2013 Missouri Legislature | St. Louis Public Radio

2013 Missouri Legislature

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 22, 2013: While the Missouri Chamber of Commerce prepares its priorities for the coming 2014 legislative session that begins in January, it’s also making clear where the General Assembly’s 163 members of the House and 34 members of the state Senate stand when it comes to their votes this year.

flimsy15 wanted poster
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 4, 2013: Friday night shortly after 6 p.m., as the Liberty High School football team was about to take the field just north of Kansas City, a small plane flew overhead trailing a banner that declared www.Neth Voted Against Liberty.com.

Those in the crowd who bother to go to the website will then see a more detailed explanation why state state Rep. Myron Neth, R-Liberty, warranted such a public show of disdain.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 23, 2013 - Amid a string of controversies hitting St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley’s administration, area Republicans so far have failed to come up with a well-known candidate to challenge Dooley’s bid for re-election next year.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 20, 2013 - The Missouri House’s two top Democrats have sent a joint letter to Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, to say that they no longer have any questions regarding his soon-to-be defunct LLC, the Missouri Freedom Alliance.

House Minority Leader Jake Hummel, D-St. Louis, and House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, said they were satisfied with Jones’ explanation, as published Monday in the St. Louis Beacon.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 19, 2013: Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, says he decided to become last week’s pivotal vote against the bill nullifying federal gun laws when it became clear to him that the legislation had too many poorly drafted provisions.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 18, 2013: In the wake of the Missouri Legislature's failure to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a tax-cut bill, some Republicans called out the 15 members of their party who went against the leadership and the rest of the caucus.

House Speaker Tim Jones
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 16, 2013: With the legislative veto session over, Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones is hoping to put to rest another controversy he admits was largely self-inflicted.

To that end, he said he literally is putting all of his cards on the table.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 4, 2013 - A week ago, the Missouri General Assembly appeared well on its way to overriding Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of HB436, a bill intended to promote gun rights by barring the enforcement of federal gun laws.

But a day after Attorney General Chris Koster warned of trouble, the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police is weighing in with a hard-hitting call for legislators to drop any override effort.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 3, 2013: Attorney General Chris Koster has warned lawmakers that he would “emphatically distance his office” from defending aspects of the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which seeks to "nullify" federal gun laws and bar federal agents from enforcing them.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 22, 2013 - In preparation for his trip here next week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, has launched an unusual TV and radio ad campaign in Missouri that he says is “highlighting Texas' commitment to keeping taxes low on families and job creators.”

Texas doesn't have an income tax, but does have a higher sales tax than Missouri.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 21, 2013 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has accused some legislators – and notably House Speaker Tim Jones – of seeking to making Missouri “a safe haven’’ for young sex offenders if they follow through with an effort to override his veto of a bill to remove sex offenders under the age of 18 from law enforcement sex-offender websites.

Nixon called the bill in question, House Bill 301, a "dangerous bill'' that threatens public safety.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 19, 2013: Between three terms in the Missouri Senate and over two terms as lieutenant governor, it’s fair to say that Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder knows how the upper chamber of the Missouri General Assembly operates.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 16, 2013: State Rep. Paul Wieland could be starting a trend in Missouri with his suit that challenges the Missouri government’s new group insurance coverage that covers sterilization and contraceptives, including some birth-control drugs or devices that he says induce abortion.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 14, 2013: One by one they came to sit in front of the special House committee to deliver their three-minute remarks. Most had same message: Expand Missouri’s Medicaid program.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 12, 2013 - After a solid victory in the country's most closely watched Senate contest in 2012, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill has become a hot commodity nationally and in Missouri.

Her heightened national prominence is a key reason she was in Iowa on Friday addressing supporters of Emily’s List, a major campaign-finance bundler for women who are candidates for office and  support abortion rights.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 9, 2013 - Amid the continued battle over his veto of a tax-cut bill, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon dismissed new attacks against him as evidence that the opponents are losing the argument.

“Any time folks are trying to make personal attacks … it shows you they are not comfortable with their substantive attacks,” Nixon said in a brief telephone interview Thursday. “So it’s actually good news.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 6, 2013 - A new political group with secret funding – Missourians for Common Sense – is launching a campaign today in support of Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a tax-cut package, HB 253, in the hope of swaying public and political opinion against a legislative override.

