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Wednesday, 11 September 2013 16:24

Missouri Legislature override session roundup

Lawmakers in both the Missouri House and Senate continue to debate which of Governor Nixon's dozens of vetoes they will try to override. Here's what has happened so far:

AGENDA 21: Senate approves override

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators have voted to override a veto of legislation barring state or local officials from adopting policies infringing upon private property rights and traceable to Agenda 21.

Agenda 21 is a nonbinding resolution adopted in 1992 by the United Nations that encouraged sustainable development. Its title is a reference to the 21st century, and it encourages changes in global consumption, management and conservation practices.

Senators supported the override 24-6 on Wednesday. It now moves to the House, where it originally passed 118-37.

Gov. Jay Nixon said the legislation would require a costly analysis by cities and governmental bodies to determine if a zoning ordinance can be traced to the resolution. Supporters say their concern is infringement of personal property rights without due process.

Foreign ownership of farm land: Senate approves override

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has voted to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of an agriculture measure.

The legislation includes changes to Missouri's animal abuse and neglect law and a longer maximum prison sentence for stealing livestock. It also would replace a prohibition on foreign ownership of farmland with a 1 percent cap.

Nixon had objected to the provisions on foreign ownership and animal abuse.

The Senate voted 23-10 Wednesday to override the veto, sending the measure to the House, where 109 votes are needed to override. The House passed the bill earlier 133-21.

Proponents of the bill contend changes to the animal abuse and neglect law are needed and that tougher punishment for stealing livestock could help combat cattle rustling.

Creation of an online database for worker's compensation claims: Senate approves override

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has voted to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of legislation calling for creation of an online database of workers' compensation claims.

Wednesday's 25-9 Senate vote sent the bill to the House, which passed it earlier this year with less than the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.

Under the measure, businesses could provide a potential employee's name and Social Security Number to identify the date of workers' compensation claims and whether the claim is open or closed.

Supporters say the bill would help businesses control workers' compensation costs. Nixon cited privacy concerns when he vetoed the legislation and called it "an affront to the privacy of our citizens."

Lawmakers override veto of funding for vocational school

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have voted to override a line-item budget veto of $1 million to help rebuild a vocational education school in northeast Missouri.

The House's 112-47 vote was the first taken Wednesday as lawmakers considered 33 vetoes by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. Senators then approved the override 28-5.

At issue is money targeted for the Pike-Lincoln Technical Center, which was damaged by a fire. Although the school had insurance, bill supporters said it was not enough to outfit the building with computers and make it accessible to people with disabilities.

Nixon said he vetoed the bill because of the source of the money. He said lawmakers want to pay for the repairs from a fund dedicated for the state school funding formula.

Shield law for volunteer health care providers: Senate approves override

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has voted to override a veto of legislation seeking to shield volunteer health care providers from lawsuits.

The measure would prevent civil damages against the volunteers unless there was a gross deviation from the ordinary standard of care or willful misconduct.

Supporters contend the bill would let doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others provide free health care for sponsoring organizations by protecting them against claims.

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the legislation and said allowing coverage through the State Legal Expense Fund would encourage volunteerism and protect those who have been harmed.

Senators voted 25-9 on Wednesday to override the veto. The measure now goes to the House.

Bill would make it harder for fired workers to get jobless benefits: Senate approves override 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators have voted to override a veto of legislation that could make it harder for workers to receive jobless benefits by expanding what counts as misconduct.

Jobless benefits can be denied to a worker who loses a position because of misbehavior. The unemployment legislation seeks to broaden it to include things like unapproved absences or the violation of a company rule.

The Senate voted 24-10 on Wednesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto. The legislation now goes to the House.

Nixon had said the legislation would broaden the definition of misconduct to cover activities occurring outside the workplace and work hours.

Lawmakers could vote through videoconferencing: Senate approves override

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has voted to override the veto of legislation allowing elected officials to cast votes remotely.

Currently, members of a governmental body comprised of elected officials must physically attend a meeting to vote. The vetoed legislation would allow them to vote through videoconferencing.

Senators voted 31-3 on Wednesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto. The legislation now moves to the House, where it encountered little opposition earlier this year.

