Missouri Senate Passes Tac Cut Bill
March 12, 2013

(AP)–Missouri senators have passed legislation that would cut income taxes for residents and businesses but raise the state sales taxes.

The Republican-led Senate voted 23-11 Tuesday for the tax overhaul despite calls by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon to reject the bill.

Supporters contend it is necessary for Missouri to cut taxes to keep pace with recent income tax reductions in neighboring Kansas. But opponents say the sales tax increase could fall hardest on the poor and that the overall loss of state revenue cut hurt funding for schools.

The legislation cuts the income tax by three-quarters of a percentage point and increases the sales tax by one-half cent over five years.

Legislative researchers estimate a net loss to state revenues between $477 million and $670 million once fully implemented.

Topeka Split Plan Faces Trouble in Kansas Senate
March 30, 2012

(AP) – The Kansas House has passed a redistricting bill splitting Topeka between two congressional districts.

But key senators said even before Thursday’s vote 81-43 vote in the House that they oppose the measure. The Senate approved its own plan last month, and negotiators for the two chambers must compromise.

Topeka currently is in the 2nd District of eastern Kansas, and the House’s plan would move part of it into the 1st District of western and central Kansas. House Speaker Mike O’Neal, a Hutchinson Republican, noted that his chamber rejected other plans that kept Topeka in a single district.

But Senate Reapportionment Committee Chairman Tim Owens, an Overland Park Republican, called splitting Topeka absurd. And Senate President Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican, said he opposes the idea.

KC School Take Over Gets Closer
March 2, 2012

Prime Buzz:
Legislation giving the state authority to immediately replace the school board of the unaccredited Kansas City district with a new governing structure won unanimous approval Thursday in the Missouri House.
It now goes to the Senate, where a similar bill cleared the Education Committee last week.
Under current law, a school district has two years after losing its accreditation to turn its performance around or face the potential of a state takeover. In September, the Missouri Board of Education voted to revoke the accreditation of the Kansas City school district because it failed to reach state performance standards, the second time in 11 years that the district has lost accreditation.
Two months later, Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro asked the Kansas City school board to consider voluntarily turning control of the district over to a not-yet-created special administrative board. Board members rejected the suggestion, arguing that the state needed to present a more concrete plan before any discussion of dissolving the school board could take place.
Republican Rep. Mike Lair of Chillicothe is sponsoring the bill, which would do away with the two-year waiting period and allow the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to immediately intervene in a failing district.
The bill also includes an emergency clause, meaning it would go into effect immediately after being signed by the governor.
It faces an uncertain future in the Senate, though. Republican Sen. David Pearce of Warrensburg, who is sponsoring a similar bill, said his hope is that the idea can get an up or down vote without any other provisions being added.
But Sen. Jane Cunningham of Chesterfield has made it clear that any education bill should include other measures. She’s sponsoring her own legislation that also eliminates the two-year waiting period but includes a forced break up and annexation of the Kansas City school district by surrounding districts.
Read more here: http://midwestdemocracy.com/articles/missouri-house-approves-quicker-state-intervention-kc-schools/#storylink=cpy

Move to Impose Term Llimits on Missouri Executive Offices Moves in the State Senate
February 20, 2012

(AP) – Missouri voters could get to decide whether to impose term limits on all executive officeholders under a proposal endorsed by the state Senate.

The proposed constitutional amendment would limit the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and auditor to serving two, four-year terms. A similar limit already is in place for Missouri’s governor and treasurer. State lawmakers also are subject to term limits.

Senators endorsed the expansion of term limits by voice vote Monday. If the proposal also passes the Senate on a second vote and clears the House, it would appear on the statewide ballot later this year.

The measure is sponsored by Republican Sen. Brad Lager, of Savannah, who is challenging Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder in this year’s elections. Kinder is seeking a third term.

Voter Photo ID May Hit State Senate Roadblock
February 17, 2012

From the St. Luis Beacon via johncombest.com
The Missouri Senate appears likely to kill off a House bill this session to require voters to show a government-issued photo ID, in hopes that a strong statewide vote on the issue this fall will force Gov. Jay Nixon — or his possible Republican successor — to drop any objections.
“That’s what I’m looking at,” said Senate Majority Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St.Charles, said in an interview Thursday.
Dempsey assembles the schedule of bills to be considered by the Senate, said that the Senate had many other crucial issues this session, which would appear to have better prospects of becoming law.
Dempsey said it’s likely that Nixon — who vetoed a voter ID bill last year — would do so again. The House recently fell short of a veto-proof majority when it passed this session’s voter ID bill, which Dempsey said has prompted Senate leaders to consider whether it was worth re-engaging the issue.

Read More: http://www.stlbeacon.org/voices/blogs/political-blogs/beacon-backroom/116070-missouri-senate-may-let-voter-id-bill-die-this-session