Beginning today, residents in 15 legislative districts – including two in the St. Louis area – will receive mailers and robo-calls highlighting HB 253's elimination of the state’s longstanding exemption for prescription drugs. That would amount to a $200 million a year tax increase.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 23, 2013: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s competitive streak is legendary, from the basketball court (until his knees gave out) to the political arena, where for decades many a fellow Democrat has kept a wary eye on Nixon’s unabashed ambition.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 22, 2013: During any given session of the Missouri General Assembly, hundreds of proposals fall by the wayside. But state Sen. Joe Keaveny was especially dismayed by the demise of a one-cent sales tax increase for transportation.

The St. Louis Democrat even went so far to call the defeat of state Sen. Mike Kehoe’s constitutional amendment “tragic.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 12, 2013: Gov. Jay Nixon let legislation wiping out foreclosure mediation ordinances in St. Louis and St. Louis County go into effect without his signature. It’s a move that effectively nullifies a major priority of housing advocacy organizations – and the region’s two top political leaders.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 10, 2013: With the clock ticking on his time to sign or veto bills, Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation revamping the Second Injury Fund and adding occupational disease to the workers compensation system.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 9, 2013 - Gov. Jay Nixon told reporters he was “hopeful” that House and Senate committees studying changes to the state’s Medicaid program would result in legislative action next year.

The two chambers are holding hearings this summer on the health-care program for the poor. The Senate committee held hearings in Jefferson City, while another House committee is set to convene tomorrow in Independence.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 9, 2013 - Former state Sen. Jason Crowell, a Cape Girardeau Republican, was -- and still is -- one of the sharpest critics of the state's historic preservation tax credit program. In 2011, he compared the program to when his parents gave him a credit card "only for emergencies."

Crowell said he quickly spent money on other things, prompting his parents to cut up the credit card. He told his parents that if they did that, he would run out of gas, get kidnapped and murdered.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 5, 2013 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has dispatched two more gun-related bills – vetoing one and signing the other – as he continues what could be a record-setting string of vetoes since he took office.

But in these two cases, the governor on Friday made a point of citing his own gun-toting practices and his love of hunting (especially deer and doves).

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 5, 2013- As parents in Riverview Gardens and Normandy are looking around for the best accredited school district for their children to attend this fall, lawmakers are pondering what changes, if any, they might make to the school transfer law next year.

Though Rep. Mark Parkinson, R-St. Charles, has asked Gov. Jay Nixon to call a special session to deal with the transfer law, action is most likely to take place when the General Assembly reconvenes in January. At issue is the law, upheld last month by the Missouri Supreme Court, allowing students who live in unaccredited school districts to transfer to nearby accredited ones, with their home district paying the tuition.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 2, 2013 -  Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon followed through Tuesday with an apparent shift in his position on government retention of the public’s personal information, by vetoing a bill that would have mandated a state database – accessible to employers – of all Missourians who file workers’ compensation claims.

“There is a stark contrast between lawmakers’ rhetoric on the issue of privacy and their record,” Nixon said in a strongly worded statement.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 1, 2013: Last week’s spectacle in the Texas Senate got national attention, but some Missouri politicos may have experienced déjà vu while watching a livestream of Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis’ filibuster against an abortion bill.

That includes Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, a Kansas City Democrat who followed what she dubbed a "fascinating" situation.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 28, 2013: Gov. Jay Nixon withheld nearly $400 million from the state’s 2014 budget, a move he attributed to uncertainty over a veto override of tax cut legislation.

Nixon, a Democrat, made the announcement in Jefferson City after signing bills on the state’s roughly $25 billion budget. In a statement, the governor said that he made the withholds because Republican lawmakers may try to override a tax cut bill – House Bill 253 – later this fall. Among other things, that bill cuts personal income, corporate and business taxes.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 27, 2013- Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones appears to be in a standoff with Gov. Jay Nixon’s office, after a judge stepped in Thursday to block Jones’ attempt force the governor’s top aides to testify before a state House panel.

The panel, called the Bipartisan Committee on Privacy Protection, is probing why the state Drivers License Division – part of the Department of Revenue – is continuing to scan and retain copies of the personal documents – such as drivers licenses and passports --  that people must submit to obtain drivers licenses.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 26, 2013 - While a Missouri House panel was continuing its probe of the state’s drivers license division, Gov. Jay Nixon was in St. Louis announcing that he’d vetoed a bill to double the fees charged by the private “fee offices’’ that give out the licenses.

The governor said Wednesday that it was unfair to ask Missourians to pay $22 million more each year in additional license-related fees but get no additional service in return.

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