Missouri General Assembly

Nixon's State Of The State On KCUR

Jan 17, 2012

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will give his fourth State of the State address tonight, during which he's expected to outline his plan for making more budget cuts without raising taxes. 

KCUR will carry the speech from Nixon, who's running for reelection this year, live beginning at 7 p.m. Coverage will include both the Governor’s speech and the Republican response. 

Opinions differ on the effects of the Wichita Boeing shutdown, the Missouri Legislature talks K-12 budgets, KU defeats K-State & more: A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

Missouri lawmakers return to Jefferson City on Wednesday for the start of this year’s legislative session. 2011 was marked by House and Senate Republicans fighting with each other over tax credits and redistricting, while still managing to take pot shots at Democratic Governor Jay Nixon’s handling of the state budget.

The KC Council's new redistricting map, KU's new football coach, inside "The Nutcracker," & more: A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

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Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed and vetoed several bills Wednesday, the final day for action on legislation passed during the 2010 regular session.

First, Governor Nixon signed legislation creating new ethics rules. It restricts money transfers between political committees and allows the Missouri Ethics Commission to launch its own investigations, instead of waiting for complaints to be filed by others. But it does not restore campaign contribution limits, which Democrats had been calling for.

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has been signing dozens of bills into law since the regular legislative session ended in May. But two controversial bills remain unsigned as the deadline approaches.

One of those bills deals with ethics. Provisions include restricting political committee-to-committee money transfers and allowing the Ethics Commission to launch investigations. The other bill would expand the information women must be told 24 hours before getting an abortion.

Governor Nixon says he's been pretty busy lately.

Kansas City, MO – Missouri Senate leaders are bypassing a committee that's blocking legislation to provide auto incentives during the ongoing special session.

Republican Chuck Purgason, chair of the senate's Fiscal Oversight committee, is blocking a vote on the House bill that contains both incentives for Ford Motor Company and tax breaks for underground data centers. So Senate leaders have crafted a separate bill that excludes the data centers. It's sponsored by Republican Luann Ridgeway of Platte County:

Jefferson City, Mo. – A final vote by the Missouri House yesterday has authorized a referendum for August over the state's participation in the new federal health care law.

The referendum states that citizens and employers cannot be compelled to take part in any public or private health care system. It's designed to challenge the new health care law signed by President Obama that requires most Americans to have health insurance or face fines.

GOP House Speaker Pro-tem Bryan Pratt (R, Blue Springs) strongly supported the bill.

Jefferson City, Mo. – With the state budget out of the way, Missouri lawmakers now have two weeks left to concentrate on other priorities. Bills addressing tax credits, ethics, consolidation of state agencies, and autism insurance all remain unfinished going into the homestretch.

Nixon Signs 'Prompt Pay' Insurance Bill

Apr 27, 2010

Cape Girardeau, Mo. – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed into law a bill requiring insurance companies to make timely payments to medical providers.

The so-called "prompt pay" bill imposes penalties on insurance companies for excessive delays in payment to providers. The law bans the practice of suspending claims, which the Governor describes as a limbo state where the claim is neither approved nor denied. The bill also establishes delinquency penalties on insurance companies when payment is not received within 45 days.

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to a bill designed to shrink the size and cost of state government.

Among the recommended actions in the bill is the combining of the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Water Patrol into one law enforcement entity. Its sponsored by Senate President Pro-tem Charlie Shields.

"Also, (it) will move the alcohol and tobacco folks into the Department of Revenue, and frankly will eliminate positions there," says shields.

MO Lawmakers Stick To Party Line As Health Care Passes

Mar 22, 2010

St. Louis, Mo. – Missouri's Congressional delegation stuck mostly to party lines, as the House in a rare Sunday session sent a massive overhaul of the health care system to President Obama.

Republicans are vowing to use the bill against the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections. Among their targets is Congressmen Russ Carnahan.

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has passed legislation requiring group insurance plans regulated by the state to cover autism treatment.

The Senate bill would mandate that companies cover up to $55,000 a year for treatment of autism patients younger than 21.

GOP Senator Scott Rupp of St. Charles County sponsored the legislation.

"We're doing our job in the state, the families are doing their job, the schools are doing their job," Rupp told lawmakers. "When, insurance industry, are you going to start doing yours?!?"

