Tim Jones

Gov. Jay Nixon is calling a special session to pay for the Missouri National Guard and Missouri Highway Patrol's operations in Ferguson and the St. Louis region.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon plans to call a special session of the Missouri General Assembly to pay for the Missouri National Guard and Missouri Highway Patrol’s operations in Ferguson and the St. Louis region. 

It’s a move that comes amid immense disapproval of how the governor handled the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision to not indict Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Michael Brown.

Outgoing Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones announced Wednesday that he has formed the House Oversight Committee on Public Officials and Government Accountability “to conduct a thorough investigation of the numerous alleged improprieties and political shakedowns as outlined in a recent extensive investigatory piece in The New York Times.”

Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications

Tim Jones is done … at least for now.

The soon-to-be departing speaker of the Missouri House announced Thursday that he won't be seeking election to any statewide office in 2016. 

It was widely speculated that the long-time Republican lawmaker would run for attorney general, or possibly secretary of state, as he had expressed interest in both jobs at various times. But in a letter to his supporters, he says that he wants to spend more time with his family.  Here's an excerpt:

(via Flickr/evmaiden)

Depending on whose opinion you get, this week’s initial meetings to draw up new school standards for Missouri students were a “Common Core cheerleading session” or a strong-arm attempt that was “hijacked by political extremists” on the right.

Either way, the eight committees impaneled under a law passed earlier this year appear to have a long way to go to meet a deadline of having the new standards ready for approval a year from now.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri General Assembly’s veto-override session, which gets underway next Wednesday, once again is touching on familiar ground: abortion, guns, schools and state spending.

State House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, is particularly optimistic that legislators will override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill to extend the waiting period for an abortion to 72 hours, making Missouri only the third state in the country to do so.

But overshadowing all of that – and possibly upsetting predictions – is Ferguson.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Outgoing Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones is encouraging St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch to reconsider and step down as head of the investigation into the Ferguson police shooting that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Jones, R-Eureka, is the first Republican to call for McCulloch’s removal. 

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers are sounding off on proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules aimed at reducing carbon emissions.  

The proposed rules effectively provide individual states with options to reduce carbon emissions by 2030. These options include making facilities more energy efficient, investing in alternative energy sources like solar and wind power, or joining other states in “cap and trade” programs.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House and Senate each spent the waning minutes of the legislative session embroiled in debate over a bill to nullify most federal gun laws.

But afterward, it was Gov. Jay Nixon who fired off the first post-session shots. His target was the General Assembly’s final-day spending spree.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

This week, the Politically Speaking podcast team – Chris McDaniel, Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies – host state House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, who is completing his final legislative session.

Note: You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Rosenbaum joined Jones in Jefferson City, while McDaniel and Mannies were in St. Louis.

Jones offered his assessment of the session’s final days, leading up to Friday’s adjournment.

Among his observations:

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House acted quickly Tuesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a tax-cut bill that is estimated to cut the state's revenue by about $620 million a year when fully implemented.

The House obtained the exact number of votes needed — 109 — with the help of one Democrat, Rep. Keith English of Florissant.  He joined all of the chamber's 108 Republicans.

The House joined the Senate, which voted 23-8 on Monday to override the governor's veto, which he issued last week.

Nanette Hegamin

In the final weeks of the legislative session, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has made a last-ditch effort to resurrect a push to expand Missouri’s Medicaid program and accept roughly $2 billion a year in federal money.

The governor, a Democrat, unveiled his “Missouri Health Works’’ program before business leaders Monday in Cape Girardeau. By coincidence or design, state House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka and an opponent of Medicaid expansion, was also in Cape on Monday with conservative low-tax icon Grover Norquist to highlight a different issue.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 1:50 p.m. Mon., April 28)

After two weeks of vigorous lobbying, Republican leaders in the Missouri House acknowledge that they have yet to obtain the extra four votes needed to send to the state Senate a measure to put a "right-to-work" proposal on the August ballot.

“I’m not in the habit of bringing up votes unless the votes are secured,’’ said House Majority Leader John Diehl, R-Town and Country, in an interview late last week.  

An empty desk
Bubbles | sxc.hu

Despite opposition from a coalition of Missouri school groups, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers said Friday that to win passage, school transfer legislation needs to include the option of non-sectarian private schools.

State Sens. John Lamping, R-Ladue, and Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, along with House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, discussed the issue at a forum on tax-credit scholarships. With three weeks left in the legislative session, a transfer bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate is now moving through the House.

/ File photo

In the midst of his second term, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has continued to travel the state to promote his agenda for the state. He has heightened his profile even more in recent days, as he has blasted a tax-cut proposal that the General Assembly has landed on his desk.

