Missouri General Assembly

Gov. Eric Greitens, who has called for ethics reforms, faces a fine from the Missouri Ethics Commission for failing to report that his gubernatorial campaign received a donor list from a charity he founded.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

As the Missouri General Assembly heads into the last two weeks of the 2017 legislative session, there’s a lot left on the agenda, and little of it is without controversy: a prescription drug monitoring program, REAL ID, abortion restrictions and final passage of the budget. In this episode, Sen. Caleb Rowden describes what many will see as this session's signature accomplishment--fully funding the foundation formula for K-12 education. He also suggests that it's okay for Republicans, who control most levers of power in the state, to disagree about how best to govern.

Updated 9 p.m. April 26 with budget moving forward — Missouri’s $27.8 billion budget for next fiscal year passed the Senate on Wednesday night, 9 days before the constitutional deadline.

It’s back in the hands of the state House, and both chambers have to appoint negotiators to hammer out a final version. The budget must be to Greitens by 6 p.m. May 5 or risk needing a special session.


It’ll be easier to use ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft throughout Missouri, especially airports, under the bill signed Monday by Gov. Eric Greitens.

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A Washington-based watchdog group has joined calls for an investigation into Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard over campaign contributions he received from a Joplin businessman.

While Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and potential GOP rival U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner collect millions of dollars in campaign donations, many Missouri officials are raising far less as they adjust to new state campaign donation limits.

Campaign finance reports from Jan. 1 to March 31 also showed that Gov. Eric Greitens spent more than a half-million dollars in that timespan, with a large chunk going toward a media services firm run by Georgia-based consultant Nick Ayers, who also has done work for Vice President Mike Pence.

Many high-achieving and low-income high school students bound for college get an assist from the state of Missouri in the form of modest scholarships.

The trouble is that budget constraints have left programs that help both groups of students underfunded and unable to keep up with rising tuition. That’s bad news for high school seniors who’ll be choosing where to go to school in the coming weeks.

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Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

Did Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard sponsor a bill to help a Joplin business avoid a costly lawsuit in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations?

Updated at 1:35 p.m. with bill passing — The three-year battle to get a ride-hailing bill to the governor’s desk is finally over.

The Missouri House overwhelmingly passed HB 130 on Thursday by a 144-7 vote, which would craft statewide regulations for Uber, Lyft and other app-based companies to operate anywhere in the state.

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Did Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard sponsor a bill to help a Joplin business avoid a costly lawsuit in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations?

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

As a House-approved $27.8 billion state budget heads to the Senate, we sit down with Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Ryan Silvey to talk about who wins and who loses in this proposal and the process for crafting a budget. Silvey also talks about his hopes for the REAL ID legislation he is sponsoring, and he weighs in on recent suggestions that his fellow Republican, Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, has engaged in pay-for-play by sponsoring a bill sought by a wealthy donor.

Missouri’s budget for the next fiscal year has cleared its second major hurdle, but the next one won’t be quite so easy.

 

The House passed all 13 budget bills Thursday, so the full budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which begins July 1, is now in the hands of the Senate. GOP leaders sharply disagree with the lower chamber’s move to fully fund the state’s K-12 school funding formula — putting an extra $45 million toward schools compared to the $3 million increase Gov. Eric Greitens had asked for.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is the state’s first chief executive to set up nonprofit groups that can raise unlimited amounts of money from unknown donors.

The governor’s chief advisor, Austin Chambers, says there’s nothing unusual about it — and he’s right. Governors in Michigan, Illinois, Massachusetts and Georgia, as well as New York Mayor Bill DiBlasio, are among the politicians who have set up similar nonprofit organizations, or have allies who have set them up.

Mike Russo / KCUR 89.3

Rep. Mark Ellebracht, D-Liberty, and Rep. T.J. Berry, R-Kearney, joined Statehouse Blend Missouri for a live taping in a neighborhood that straddles their two districts. They talked about campaign finance reform, the prospect for Real ID legislation and a prescription drug monitoring program. 

