improvements could cost as much as $4 billion.

Private companies would finance the project up front and collect tolls on I-70 between Kansas City and St. Louis.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Governor Jay Nixon delivered his annual State of the State Address Tuesday night.  He touched briefly on the state budget and other issues, while spending lots of time showcasing his administration’s accomplishments and praising the values of Missouri citizens as he prepares for his re-election bid this fall.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin recaps the address.

Beginning on a somber note

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Tonight Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon gave his annual speech to the Missouri General Assembly - the State of the State address. Thank you for joining us!

We'll have a full report from our statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin tomorrow during Morning Edition, but in the meantime, here's the full transcript of the address for you in case you missed it.

Also - here are a few takeaway points from tonight's address from the Associated Press:

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Nixon to deliver State of the State Speech tonight

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is expected to stress his job-creation efforts as he delivers his annual State of the State address to lawmakers.

Tonight's speech is to coincide with the release of Nixon's proposed budget for the 2013 fiscal year. Nixon's budget director has said Missouri may face a gap of about $500 million between projected expenses and revenues in the budget year that starts July 1.

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