The Missouri Senate will take up debate Wednesday on a tax incentive bill aimed at luring Boeing's commercial airplane plant to St. Louis. That after a Senate committee approved legislation Tuesday night that will offer up to $1.7 billion of incentives over two decades tor Boeing.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and County Executive Charlie Dooley led a delegation of officials testifying Tuesday evening before the Senate committee. They touted the thousands of jobs a new Boeing plant would bring to the area.
Earlier Tuesday, Governor Jay Nixon released an economic analysis showing Missouri would take in more additional tax revenues than it would waive in incentives.
St. Louis area governments also would offer incentives. But local economic development officials said they weren't ready Tuesday to put a price tag on those incentives.
Missouri is one of several states competing to assemble the Boeing 777X airplane.
A fundraiser for a state senator from the St. Louis area is drawing fire.
State Senator Brian Nieves (R) plans to give raffle off an AR-15 assault rifle at a fundraiser in Pacific next month. Raffle tickets will go to supporters who give $1,000 or more at the October 12th event.
Critics accuse Nieves of stunting to draw support for an override of Nixon's veto of a controversial gun rights bill -- a bill that criminalizes the enforcement of federal gun laws in Missouri, and which Nieves sponsored.
But the Senator says this isn't the first time he's given away a gun at a fundraiser, its just the first AR-15.
Missouri lawmakers will gather in Jefferson City Wednesday and attempt to override a number of Nixon vetoes, including House Bill 436.
Nieves represents Franklin and western St. Louis Counties.
Call it the tale of two hearings.
Missouri Senate and House committees each held hearings Wednesday on the state's Medicaid program. Each focused on different perspectives.
At the House hearing in St. Louis, most testified in favor of expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. But at the Senate hearing in Jefferson City, the stress was on the need to overhaul the system first -- by finding ways to reduce costs and improve care.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri's 8.5-billion dollar Medicaid program currently serves 875-thousand low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children. Expansion would add about 260-thousand low-income, working people.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Senate Democrats blocked a vote on legislation that would change which projects fall under the state's wage requirement for public construction projects.
Under current law, "maintenance" work is not subject to the state's prevailing wage rules. But a 2011 Missouri Supreme Court decision expanded the definition of "construction," causing more projects to be subject to the wage requirement.
The bill that stalled Monday would define maintenance as routine, recurring and usual work that cannot exceed $75,000. Any work that does not meet those requirements would be subject to the prevailing wage. Democrats argue the measure would allow government entities to do construction projects without paying the wage requirement.
Prevailing wage is the rate paid for a give trade on public construction projects.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has passed additional funding for Capitol repairs, design plans for a new facility at the state mental hospital and for the state parks system.
The measure was approved by a 29-4 vote on Wednesday. It would allow the state to spend $50 million on new Capitol windows and structural repairs, $38 million on a new state office building, $20 million for parks and $13 million to fund design plans at Fulton State Hospital.
Lawmakers moved forward with the additional funding last week after Gov. Jay Nixon's administration released an April financial report showing state revenue had increased by more than 11 percent from last year.
The spending plan now heads back to the House.
It looks like the last of the safeguards Missouri legislators had initially placed on casinos could soon be tossed out.
A bill now before the Senate would let the state’s 13 casinos issue short-term loans to gamblers, secured by the gamblers' bank accounts. The measure easily won approval in the state house last month.
Casino executives say they need to be able to provide credit in order to attract high-end gamers who don't want to carry large amounts of cash.
The measure would repeal the last of the safeguards that were in the original state law voters passed in 1992 when they legalized riverboat gambling. The rule requiring riverboat casinos to actually be on a boat on a river, and $500 loss limits have already been repealed.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has passed a bill that would allow designated school personnel to carry concealed weapons in school buildings.
The Senate voted 26-6 Thursday to pass the measure. It now heads back to the House for further consideration.
The bill would allow school employees to voluntary become "protection officers" if they have a valid concealed weapons permit and undergo training for the position.
The legislation would also lower the minimum age required to obtain a concealed weapons permit from 21 to 19. It would also allow firearms of less than 16 inches to be openly carried even in municipalities that have ordinances against it.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - People fired for missing work and not following company rules could have a harder time claiming unemployment benefits under a bill sent to Gov. Jay Nixon.
The House voted 98-57 to pass the measure Wednesday. The Senate passed the same bill in February.
Fired workers who engaged in "misconduct" at the workplace can be denied benefits under current law. But the legislation expands the definition of "misconduct" to include chronic absenteeism and "knowing" violations of an employer's rules. The current standard requires "willful disregard" of an employer's regulations.
Supporters say many workers fired for reasons such as sleeping on the job are allowed to collect benefits under the current system. Opponents say the measure could deny benefits to people fired wrongly.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - State employees could keep firearms in their vehicles on state property under a bill heard by a Missouri Senate committee.
The measure considered Tuesday by the Senate General Laws Committee would allow those employees to have a firearm in their car if it is locked and the gun is not visible.
The legislation would also increase penalties for convicted felons who use an illegal firearm while committing another crime. But the committee's chairman, Republican Sen. Brian Nieves, said he wants to take that provision out of the bill.
The House has already passed the measure, and Nieves said he wanted the Senate committee vote on it Wednesday.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republican senators have made it clear that there will be no Medicaid expansion in Missouri this session.
The Republican-led Senate voted down a Democratic attempt Monday night to insert $890 million of federal funds into Missouri's budget to expand Medicaid eligibility to an estimated 260,000 lower-income adults.
The vote was just the latest in a series of similar defeats in the Missouri Legislature for the Medicaid expansion backed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and called for under President Barack Obama's health care law.
But this vote carried a bit more weight. That's because it ensured that neither the Senate nor the House version of the budget includes the Medicaid expansion. Under legislative rules, negotiators cannot insert money into the final budget that wasn't in either chamber's plan.