A Missouri lawmaker who threatened to resign unless one or both of his key bills survived the last day of the 2013 legislative session is staying put, even though both bills failed to make it out by Friday's deadline.
House Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka) has formed a committee he says will thoroughly investigate the Department of Revenue's scanning of source documents for driver's license and conceal carry applicants, and the release of the state's conceal carry weapons (CCW) holder list to the federal government.
Jones says the committee is necessary because the Nixon administration has not fully cooperated with lawmakers' efforts to get answers to everything that's happened and why.
The Republican supermajority in the Missouri House inched up this week with the election of Republican Mike Moon of Lawrence County to the vacant House District 157 seat from southwestern Missouri. Moon defeated Democrat and former House Member Charlie "Doc" Dake in what Republican Speaker Tim Jones described as a hotly-contested race.
The Missouri House will begin debate Tuesday on the 13 bills that make up next year’s state budget.
The three bills that encompass the state’s Medicaid program don’t include Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) proposed expansion, although House Democrats may try to offer amendments to change that. Budget chairman Rick Stream (R, Kirkwood) says the state should have more of a say in how Medicaid dollars are handled.
Republican leaders in the Missouri House are promising to fast track legislation that would forbid the state from scanning and storing documents of residents who apply for conceal-carry endorsements.
Some GOP lawmakers have accused the state agency of forwarding copies of conceal-carry applications and other documents to the federal Homeland Security department. House Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka) says he’s disturbed by the allegations.
House Democrats are sponsoring legislation to expand Medicaid in Missouri, despite the fact that the state budget filed by Republicans leaves out the proposed expansion.
House Bill 627 would expand Medicaid to an additional 300,000 Missourians, and House Democrats say not passing it would cost the state 5,000 jobs and could force some rural hospitals to close their doors. Kerry Noble is CEO of Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems in the Missouri Boot-heal.
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.
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: