Missouri Lawmakers Reach Final Day, adjournment set for 6 Tonight
May 16, 2014

(AP) – Missouri lawmakers are beginning their final day of work with many of their top priorities already accomplished and with little chance of success on several other high-profile items.

The Missouri Constitution sets a 6 p.m. Friday deadline to pass legislation.

Still pending on the final day are bills authorizing a bond issuance for public buildings and attempting to nullify certain federal gun-control laws.

But lawmakers already have enacted an income tax cut and passed complex measures overhauling the state’s laws on criminal penalties and unaccredited school districts. The Republican-led Legislature also has already voted to place a transportation sales tax on the ballot and lengthen Missouri’s abortion waiting period.

Some Democratic priorities already have been written off, including a Medicaid expansion and the restoration of campaign contribution limits.

Missouri Passes 72-Hour Abortion Waiting Period Measure
May 15, 2014

(AP) – Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that would require a woman to wait 72 hours after first seeing a doctor before having an abortion.

The House voted 111-39 in favor of the bill Wednesday. The Senate approved it previously.

The bill would triple the state’s current one-day waiting period and make Missouri the third state to require a three-day wait, joining Utah and South Dakota.

It now goes to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, who said he would act as he has on other abortion legislation. Nixon previously allowed abortion restrictions to become law without his signature.

Supporters say the extended waiting period gives a woman more time to think about the possible consequences of an abortion. Opponents say delaying the procedure increases the risks.

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

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