A new Missouri rule will strip state family planning funds from organizations that provide abortions, including hospitals. But several facilities are choosing to go without the money, instead of providing the state with a letter to certify that they do not offer the procedure.

At issue is a $10.8 million portion of the state’s Medicaid program, which covers pelvic exams, tests for sexually transmitted diseases and  family planning services for about 70,000 low-income Missouri women. To prevent violating a federal law that says Medicaid patients must be allowed to choose their own provider, the state is rejecting about $8.3 million annually in federal funds, and paying the difference with money from the state.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

What has happened in the Missouri General Assembly this legislative session, what does it mean and what might happen before the end of session? Missouri political reporters Bryan Lowry and Jason Rosenbaum hash out the mid-session winners and losers in Jefferson City.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

A New Missouri Inc., a recently founded nonprofit with ties to Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, has Sen. John Rizzo, D-Kansas City, worried about financial transparency and wondering how Democrats can keep up. 

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The Vietnam War didn't end silently, it went out to the loud riffs of rock n' roll. Revisit the songs that shaped the 1960s and '70s, and captured the moods of soldiers overseas and civilians at home. We also find out how the electric guitar became the international symbol of freedom, danger and rebellion.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has been traveling around the country conducting state business and freshman Rep. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, wants to know who's paying for those trips. 

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In such a divided era in America, is respect for different faiths critical to the country's success? A former member of President Obama's Faith Advisory Council answers that question. Then, trout season begins on March 1 and there's no better place in Missouri to ring it in than Bennett Spring State Park, outside Lebanon.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

Syria, Iran, Sudan—Missouri’s State Treasurer Eric Schmitt doesn’t want any of your tax dollars going to these countries. He joins us this week to talk about his plan to keep investment dollars out of the hands of state sponsors of terror.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, Rep. Mike Ceirpiot (R-Lee Summit) talks about school funding, Medicaid expansion, and his role as House Majority Leader.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) talks about his tense meeting with Gov. Eric Greitens and their subsequent reconciliation. 

More than 200 volunteers from the national Moms Demand Action organization protested two new gun-concealment legislation at the state Capitol on Wednesday.

The measures would allow students and teachers in K-12 public schools and university campuses to carry concealed handguns. 

Becky Morgan, the head of the Missouri chapter, said they have support from university presidents, law enforcement leaders and leaders of college campuses.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, right-to-work has passed the legislature, but Rep. Judy Morgan (D-Kansas City) says the Democrats aren't giving up.

Guests:

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Chef Lidia Bastianich has been bringing Italian food to public television viewers since 1998. Now, she's bringing the tastes of Carnevale di Venezia to her Kansas City restaurant. Then, President Trump's executive order suspending entry of refugees and citizens from seven predominately-Muslim countries has been met with controversy.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this weeks Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, Rep. Kevin Corlew (R-Kansas City) talks about Real ID, Governor Eric Greitens' budget cuts, and legislation to change the standards for expert witnesses.

Guests:

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley plans to be in court today to support a federal lawsuit that challenges former President Barack Obama’s order to expand the nation’s overtime rules to cover about 4 million more workers.

It’s the second time Hawley has targeted the federal government since he took office Jan. 9 – and in line with his campaign pledge to challenge any federal action that he believes is illegal or against Missouri’s interests.

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After success in the state House of Representatives last Thursday, a right-to-work bill is front and center today in the Missouri Senate. We look at the pros and cons of forcing workers in unionized companies to pay union fees. Then, we learn about one Good Samaritan's efforts to reduce a rash of break-ins in Hyde Park.

On this weeks Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, Rep. Lauren Arthur (D-Kansas City) talks about the future of the state's Democratic party, Gov. Eric Greitens' State of the State address, and casting the lone no vote in committee on the session's first ethics reform bill.

Guests:

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