Nixon said elected officials should be able to use technology to participate in meetings but should be expected to show up to cast a vote.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is cheering the decision of lawmakers to sustain his veto of an income tax cut bill.

The House voted 94-67 Wednesday to override Nixon's veto, well short of the 109 votes needed for a two-thirds majority.

Nixon issued a statement Wednesday saying the vote was "a defining moment for our state and a victory for all Missourians."

He called the legislation "fiscally irresponsible" and asserted that it would have "defunded our schools and weakened our economy."

Fifteen Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the veto override.

Republican Party leaders had said the legislation was needed to help businesses compete with neighboring states that have recently cut taxes.

The bill would have gradually reduced income taxes both for businesses and individuals.

Published in Local News
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 14:17

Governor Nixon speaks on veto session

One day ahead of the all-important veto session in Jefferson City, Governor Jay Nixon made a stop in the St. Louis area. Nixon spoke in front of the student body at Affton High School, congratulating them on their continued academic achievement.

After his speech, Nixon was asked his thoughts on the republican legislature's attempts to override his tax-cut and gun nullifacation vetoes.

"We're not in junior high here. This is serious business," said Nixon. "I don't look at it as a scoreboard, I look at the substance of the bills. This isn't about some sort of a back and forth, this is about what we should responsibly do as a state."

Nixon vetoed a total of 29 bills. The GOP supermajority in the legislature aims to override as many as possible. 

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - With time running out on the legislative session, The Missouri Bar and state lawmakers are acknowledging that an overhaul of the state's criminal laws won't cross the finish line.

But that group pledged on Wednesday to push for the criminal code revision next year when lawmakers have more time.

The measure is the product of a Missouri Bar committee charged with updating the criminal code for the first time since 1979. It would create new classes of felonies and misdemeanors and give judges more flexibility in sentencing.

Democratic Sen. Jolie Justus, of Kansas City, is one of the overhaul's sponsors. She says time ran out to pass the 1,000-page bill this year.

Missouri lawmakers end their annual session at 6 p.m. Friday.

 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have sent Gov. Jay Nixon a bill that would require public employee unions to get annual consent from their members to deduct fees automatically from paychecks.

The House passed the measure 85-69 on Monday. It passed the Senate earlier this year.

The legislation would also require public employee unions to get annual consent from members to spend a portion of their fees on political activities.

Organizations representing "first responders," such as police and firefighters, would be exempted from the measure.

Supporters say the measure gives public workers more control over how their union fees spent. Opponents argue it makes it harder for unions to participate in the political process.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have one week to sort out differences on top legislative priorities, including changes to tax incentives and limits on liability lawsuits for businesses.

House and Senate Republican leaders are attempting to negotiate legislation that would scale back existing tax breaks for historic buildings and low-income housing and create new incentives for certain businesses.

Lawmakers also are working to bridge a gap in on legislation that would replenish an insolvent fund for injured workers and prevent lawsuits over occupational diseases by covering them through the workers' compensation system.

Some priorities already have been sent to the governor, including an income tax cut for individuals and businesses and a $25 billion operating budget.

Published in Local News
Thursday, 07 March 2013 15:30

Missouri House approves term limits

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed a term limits bill that would let lawmakers serve longer in the House or Senate but not spend more total time in the Legislature.

Currently, lawmakers generally are limited to eight years in the House and eight years in the Senate. A proposed constitutional amendment would let officials serve 16 years in the Legislature. The time could be spent entirely in one chamber or split between the two.

House members passed the measure 121-31 on Thursday, sending it to the Senate. The proposal would appear on the ballot if it passes the Legislature.

Backers of the proposal say the change would allow the Legislature to operate better. The advocacy group U.S. Term Limits says the proposal is an effort to "cling to office."
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Registered sex offenders would have to vote at their local county clerk's office under a bill under consideration in the Missouri House.

The House Elections Committee held a hearing on the measure Tuesday. Republican Rep. Tim Remole, of Excello, is sponsoring the legislation. He says it will protect voting rights for registered offenders while also protecting children in schools that are designated as polling places.

No one testified in opposition to the proposal, but the Missouri Association of County Clerks says it would cost money to turn local election offices into polling places on election day.

If offenders can't make it to the clerk's office on the election day, they would be required to cast an absentee ballot.
Published in Local News

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