Legislative Issues

Check back here for items of interest in the Missouri legislature.

Recent News


February 7, 2012Capitol Reports, Jan. 27, 2012


Headline:  Legislation filed to address Missouri's failed school districts [Entered: 01/26/2012]

Legislation was filed Thursday [Jan. 26] to address the accreditation loss of the school districts in Missouri's two largest cities, St. Louis and Kansas City.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-St. Louis County, takes a substantially different approach for the two areas.

For Kansas City, Cunningham's measure effectively would eliminate the school district and divide up the district among adjoining school districts.

For St. Louis, her plan would expand charter school alternatives and provide government support for parents to send their kids to private or parochial schools.

Just before the start of the 2012 legislative session, the legislature's top leaders had made dealing with the non-accredited districts a "must-pass" issue.

The governor included reference to the two school districts in his State of the State address but did not offer any specific solutions.

* Get the bill, SB 706 [ http://www.mdn.org/cgi-bin/bills/billhttp.exe?FORM=SB&NUMp6 ] .


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Headline:  Missouri presidential primary a 'formality' in eyes ... continued



February 3, 2012Capitol Reports, Feb. 3, 2012


Headline:  Senate forces out governor's nominees for economic development director, UM Board of Curators [Entered: 02/02/2012]

By Jordan Shapiro

Facing expected Senate rejection of his confirmation, Jason Hall announced Thursday [Feb. 2] his resignation as director of the Department of Economic Development. On the same day, the Senate blocked the nomination of Columbia attorney Craig Van Matre to the University of Missouri System Board of Curators.

Hall's resignation was announced in a news release issued by the governor's office as the Senate began meeting about gubernatorial nominations.

Neither the governor nor his communications staff was available for immediate comment.

During Senate debate, Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, said that at age 36, Hall was too young and lacked sufficient business experience to manage the agency that handles business promotion for the state.

During his earlier confirmation hearing, some members expressed frustration that Hall would not directly answer questions about his positions on various economic development issues.

Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, showed frustration in a meeting Monday [Jan. 30] after Hall told him he had no opinion on several ... continued


January 20, 2012Capitol Reports, Jan. 20, 2012

Headline:  Public universities hit hardest under governor's budget proposal [Entered: 01/17/2012]

By Jordan Shapiro

Public universities would bear the brunt of Missouri's budget shortfall under the 2013 budget proposal Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon presented Tuesday [Jan. 17] during his State of the State address.

Nixon's budget would cut all public universities by 15 percent of appropriations approved by the legislature last year for 2012. It would be the largest percentage cut to Missouri's public universities in the past two decades. Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, called the cuts "unacceptable."

"Can public universities survive with that kind of cut?" Schaefer asked.

A top Democrat and educator on the House Budget Committee, Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, said she was concerned about the universities. Lampe said she did not know how the colleges would be able to survive such a cut without raising tuition.

In an hour-long speech, Nixon made only one brief reference to the higher education cuts.

"I am calling on our colleges and universities to continue to look for more ways to cut overhead administrative costs and run smarter, more efficient operations," ... continued


January 6, 2012Capitol Reports, Jan. 6, 2012

Headline:  Missouri's General Assembly begins, legislative leaders cite the budget, education and business as the top agenda. [Entered: 01/04/2012]

In opening-day addresses on Wednesday [Jan. 4], the top leaders of Missouri's House and Senate cited similar issues as top priorities for lawmakers to resolve -- education funding, the budget and pro-business legislation.

The legislature's regular session begins just a few months after lawmakers failed in the summer special session to pass the governor's package of business tax breaks for economic development.

Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer said that failure has created an incentive for the regular session. "A lot of legislators, including myself, were disappointed that we didn't get done what we wanted to during special session and that gives us the incentive to get some things done in this new session," Mayer said.

Both Mayer and House Speaker Steve Tilley stressed bi-partisan cooperation in their opening-day remarks.

"In seven years, I've done my best to foster bi-partisanship," Tilley told his colleagues. "When I go back to private life, my fondest memories will not be the bills I help pass or even the fights we won on the floor. Instead, it will be ... continued


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