Judicial Funding Bill Advances in Kansas
January 14, 2016

A Senate committee has approved a bill to keep state courts open following a legal dispute involving the judicial branch’s budget.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s unanimous voice vote Thursday came about an hour after the House Appropriations Committee passed an identical bill.

Senate leaders expect the full chamber to vote on its measure next week.

The bill repeals a 2015 law threatening all court funding.

The law was passed by Republican legislators and tied to a statute they enacted in 2014.

The 2014 policy stripped the Kansas Supreme Court of its power to appoint chief district court judges in the state’s 31 judicial districts. The 2015 law said the judiciary’s entire budget was nullified if the 2014 law was struck down.

The Supreme Court last month invalidated the 2014 law.

Medicaid Expansion Still Dead in Missouri
March 24, 2014

(AP) – In case there was any doubt, several Republican state senators are making it clear that there will be no expansion of Medicaid eligibility this year in Missouri.

Five GOP senators took to the Senate floor Monday as the Legislature returned from spring break to say they will block any attempt to expand Medicaid eligibility during the session that ends in mid-May.

Their strong pronouncement came a day before a House committee is to hear testimony on a proposal that would expand Medicaid coverage to thousands of lower-income adults, partly by subsidizing their enrollment in private health insurance policies. The House legislation would link the Medicaid expansion to a broader overhaul of the program

Jones Won’t Run for State Senate
March 21, 2014

. (AP) – Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones says he won’t run for a state Senate seat being vacated this year and will focus instead on a 2016 campaign for an unspecified statewide office.

Jones, a Republican from Eureka, had previously expressed interest in running to succeed Republican Sen. Brian Nieves, who is not seeking re-election in his eastern Missouri district.

But in a statement released Friday, Jones said a Senate race would “greatly distract” him from important work. Term limits prevent Jones from seeking re-election to the House.

The reliably Republican Senate district includes Franklin County and part of St. Louis County.

Democrat Lloyd Klinedinst and Republican Rep. Dave Schatz, of Sullivan, are currently the only two candidates to file for the seat. Candidate filing closes at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

State Senate Considers Expanding Impeachment Powers
February 4, 2014

(AP) – Missouri senators would be responsible for trying all impeachments of elected state officials under a proposed constitutional amendment.

Under current law, most officials are impeached by the House and then tried by the Missouri Supreme Court. Impeachments of a governor and Supreme Court judges are tried by a panel of “eminent jurists.”

The measure reviewed Monday by the Senate Judiciary Committee would give the Senate the power to try all impeachments. Sponsoring Republican Sen. Ed Emery, of Lamar, said the change would put Missouri in line with the federal government and most other states.

Then-Secretary of State Judy Moriarty was the last official to be impeached. She was convicted and removed from office in 1994 for backdating her son’s candidate filing application.

Mo. Senate Tee’s Up Budget
April 8, 2013

(AP) – A Missouri Senate panel is preparing to begin drafting its plan for the roughly $25 billion state operating budget.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has scheduled hearings throughout the week to begin work on the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The panel is also scheduled to consider the budget for the state Revenue Department, despite recent tensions between the department and Republican senators over new driver’s license procedures.

The House passed its budget plan in late March, omitting Gov. Jay Nixon’s proposal to draw down $900 million in federal money to add 260,000 Missouri adults to the state’s Medicaid rolls. The Senate Appropriations Committee also voted against Nixon’s plan last month.