The House opened debate Tuesday on the state's 2014 budget by defeating an effort to send the budget back to a committee in hopes of adding more than $900 million of federal funds to expand Medicaid for low-income adults.
The defeat of Tuesday's motion was almost a foregone conclusion in the Republican-led House, because the House Budget Committee had previously rejected the Medicaid expansion.
Democratic Gov. Jay was traveling Tuesday to suburbs of Kansas City and St. Louis to build public support for the Medicaid expansion.
The 2010 health care law signed by President Barack Obama calls for a Medicaid expansion, but a Supreme Court ruling last year made it optional for states.
A 2007 Missouri Supreme Court ruling had banned prosecutors in child sex abuse cases from using "propensity evidence," which is often used to show a suspect has a proclivity to do the alleged crime. The ruling made Missouri the most restrictive state in the nation by banning such evidence as prior convictions.
Representative John McCaherty, a High Ridge Republican, filed a bill that would allow prosecutors to use prior convictions, along with findings by the state Children's Services Division indicating that sexual abuse of a child did occur, even if there were no charges filed.
The measure has already cleared the House and is now in the hands of the Senate.
A 2008 law approved by voters requires investor-owned utilities to use renewable energy sources for gradually increasing amounts of their electricity generation. That law restricted how hydroelectric power could count toward the requirement.
The House bill (HB44) would allow all hydroelectric power produced in Missouri or owned by a Missouri power company to count starting in 2018. Beginning in 2021, hydroelectric power generated elsewhere could count.
The bill cleared the House Thursday on a vote of 95-46 and now goes to the Senate.
Sponsors of the 2008 ballot measure criticized the bill, saying it would reverse possible economic development benefits from the law.
Right now, prosecutions must start within 30 years after the victim's 18th birthday. The statute of limitations already does not apply to instances of forcible rape or forcible sodomy, attempted forcible rape or attempted forcible sodomy and kidnapping. The measure would allow prosecutions for child abuse at any time.
The House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee approved the legislation Monday.
Earlier this year, a state child sex abuse task force released a report urging lawmakers to eliminate the statute of limitations for first-degree statutory rape and first-degree statutory sodomy.
The House and Senate usually meet from Monday until mid-day Thursday each week. But with a mixture of ice and snow expected on Thursday, the Senate has decided to quit for the week around noon Wednesday -- early enough to give lawmakers time to get home before the weather hits.
The State House will also give members a chance to leave early, planning only a technical session on Thursday, in which no bills will be debated.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee is considering legislation that would eliminate a time limit for prosecuting cases that involve sexual offenses against children or teenagers.
Currently, prosecutions must start within 30 years after the victim turns 18. It does not apply to cases of forcible rape or forcible sodomy, attempted forcible rape or attempted forcible sodomy and kidnapping.
A House public safety committee considered a proposal Monday that would repeal the time requirement for sexual offenses that involve someone age 18 or younger. The legislation also would allow child abuse cases to be prosecuted at any time.
In January, a state task force focused on preventing child sex abuse recommended eliminating the statute of limitations for first-degree statutory rape and first-degree statutory sodomy.
The plan presented Thursday by Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream would also provide a smaller increase for public colleges and universities than Nixon had proposed for the 2014 fiscal year.
The Democratic governor wants to accept about $900 million from the federal government to expand Medicaid health care eligibility to nearly 260,000 lower-income adults. But Stream said he left that out of the budget because it runs contrary to Republican philosophy against bigger government.
Nixon had proposed a $34 million funding increase for colleges and universities. Stream's proposed budget pares that back to $20 million. It also provides less money for early childhood programs than Nixon had sought.
Proponents say requiring voters to show a government-issued photo ID before casting ballots would help prevent election fraud. Critics argue Missouri has had no known recent instances of voter impersonation. They also say the rule could make it harder for some people to vote.
Lawmakers have discussed the proposal several times in recent years, with the debate generally falling along party lines.
On Wednesday, House members approved a constitutional amendment allowing for a photo ID requirement. Lawmakers then endorsed separate legislation that would implement it. Both measures require another vote before they move to the state Senate.
That's what State Rep. Bill Otto is proposing. The St. Charles Democrat is sponsoring a bill that would prohibit local smoking bans if smoking is still allowed at a competing casino within 75 miles.
If passed, the measure would prevent the St. Louis County Council from ending the casino exemption in the county's smoking ban -- a move that has been debated in the county council in recent weeks.
The $95 million Distressed Areas Land Assemblage credit was passed in 2007 and will expire this August.
McKee's company has received more than $40 million so far and amassed 2,200 parcels of land in north St. Louis for the project. But McKee told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he's needs to buy another 500 parcels for contiguous sites.
The NorthSide project calls for new and refurbished homes, retail and manufacturing space, along with schools and medical facilities on a two square mile area just north of downtown.