Jefferson City, Mo. – The House Budget Committee spent nearly four hours Wednesday night amending and voting on bills that make up the state budget.

Committee members only made it through about a third of the budget bills before calling it a night.

House Budget Chair Allen Icet says so far they've identified 65 million dollars that can be trimmed from various departments.

"None of these should affect any services or anything. For the most part, it was either lapse, or funding that would be considered excess," says Icet.

Topeka, Kan. / Jefferson City, Mo. – A measure pushing back against the federal government passed in the Kansas House Monday by a vote of 109 to 11. The resolution calls on the federal government to stop passing laws that put mandates on the states.

Proponents have argued the federal government is encroaching on states' rights. The non-binding measure has no legal authority, but Republican Representative Joe Patton told fellow lawmakers it still carries weight.

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a proposed constitutional amendment designed to block compulsory participation in any national health care system.

Supporters of the resolution, including GOP House Member Tim Flook of Clay County, said President Obama and the Democratic-led Congress are trying to expand the role of government in everyday life.

Kansas City, Mo. – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says the recent news of significantly smaller than expected revenues will mean some challenging choices for the state. The governor says he and other lawmakers are considering a number of ways to deal with the problem.

Kansas City, Mo. – Legislation that would ban indoor smoking in public buildings throughout Missouri is being considered by a State Senate Committee

Under the bill, smoking would not be allowed in restaurants, bars, sports arenas, businesses, or any other public building. Exceptions would be allowed for homes not used for daycare, tobacco shops and 20% of hotel rooms. Jason Sharp, who works with cancer patients in Rolla, spoke in favor of the bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate is scheduled to debate its main ethics bill on Wednesday.

The bill would expand income reporting requirements to legislative staff members, provide the state Ethics Commission with a full-time investigator, and bar campaign contributions when the legislature is in session. It would not, however, reinstate campaign contribution limits. Senate President Pro-Tem Charlie Shields sponsored the bill.

Kansas City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has overwhelmingly passed a resolution rejecting the State Tax Commission's move to reassess property values for the state's farmlands.

The State Tax Commission last month recommended raising the productive value of the state's best agricultural land by 29% and lowering values on low-producing lots by 25%. GOP Senator Bill Stouffer says in addition to crop growers, the move would hurt cattle ranchers, even though pasture land assessments would go down.

Jefferson City, Mo. – Supporters and opponents of scrapping the state income tax in favor of an expanded sales tax sounded off on the issue at a Missouri Senate committee.

Among the resolution's supporters was lobbyist and former GOP House Member Ed Robb. He told the Senate committee on fiscal oversight that the measure would transform Missouri into a "mecca for investment and job opportunities."

Jefferson City, Mo. – Legislation that would expand Missouri's ban on texting-while-driving to everyone has drawn lots of support. In a Senate committee meeting, lobbyists for highway workers, law enforcement, senior citizens, and bicyclists spoke in favor of the bill. No one spoke against it. The bill is sponsored by Democratic Senator Ryan McKenna of Jefferson County.

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri's budget picture remains bleak, as lawmakers begin to consider Governor Jay Nixon's spending plan and come up with their own.

State Budget Director Linda Luebbering reminded the Senate Appropriations Committee Monday that revenue collections will continue to lag. But she also said Missouri is expected to receive $300 million in federal dollars that can be used for state expenses.

GOP Senator Kurt Schaefer of Columbia expressed concern that the Nixon Administration is depending on money that may not come.

Jefferson City, Mo. – Republican leaders in the Missouri House and Senate returned to their party's traditional themes, after talking up ethics and the economy on the legislature's
opening day last week.

Led by Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, GOP leaders pledged first and foremost not to raise taxes this year.

"Taking more money from Missouri families is not a sensible solution to fix whatever budget problems we face today," said Kinder.

Jefferson City, Mo. – An audit finds Missouri needs to do a better job of tracking how much revenue is lost through sales tax exemptions.

State Auditor Susan Montee said the state has 131 tax exemptions, ranging from food and medicine to construction materials.

"It is a number of $150 billion that is being subtracted off of gross sales revenue. Five years ago in our report it was 120 billion," said Montee.