Elijah Haahr | St. Louis Public Radio

Elijah Haahr

Curious onlookers get a closer look at Hyperloop One as it sits on display on a downtown city street in St. Louis on Tuesday, October 8, 2019.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Have you ever wanted to have barbecue in Kansas City or gaze at the Columns in Columbia — but didn’t have time to make the drive to those two cities from St. Louis? 

Missouri officials want to solve your dilemma by investing in a tube rapid transportation system that could travel from St. Louis to Kansas City in roughly 30 minutes.

State Rep. Becky Ruth, R-Festus, introduces HB1 during the 2019 Special Session on Sept. 11, 2019.
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House approved a measure Wednesday to allow car buyers to trade in multiple vehicles to reduce sales tax responsibility when buying a newer model. 

Gov. Mike Parson decided to call a special legislative session on the sales tax issue after a Supreme Court decision in June. He’s received repeated criticism from Democrats for calling the session for what some consider a minor issue. 

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

When Missouri officials announced earlier this year that more than 100,000 people, many of them children, had been dropped from the state Medicaid program, critics assailed the cuts as callous and unnecessary.

But House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, said Monday that the cuts largely resulted from a new computer system's ability to weed out enrollees who earned too much money to qualify for the program.

Members of the Missouri House throw paper in the air on May 17, 2019, to celebrate the end of the legislative session.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers sent legislation banning abortion after eight weeks to Gov. Mike Parson, the culmination of an emotional and contentious week that ended with many of the GOP governor’s priorities accomplished.

And while legislators Friday also finished a bridge-repair bonding plan and proposal to institute term limits for statewide officials, they fell short on overhauling the state low-income housing tax-credit program and another measure undoing a new state legislative redistricting system.

Kansas City Democrat DaRon McGee resigned from his seat in the Missouri House on Monday night following allegations that he sought an unwanted relationship with an employee in his office for at least 10 months.

Judge Jack Goodman, left, swears in Elijah Haahr as speaker of the Missouri House on Jan. 9, 2019.
Tim Bommel I House Communications

Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where he talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about what to expect during the 2019 legislative session.

The Springfield Republican was elected as House speaker on Wednesday. Republicans will have a chance to accomplish a lot since the GOP holds commanding supermajorities in both of the General Assembly’s legislative chambers.

Senators take their oath of office on Jan. 9, 2019, at the beginning of the 2019 legislative session.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers gaveled themselves into session on Wednesday, marking what could be a legislative session full of complex policy with the usual politics thrown in the mix.

As was the case in the past two years, Republicans hold commanding majorities in the House and Senate. And the leaders of both chambers have similar priorities, including paring down business and lawsuit regulations.

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The latest proposal to cut taxes in Missouri is in the hands of a state House committee.

The measure would reduce the top state income tax rate on individuals and corporations to 5 percent. It’s currently at 5.9 percent for individuals and 6.25 percent for corporations. The bill is sponsored by House Speaker Pro-tem Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield.

Republican state Reps. Jay Barnes, center, and Justin Alferman, right, converse with Alex Curchin, left, during the last day of the Missouri General Assembly's 2017 legislative session.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Heightened tensions between Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and fellow Republicans who control the General Assembly will likely add drama when the 2018 legislative session begins next Wednesday.

Because 2018 is an election year, it’s long been assumed that lawmakers will avoid divisive topics that could upset voters. But that might not be possible this time.

House Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr, left, congratulates House Speaker Todd Richardson at the beginning of the 2017 session. Haahr will take over as House speaker in early 2019.
Tim Bommel I House Communications

On the latest episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome House Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr to the program for the second time.

The Springfield Republican recently emerged victorious in his party’s race to become speaker of the Missouri House in January 2019. He ended up defeating Reps. Robert Cornejo, and Holly Rehder.

GOP Rep. Elijiah Haahr of Springfield was chosen to be House speaker starting in 2019.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri House Republicans chose Rep. Elijah Haahr on Tuesday to succeed Todd Richardson as speaker, assuming the GOP keeps its majority in the lower chamber.

Richardson is barred from serving beyond 2018 because of term limits. Haahr, 35, will take over in January 2019.  

Elijah Haahr
Mallory Daily | St. Louis Public Radio intern

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome state Rep. Elijah Haahr to the show for the first time.

The Springfield Republican was first elected to the Missouri House in 2012. Haahr represents a somewhat suburban area of Springfield, an area that encompasses a very popular Bass Pro Shop. And he is chairman of the House Emerging Issues Committee, which has been a staging area for some high-profile pieces of legislation.

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Since a high-profile sex scandal was partly responsible for torpedoing the end of the 2015 session, some lawmakers have made improving the ethical climate of Jefferson City a priority.

But even though the Missouri House passed a flurry of bills early this session, some Missouri senators think the ethics push so far is missing the mark.

Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, is one of two lawmakers that want to make it harder to get constitutional amendments on the ballot. He's sponsoring a measure requiring more signatures to get an amendment up for a vote through an initiative petition.
Tim Bommel | House Communications

When we last checked on the Missouri Constitution before the November election, it was roughly six to eight times bigger than the federal one – especially after three amendments were added to it in August. 

Flash forward to today and the Show Me State’s constitution is even bigger. Missourians added two amendments in November -- one limiting the governor’s budgetary powers and the other making it easier to prosecute people for sex crimes.