But Nixon has effectively dropped one activity that used to take up a lot of his time: campaign fundraising.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

(Updated 1:40 p.m. Tues., April 15)

The Missouri House is expected to make a renewed attempt this week to win enough votes to send to the state Senate a measure to put a “right to work” proposal on the August ballot.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

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.

Medicaid expansion a 'nonstarter'

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, has announced that he’s not running for the Missouri state Senate – setting the table for a possible candidacy by former state Sen. Jane Cunningham.

Jones and Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, have been touted as likely candidates after state Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, made the surprise announcement that he’s not seeking re-election to his 26th District seat.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The first half of Missouri's 2014 legislative session is over, and lawmakers have left Jefferson City for their annual spring break.

House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, touted the passage of several of his priorities, including photo voter ID legislation, conscientious objections to certain medical procedures, and ending the economic border war between Missouri and Kansas.  Jones told reporters Thursday he wants to push several issues when they return in a week and a half, including right-to-work legislation.

Tim Bommel, Mo. House of Representatives

(Updated 1:50 p.m. Friday, March 14)

State Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, has dropped his bid for re-election – ending two weeks of political suspense about his intentions.

photo of Thomas Schweich
Provided by the auditor's office

State Auditor Tom Schweich released an audit critical of Missouri’s low-income housing tax credit, saying that the widely used incentive is inefficient and has a “very low” return on investment. 

And the Republican statewide official is hoping the audit will spur the Missouri General Assembly to break a years-long logjam on changing the state’s largest tax credit program.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House passed legislation on Thursday curtailing two of the state’s largest tax credit programs. 

State Rep. Anne Zerr’s bill would reduce the historic preservation tax credit’s cap to $90 million from $140 million. That program helps refurbish older buildings and has been used extensively throughout St. Louis.

The bill would also gradually reduce the cap on the tax credit for low-income housing to $110 million from $140 million. That credit provides an incentive for developers to build housing for the working poor, elderly and disabled.

Tim Bommel, Mo. House of Representatives

Until this week, most of the attention directed at state Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, has focused on his outspoken conservatism and his efforts to block some federal gun laws.

But now the chief question is whether Nieves is preparing to quit the state Capitol.

Nieves said in two text messages this week, the latest on Friday, that he’s not yet ready to discuss the situation -- but many others are.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Medical personnel who wish to opt out of participating in procedures that violate their religious or personal beliefs are one step closer to being allowed to do so legally in Missouri.

(Via Flickr/Rosemary)

Legislation to allow medical professionals to refuse to take part in procedures that violate their religious or personal beliefs was heard Wednesday by a Missouri House committee.

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.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, has been tapped to deliver the Republican response to next Tuesday’s State of the State address by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.

Jones had been on the short list for the response, usually delivered within minutes of the governor's annual speech. Others believed to be in the running had been Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who has delivered the response several times since Nixon took office, and state Auditor Tom Schweich, who’s running for re-election this fall.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The first full week of the Missouri’s General Assembly is officially underway, and already the focus has shifted away from the expected topics – tax cuts and Medicaid expansion – and landed smack dab in the midst of a potentially bruising battle over labor rights.

The fight offers the potential of overshadowing other legislative issues for weeks, if not months.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Democrats in the Missouri House unveiled on Monday their proposal to cut taxes, as Republican leaders prepare to attempt another major tax cut.

Currently, the top state income tax rate in Missouri is 6 percent.  The Democrats' proposal, House Bill 1328, would lower that rate to 4 percent for residents earning $30,000 a year or less.  Those earning just over $30,000 up to $300,000 a year would still pay a 6 percent rate, while the rate for those earning more than $300,000 a year would rise to 8 percent.  The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Jon Carpenter, D-Gladstone.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

As the Missouri General Assembly prepares to open on Wednesday for its five-month session, those involved – in and out of the state Capitol – say the big unknown about this year’s proceedings centers on one major question:

Will the session be about the past – the continued debates over Medicaid expansion and tax cuts? Or will it be controlled by new matters – notably, the unrest over student transfers from failed districts and the looming 2014 elections?

Tim Bommel, Mo. House Communications

Despite the bad weather,  Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones hit the road early Thursday to begin his three-day tour through southern Missouri to highlight his “4G Agenda” for the new legislative session, which begins next week.

Jones’ planned focus includes revisiting the tax cuts that dominated much of the 2013 session as well as his push to revamp public education, promote energy production and examine such issues as “right to work,’’ which bars unions and employers from requiring all workers to become members when a majority votes for union representation.

Pages