Revenue collections in Missouri slowed a bit last month, but continued their overall upward trend.
From July of 2012 through the end of May, the state took in $7.3 billion in revenues, an increase of 10.4 percent from May of 2012. The year-to-date increase from April of this year, though, was 11.2 percent. Missouri Budget Director Linda Luebbering blames it on a drop in sales tax collections.
"People are still a little bit concerned about spending a lot of money, given the economy and the uncertainty at the national level," Luebbering said.
Kansas Lawmakers wrapped up the 2013 session in the early hours of Sunday morning, narrowly passing a budget that reduces spending through major cuts, particularly to higher education.
The biggest responsibility lawmakers have every year is to pass a state budget. It was questionable whether this proposal could pass the House. The chamber’s leadership was putting pressure on Republicans to pass the budget, saying if they didn’t pass one over the weekend the state could miss payments, like a payment for state worker health insurance.
A court challenge to phase one of the Kansas City's streetcar plan didn't slow the train yesterday as the city council approved a contract for a study of phase two.
The study compare seven different possible routes. Transit chair Russ Johnson says the nearly $1,900,000 price tag is a bargain for such a thorough study. Johnson joked, "It's not the 'Happy Meal'. It's 4 or 5 'Quarter Pounders'," which prompted chuckles from his colleagues.
As Kansas lawmakers continue to search for common ground on a budget, an advocacy group says the long-term future of early childhood programs is at stake.
So far, the competing versions of a state budget for 2014 have all included Governor Sam Brownback’s plan to transfer $9.5 million dollars from the Children’s Initiative Fund to the State General Fund.
A few weeks after the end of the 2013 legislative session, Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones offered a report card to Springfield residents. It was one of 17 planned stops this week throughout southern Missouri.
The Republican from Eureka used two large poster boards displaying various legislative accomplishments as talking points. Among them were the approval of bills for paycheck protection, prevailing wage, and reform of the financially troubled Second Injury Fund, of which the Speaker says he’s most proud.
In the 1980’s, some of the public housing units in Kansas City were infested with rats, mice and cockroaches. Plumbing and electrical problems put the health and safety of residents at risk. Complaints to the housing authority were ignored and it seemed to be an organization more about serving political needs of a select few than a place organized to provide people clean, safe, affordable housing. Under such circumstances crime became problematic.
So imagine you’ve got a budget for home improvements. You’ve pared it down to the bare bones. You know exactly how much you can afford and you won’t spend any more than that. Now cut that budget in half. What things do you leave behind? And what are your top priorities?
This exact situation is happening to the Missouri Department of Transportation. With their budget being slashed to just about half, MoDOT is preparing to enter maintenance mode.
Kansas lawmakers return to Topeka Tuesday to dive back into the contentious debate over budget and tax bills.
State Representatives and Senators were quoted using words like “dumbfounded” to express frustration that they can’t agree on either a budget or tax bill. Lawmakers had planned to wrap up the legislative in 80-days instead of the mandated 90-days. Instead, the session has run long like it has in most recent years.
Nice restaurants in Jefferson City should be sad to see the Missouri Legislative session end. They’ve received tens of thousands of dollars worth of business from lobbyists courting Missouri’s legislators over dinners and drinks.
Who were the legislators taken out for expensive meals? Well, in many cases, we don’t really know.
Missouri’s lobbying system is not as open as you think. The Kansas City council will vote on extending red light cameras. An artist explore the city in a new exhibition. Tom Watson sets his sights on another championship.
Most religions have rules, guidance, law of some kind. Christians look to the teachings of Jesus, or the commandments. Jewish people turn to Torah. And Muslims look to Shariah—the code of Islamic law that guides everything from what to eat and how to dress to bigger questions—like resolving marital disputes, or punishing violent crimes.
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.
Gas prices jumped last week throughout the Kansas City area. The Director of Missouri’s Department of Social Services resigns abruptly. A bill would expand the role of the physician assistants in Missouri.
Utility crews worked through the night and into the morning to restore electricity to some 77,000 customers in the Kansas City area. Most Missourians with Hepatitis C don’t know they have the disease, but health officials and groups are working to change that. After cantaloupe were determined to be responsible for a listeria outbreak, melon growers are making changes to prevent future outbreaks.
It's looking more like Kansas lawmakers may not work through the weekend to finish the legislative session and could instead leave and return next week. It's getting to the point where lawmakers may not be able to finish by the end of the weekend, even if agreements on taxes and the budget are reached soon.
After a budget compromise is formed, there's a delay to prepare the bill before the chambers can vote on it. Senate President Susan Wagle, a Republican from Wichita, says it would be a stretch to wrap up the session this weekend.
The last day of this year's Missouri legislative session has arrived. Lawmakers will be pushing to get several more pieces of legislation across the finish line.
The House passed a package of tax credits on Thursday that's still awaiting action in the Senate. The two chambers still differ on where to cap the state's most widely used incentives - for historic preservation and low-income Housing. Ron Richard, the Senate's Republican Floor Leader, says he hopes to get some sort of economic development bill passed.
Legislation that would revive Missouri's ailing Second Injury Fund and seek to reduce the number of occupational disease lawsuits was passed Thursday by the Missouri House. It had already passed the Missouri Senate during pre-dawn hours on Wednesday.
After making little progress for weeks, public negotiations on taxes have continued in the Kansas Statehouse. Legislative leaders and the governor had been meeting behind closed doors, but this week it appeared those talks had stalled. House and Senate negotiators held a public meeting Wednesday, and House members offered a new compromise.