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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 6:42 pm
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.
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.
The Missouri Department of Revenue must now accept joint state income tax returns from same-sex married couples, following an executive order issued Thursday by Gov. Jay Nixon.
Gov. Nixon says the order is necessary for two reasons – because Missouri law requires married couples who file joint federal tax returns to also file joint state returns, and because of the U.S. Treasury Department’s recent decision to recognize same-sex marriages, even for couples living in states that don’t recognize gay marriage.
An interim committee of the Missouri Senate has adopted a draft report with recommendations on reforming the state’s Medicaid system, but the report specifically leaves out the possibility of Medicaid expansion.
The Republican chair of the committee, Gary Romine of Farmington, says Medicaid must be reformed before any expansion can be considered. Democrats balked at that position, but then said they’d back the committee’s report if they could add language reflecting that the majority of public testimony collected called for expanding Medicaid.
A state audit released Tuesday finds that local governments and school districts in Missouri have cost themselves $43 million by not allowing competition for underwriting public bonds.
Republican State Auditor Tom Schweich cites the practice of negotiated bond sales, in which an underwriter is hired in advance and sometimes acts as a financial advisor to the local government that issues the bond.
In partnership with NPR, St. Louis Public Radio has created a new website to keep track of all the gifts Missouri state lawmakers have been receiving from companies and organizations that have lobbyists at the capitol in Jefferson City. And, the information is searchable and downloadable.
An interim Missouri House committee has resumed examining the state’s Medicaid system this week. Lawmakers spent part of Tuesday taking a closer look at how some other states with GOP-led legislatures have expanded Medicaid
Committee member Chris Molendorp was the only House Republican to support Medicaid expansion during this year’s legislative session. He says Missouri should consider adopting Florida’s practice of using Medicaid to cover so-called wrap-around services, such as providing transportation for kidney dialysis patients.