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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House Republicans have chosen Majority Leader John Diehl to be their speaker nominee for 2015.

   Republicans met privately during Wednesday's veto override session. Diehl and House member Caleb Jones, of California, Mo., had been seeking the nod to be speaker.

   The House speaker is the top position in the 163 member House and officially is elected by the chamber on the first day of each biennial session. Republicans currently hold 109 seats. Under a tradition begun several terms ago, Republicans have picked their next speaker nominee more than a year before the election to give the person time to prepare for the job.

   Current Speaker Tim Jones is barred by term limits from seeking re-election to the House in 2014.

 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones is rallying support for an effort to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of tax-cutting legislation.

Jones, a Republican from Eureka, says reducing taxes would grow the economy, create additional economic opportunities and allow more funding for education. On Wednesday, Nixon was renewing his objections to the tax legislation in southern Missouri. The Democratic governor has traveled throughout the state to defend the veto.

Nixon's asserts the tax cut would jeopardize funding for government services and boost taxes on prescription drugs.

Jones told supporters in Fulton on Tuesday that he sees "the momentum on our side." He says it is a commonsense measure.

House Republicans are meeting this week to discuss possible veto overrides. Missouri lawmakers return to the state Capitol on Sept. 11.

 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A judge has spared members of Gov. Jay Nixon's administration from testifying before a Missouri House panel investigating state driver's license procedures.

Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green issued a preliminary order Thursday blocking the committee from proceeding with the subpoenas. The order did not elaborate on why.

An attorney representing the Nixon administration employees had argued the subpoenas imposed an unreasonable burden by providing too little notice and taking the employees away from important work. He also asserted there was no legal authority for the subpoenas.

The committee is looking into whether state officials tried to implement provisions of the Real ID Act, despite a state law forbidding compliance with the federal proof-of-identity law.

House Speaker Tim Jones issued the subpoenas. He suggested Nixon is trying to hide something.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The leader of the Missouri House says an attempt to access a secure website listing Missouri's concealed gun permit holders was part of an investigation into whether the state had appropriately shielded the information.

In an interview with The Associated Press, House Speaker Tim Jones declined Monday to identify the person who tried to access the information last Thursday. But Jones said it was an appropriate action.

Gov. Jay Nixon's administration revealed last week that someone using a House computer address repeatedly tried to access the site. It said those attempts were unauthorized because information on concealed gun permit holders can only be shared with law enforcement.

The information was posted online for a federal fraud investigator, who testified last week that he opted not to download the information.

Published in Local News

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