Missouri General Assembly

The length of time a Missourian could receive welfare benefits would be cut in half, if legislation passed by the Missouri House becomes law.

It's been 20 years since there's been a Latino on Kansas City, Mo.'s city council; and there isn't currently any Latino representation on the Unified Government board of commissioners either. That's even while our metro's Hispanic community has been growing significantly.

  • CiCi Rojas, president and CEO, Central Exchange
  • Irene Caudillo, president and CEO, El Centro
  • Louis Ruiz, Kansas state representative, District 31 (Wyandotte County)

Wikimedia Commons - CC

As legislators in Kansas and Missouri get back to work, we thought it a good time to ask you, the people of Kansas City, what you would like to ask them. Or tell them, if you're so inclined. 

We got an array of responses back.

@Mattk2 tweeted: if given the choice between funding education and cutting taxes, which would you choose and who (did you) listen to?

A number of you referred money in politics.

The 2015 Missouri legislative session is underway, and here are some of the highlights of the day.

Nixon gets first say on start of session

The day began with the annual Governor's Prayer Breakfast, after which he answered questions from reporters on a few topics, including whether Medicaid expansion was already a lost cause for 2015.  Nixon, of course, said it wasn't at all.

jimmywayne / Flickr

With more than 500 bills pre-filed so far, the Missouri General Assembly will be facing a variety of issues – from school transfers to ethics — when its 197 members return to Jefferson City this week.

But compared to recent legislative sessions, legislative leaders have so far sent few signals as to which bills will get serious consideration and which ones will simply serve as political wallpaper.

Derek Jensen / Wikimedia Commons

A new bill introduced to the Missouri General Assembly seeks to give voters the choice to ban the use and enforcement of red light and speeding cameras statewide.

Earlier this month, the Missouri Supreme Court heard three cases testing the legality of traffic cameras. But Mo. Rep. Paul Curtman (R) of the 109th District wants to give the final say to voters.

Bernard Pollack / Flickr--CC

A constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot could limit gubernatorial power over the state's budget. 

Missouri Constitutional Amendment 10 seeks to restrict the governor's power to withhold revenue based on projected budget shortfalls. It has quickly become one of the most politicized amendments on the ballot.

Ballot language:

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.

Mo. Senate Blocks 72-hour Abortion Waiting Period

Mar 6, 2014

Legislation that would require a 72-hour waiting period for abortions is moving forward in the Missouri House, while it's Senate counterpart is stalled.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is attending the National Governors Association's winter meetings in Washington DC this weekend, and once again he's been questioned about his political future.

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.

Hello Turkey Toe / Flickr--CC

A freshman state representative from the St. Louis area has introduced a bill in the House that would make the high-five the official greeting in the state of Missouri.

Democratic Rep. Courtney Allen Curtis, of Berkeley, introduced House Bill 1624 earlier this week.

A study released Thursday by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry states that Missouri is, quote, “falling behind” when it comes to providing digital learning for K-12 students.

Missouri Chamber CEO Dan Mehan says although online learning options are available in the Show-Me state, most require tuition, while those that don’t are limited geographically.

“If we hope to keep pace with the changing landscape in education, we need to start by opening up virtual pathways to give our students more options for learning and success,”said Mehan. 

Saint Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

A new website unveiled Tuesday will track the life of some bills introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate during the 2014 legislative session.

MOBillTracker.org, created by Saint Louis Public Radio and the Beacon, will track bills in five categories: health; elections and ethics; guns; education; jobs; and the economy. There is a sixth category that will track bills that have seen recent action.

A Missouri Senate committee heard testimony Monday on the latest effort by Republicans to require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

KCUR

 An effort to increase speed limits in Missouri has us curious about your history with speed in the Show-Me state.

Missouri could become more lead-foot friendly if a proposal to increase the maximum speed limit on rural interstates, from 70 to 75 mph, makes it through the Missouri Legislature this year.

Five bills that would each revamp Missouri's student transfer law were examined Wednesday by a State Senate committee.

Increased spending on education and another call to expand Medicaid highlighted Gov. Jay Nixon’s State of the State Address before the Missouri General Assembly Tuesday.

The speech received cheers and standing ovations from fellow Democrats, but stony silence from the Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

Courtesy / jaynixon.com

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon delivered his sixth State of the State address Tuesday evening at the Statehouse in Jefferson City, Mo. He presented his proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, and called for an increase of $278 million to K-12 schools and a freeze on undergraduate tuition. 

His speech was followed by the Republican response, delivered by House speaker Tim Jones of Eureka.

Saint Louis Public Radio and the Beacon live-blogged the speech. You can follow along below.

The Speaker of the Missouri House is pushing lawmakers to restore caps on damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Missouri law created a $350,000 cap on non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. But that cap was tossed out in 2012 by the Missouri Supreme Court.

House Speaker Tim Jones says without the cap, millions of dollars could be shifted from patient care to legal defense costs.

Missouri Secretary of State's Office

Missouri Secretary of State, Jason Kander, released a proposal Tuesday to change Missouri's campaign finance regulations. But, it is a long-shot in the Republican-led legislature.

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Kander about his goals with the proposal and what the biggest problems are.

Guest:

  • Jason Kander, Missouri Secretary of State

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.

A bill that would turn Missouri into a right-to-work state was the subject of a hearing in Jefferson City Monday.

As written, the so-called “Freedom to Work Act” would bar workers from being required to engage or cease engaging in labor union activities as a condition for employment.

Greg Johns with the group Missourians for Right to Work cites Oklahoma as an example of where it has worked.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's proposal to land production of Boeing's 777X passenger jet is two steps closer to success, as the Missouri Senate gave it both first-round and final approval Wednesday.

Legislation that would provide tax breaks for Boeing to build its 777X passenger jet in Missouri was passed Tuesday night by two legislative committees.

First, the Missouri Senate Committee on Economic Development passed their version of the bill, followed a few hours later by the House Economic Development Committee passing its version.  There are no major differences in the two – both would provide $150 million in incentives to Boeing to build the 777X at its campus near Lambert Airport. 

Missouri's special legislative session kicked off late Monday afternoon, as lawmakers officially began work on Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's proposal to land Boeing's contract to build the 777X passenger jet.

The Missouri House briefly convened around 4:00 p.m. and adjourned for the day roughly 10 minutes later. Republican Speaker Tim Jones said afterwards that the Governor has been mum so far on the total projected cost of the Boeing project and the projected return on investment.

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