Missouri Passes ‘ Border War’ Cease-Fire Measure, Awaits Kansas Decision
May 15, 2014

(AP) – Missouri lawmakers have passed legislation proposing a truce with Kansas in the intense tax-break battle for businesses in the Kansas City area.

The two states have together waived hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues in recent years by offering specialized incentives for businesses to relocate, sometimes only a few miles across the state border.

The Missouri bill passed early Thursday morning would prohibit incentives for border-jumping businesses in an eight-county Kansas City region that spans both states.

The House voted 144-3 in favor of the measure, which the Senate passed in February. It now heads to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk. If signed, it would take effect only if the Kansas Legislature or governor enacts a similar measure within the next two years.

Legislature Sends Nixon 2016 Presidential Primary Bill
May 6, 2014

(AP) – Missouri would hold presidential primary elections in March instead of February under a bill on its way to Gov. Jay Nixon.

House members approved the legislation Monday on a vote of 101-47. The Senate passed it 25-7 in April.

The legislation comes after Missouri had a confusing 2012 presidential election process. State law called for a February primary, but the national political parties sought to discourage most states from voting that early.

Missouri Republicans decided to disregard the primary results and use later caucuses to determine which candidate delegates would support at the Republican National Convention.

Under this year’s bill, Missouri’s next presidential primary would take place March 15, 2016.

Nixon Vetoes GOP Tax Cut Bill, Override Attempt May be Quick
May 1, 2014

(AP) – Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed an income tax cut Thursday for millions of Missouri residents and business owners, warning that the priority measure of the Republican-led Legislature could devastate funding for public schools and services.

Republican lawmakers vowed to attempt a veto override as soon as next week. To overturn the governor’s veto, Republicans would have to vote as a block and pick up support from at least one House Democrat.

The legislation would cut Missouri’s top individual income tax rate for the first time in nearly a century and make Missouri the third state – following Kansas and Ohio – to enact a special tax break for people who report business income on their personal tax returns.

“This unaffordable, unfair and potentially dangerous legislation will irreparably harm public education and the vital public services upon which Missourians rely,” Nixon wrote in a message to lawmakers detailing the reasons for his veto.

Republicans insisted they can both cut taxes and continue to spend more on schools.

“This is why Missourians sent this General Assembly here. To govern in a limited-government, free-market way and to try to return whatever money we can to them while taking care of all essential state services,” said House Speaker Tim Jones

Sly & Slay Rip Missouri’s “Lax” Gun Laws in Joint Capital Appearance
April 29, 2014

Kansas City Mayor Sly James and his St. Louis counterpart, Mayor Francis Slay blasted proposed gun laws now under consideration in the Missouri Legislature.
They says the proposals would make it harder for federal law enforcement and Missouri officers to enforce federal gun laws.
At a news conference in Jefferson City Monday, James called the proposals “absurd, embarrassing and dangerous,” especially for the state’s two largest cities”.
The Kansas City Mayor frequently complains about the city’s inability tone more effective in fighting crime because of restriction on gun laws at the state level.
A news release fromJames’ office claims, “Missouri’s lax gun laws have flooded urban neighborhoods with cheap weapons.”
Both measure expect more federal gun law restrictions to pass the legislature this year.
In 2013, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a federal gun law nullification bill survived an override effort by lawmakers.

House Committee Gives Pot. Hearing
March 12, 2014

A Missouri House committee Monday considered legislation for the first time this year that would legalize marijuana use for most adults, but the Democratic proposal faces an uncertain fate in the state’s Republican-dominated Legislature.

Under the measure, Missouri would join Washington and Colorado as the only states to legalize recreational marijuana use. Missouri’s version would guarantee the right of people older than 21 to produce, sell, distribute and use pot.

The bill’s sponsor said he was against legalizing marijuana use until he changed his mind after serving on the bench.

“I saw too many young people whose lives were ruined by using small amounts of marijuana,” said Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, and a former Boone County judge.

Some Republican committee members were skeptical about the bill during Monday’s hearing. Rep. Kenneth Wilson, a retired police officer, said he was concerned about the effect of secondhand smoke if marijuana was used in homes around children.

“We often forget about the ills that this is going to cost society,” said Wilson, R-Smithville.

Although marijuana possession remains a federal crime, the federal government has announced that it will not challenge the laws in Washington and Colorado.

Missouri’s legislation would allow the state to adopt various regulations on marijuana distribution and usage, as well as levy an excise tax up to 25 percent of the drug’s original cost. The state could choose to restrict usage within 1,000 feet of a public school or university. It could also limit advertisements for the drug and the amount people are allowed to buy at a given time.

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