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, a Republican from 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.
Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:00 pm
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.
Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 10:48 am
The Missouri Senate has begun debate on legislation to lessen the effects of the state's student transfer law.
The wide-ranging bill attempts to address both the law and unaccredited districts. Provisions within Senate Bill 493 include accrediting individual school buildings instead of districts as a whole and creating regional authorities across the state to oversee transfers.
(foreground, l-r) Mo. House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, State Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, and State Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, prepare to talk about the House GOP's proposal for Fulton State Hospital.
Two bills that would each try to end the so-called “border war” among business interests in the Kansas City area were heard Wednesday by two Missouri legislative committees. The identical bills would bar incentives designed to poach businesses from Kansas to Missouri.
Backers of the two bills say the proposal would take effect only if Kansas enacts a similar law to discourage its businesses from luring companies on the Missouri side of the Kansas City area.
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has unveiled a wide-ranging ethics proposal he wants lawmakers to take up and pass this year. It includes restoring campaign contribution limits, banning gifts from lobbyists to all state elected officials, and requiring a 3-year waiting period before ex-lawmakers can work as lobbyists.
Kander says if adopted, Missouri can go from having the worst ethics system in the country to the best.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is defending his choice last month to fill a vacancy on the State Probation and Parole Board with State Rep. Dennis Fowler. Fowler then gave up his seat in the Missouri House for the appointment. He also happens to be one of the 15 House Republicans who voted against overriding Governor Nixon’s veto of a controversial tax cut bill last year.
Nixon told reporters Thursday that Fowler’s vote had nothing to do with his Parole Board appointment.
A Missouri House subcommittee is considering whether to approve more money for student assessment tests under the new Common Core standards. The standards are designed to implement consistent nationwide standards in math and language arts.
Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro told the committee Tuesday that implementing Common Core in Missouri has not cost the state any additional money, but that measuring student performance under the new standards will.
Missouri lawmakers return to Jefferson City this week for the start of the 2014 legislative session.
This year's session will likely look a lot like last year’s session; there will be lots of so-called unfinished business on the minds of Republican leaders as they begin the regular session on Wednesday.
House Speaker Tim Jones says they’ll again pursue a major tax cut.
Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 6:42 pm
A new audit released Tuesday finds that some welfare recipients in Missouri have used their benefits to buy things besides food and other daily necessities, while others may have moved away but continue to get in-state benefits.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has announced plans to use a bond issue to pay for construction of a new state psychiatric hospital in Fulton.
Fulton State Hospital opened in 1851 and is the oldest state mental hospital west of the Mississippi River. Nixon says the bond issue will be part of his overall state budget request for next year, and that it’s sorely needed to rebuild an aging and sometimes dangerous facility.
“Based on workers’ compensation costs, it’s far more dangerous to work here at Fulton than any Department of Corrections facility,” said Nixon.
Two Missouri House committees have passed the Senate version of the Boeing incentives bill, which now heads to the full House for floor debate.
Much of Thursday's discussion focused on a handful of amendments the Senate added to the bill, including one that requires Boeing to report each year on its efforts to hire women and minorities, and another that would require the 777-X project to be profitable in ten years.
House Member Anne Zerr, who’s handling the Senate bill, says she thinks the additional language makes it better.