Missouri General Assembly

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Missouri Rep. Joe Don McGaugh from District 039 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss agriculture, education, and Medicaid expansion.

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on itunes.

Guests:

  • Joe Don McGaugh, Rep. for District 039, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Arley Hoskin, Citizen Voice
  • Mike McGraw, Special Projects Reporter, Flatland KC

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Missouri Rep. Joe Don McGaugh from District 039 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss agriculture, education, and Medicaid expansion.

Guests:

  • Joe Don McGaugh, Rep. for District 039, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Arley Hoskin, Citizen Voice
  • Mike McGraw, Special Projects Reporter, Flatland KC

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Missouri Rep. Judy Morgan from District 024 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss infrastructure, education, and the culture of Jefferson City.

This is only an excerpt of this week's episode, but you can listen to the full show here for even more Missouri capital conversation.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Missouri Rep. Judy Morgan from District 024 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss infrastructure, education, and the culture of Jefferson City.

Guests:

  • Judy Morgan, Rep. for the District 024, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Eric Bunch, Citizen Voice
  • Gina Kaufmann, Host of Central Standard, KCUR

Amid all the talk about the misbehavior so obviously plaguing Jefferson City, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill contends that the real issue is that little has changed.

She was an intern in the Missouri capital 41 years ago. “I am bitterly disappointed that the climate has not changed significantly since 1974,’’ the senator said, recalling her own experiences with off-color jokes and unsolicited sexual comments.

Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Last May, former Missouri House Speaker John Diehl resigned after journalists at the Kansas City Star obtained sexually charged text messages that Diehl had sent to a former intern.

Now, Sen. Paul LeVota of Independence has come under scrutiny after two former interns alleged that he propositioned them for sex and then retaliated when they refused.  

On Friday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske was joined by former Statehouse interns Sarah Felts and Casey Millburg, former Rep. Sandra Reeves and Rep. Kevin Engler to talk about the rising issue of sexual harassment in the Missouri Statehouse.

Dozens of bills passed by Missouri lawmakers this year remain unsigned as the deadline for taking action approaches.

They include the sole Ferguson-related bill passed during the 2015 legislative session.

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a constitutional amendment that broadened gun rights in the state.

Voters approved Amendment 5 in August 2014 with 61 percent of the vote. It made the right to own firearms, ammunition and other accessories in the state "unalienable," and said any form of gun control should be subject to "strict scrutiny." The amendment also allowed the open carrying of guns.

Only one major piece of legislation passed the Missouri General Assembly during its final day of the 2015 session, capping a surreal and strange week that saw the House speaker resign and the Senate paralyzed.

After days of delay, both chambers found time Friday to swiftly approve a must-pass bill necessary for the state to accept its annual $3.5 billion in federal money to pay for the existing Medicaid program and related health care expenses.

(Updated 11 a.m. Friday, May 15) Missouri Rep. Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, was elected and sworn in as new House speaker Friday, and swiftly got the House back to the business at hand — passing bills in the final hours of a surreal last week of session.

"This is not the time for speeches,'' Richardson said, ending tumultuous applause from the packed chamber. "This is a time to get back to work."

Updated 1:40 p.m. Thurs, May 14: Missouri House Speaker John Diehl, R-Town and Country, has announced he's resigning as speaker and as a member of the Missouri House.

His statement was issued less than 28 hours after news broke that he had been exchanging sexually salacious texts with a college-age female intern earlier this spring.

Diehl's statement does not say, however, when he will step down. The General Assembly's legislative session officially ends at 6 p.m. Friday. State Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, told reporters the House's GOP caucus will select a new speaker tonight.

(Updated, 1 p.m. Tues., May 12) Just days before the General Assembly must adjourn, all other legislative issues are being held hostage while the Missouri Senate debates the hottest issue of the session: an anti-union bill known as “right to work.”

The Senate took up the bill Tuesday morning, after a committee voted 5-3 late Monday to send the measure to the floor.  Opponents quickly launched into a filibuster.

Missouri families in need are facing some big changes. On May 5, the Missouri House completed the override of Governor Nixon’s veto of the Strengthening Missouri Families Act.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we examine the reasons behind the governor’s rejection of the act and what its supporters say will result from altering welfare assistance.

Updated 5 p.m., Wed., May 6 -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon had harsh words for the General Assembly’s action to override his veto of a bill that shortens the period for low-income families to receive welfare benefits. The bill also imposes new work requirements.

During a stop in St. Louis, the governor said he didn't object to changing the work requirements. But he did object to the way it was done, which his administration says will result in about 6,500 children getting knocked off the state's welfare rolls.

"You don't move the state forward by taking benefits away from 6,500 kids,'' Nixon said. He explained that there were ways, such as a "protected payee program" that would have penalized the parents, but not the children.

"What did a 5-year-old do wrong?" he asked. "There were a lot of ways where kids didn't have to suffer here."

With three weeks left in the 2015 legislative session, Missouri lawmakers have passed all 13 bills that make up the state's $26 billion spending plan for Fiscal 2016, which begins July 1.

After more than five hours of talks that stretched into the early morning hours, House and Senate negotiators have signed off on next year's $26 billion state budget.

Legislation that would reduce lifetime eligibility for most welfare recipients in Missouri is on its way to Gov. Jay Nixon's desk.

An earlier version of the bill would have cut lifetime eligibility for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or TANF, in half, from 5 years to two and 1/2.  But a compromise between the House and Senate reduces that period to 3 years and 9 months.

Brandon Ellington has been an outspoken proponent of legal reform in the aftermath of the Department of Justice report on Ferguson, Missouri. But he won't call the bills he's pushing in the Legislature "Ferguson-related bills." Here's why.

Plus, what it's like to be a minority in the Legislature, in every sense of that word. 

Guest:

  • Brandon Ellington, Missouri State Representative for District 2, leader of Missouri's Black Legislative Caucus

Cody Newill / KCUR

Ten members of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus held a town hall at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts in Kansas City Saturday to let community members know about some of the bills they've been working on in the 2015 session.

Frustration was evident from both the lawmakers and the several dozen attendees. Although some of the Caucus members' measures have been supported by the Republican-dominated legislature, nearly all the lawmakers talked about difficulties with conservative leaders in both chambers.

Legislation designed to aid some delinquent taxpayers in Missouri is on its way to Gov. Jay Nixon's desk.

The House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed HB 384, the "tax amnesty" bill, which would allow people behind on their state income taxes to pay them off without additional penalties or interest.

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.

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