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Capitol Perspectives: A Missouri Senate lion

by Phill Brooks

This March, Missouri lost one of the most effective state senators I’ve seen, and one of the most complex, fascinating and dedicated. He was John Schneider, a St. Louis County Democrat, who died on March 2 at the age of 80.

Until voter-approved term limits kicked him out of office, he had

Continue reading Capitol Perspectives: A Missouri Senate lion

A clarification on minimum wage law

by State Rep. J. Eggleston

The federal minimum wage is currently at $7.25 per hour. Our Missouri minimum wage is adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index, and now stands at $7.70 per hour.

This week, the House dealt with a minimum wage issue not regarding the amount of the minimum wage, but whether individual

Continue reading A clarification on minimum wage law

The real deal on Real ID

by State Rep. J. Eggleston

One of the issues that has come up at the capitol in the last two sessions is Real ID. This specifically involves the federal government’s threat to not allow Missourians on airplanes or military bases unless we change our system of issuing drivers licenses to comply with their wishes by

Continue reading The real deal on Real ID

We’re about to pay for unheeded budget warnings

by Phill Brooks

As legislators begin the arduous task crafting next fiscal year’s multi-billion dollar budget for state government, they are facing an historic challenge. Revenue shortfalls have forced the governor to propose some of the deepest spending cuts I can remember.

It’s not a surprise. For decades there have been warnings that the state

Continue reading We’re about to pay for unheeded budget warnings

Unemployment dejavu

by State Rep. J. Eggleston

When someone is laid off or fired from a job, it is possible they may be able to collect unemployment money from the government. The government collects that money from Missouri businesses, primarily the former employers of those who are now unemployed. So essentially, businesses have to pay people who

Continue reading Unemployment dejavu

Rep. Graves lauds WOTUS decision

U.S. Representative Sam Graves issued the following statement after President Trump took a step towards permanently eliminating the Obama Administration’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. Trump instructed federal authorities to review and work towards repealing WOTUS, which gave the EPA the authority to regulate small bodies of water on private lands.

“One of the

Continue reading Rep. Graves lauds WOTUS decision

Bills on the move

by State Rep. J. Eggleston

As I have mentioned before, there are six big hurdles a bill must cross to become law – successful votes in House Lower Committee, House Rules Committee, House Floor, Senate Committee, Senate Floor, and the Governor’s Signature. In the first few weeks of session, bills were being introduced and debated

Continue reading Bills on the move

The buzz on Endangered Species Act reform

by Shiloh Perry

During the final weeks of the Obama administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service listed the rusty patched bumblebee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. While the FWS claims the listing will help protect the bee species, what does the first-ever addition of a bee species in the continental U.S.

Continue reading The buzz on Endangered Species Act reform

A full time, part-time job

by State Rep. J. Eggleston

I am often asked by constituents what life is like as a state representative. I was told before I ran for office that a job as a legislator would be the most full time part-time job I could have. I now think I agree. Probably the best way to describe

Continue reading A full time, part-time job

Attorney General Josh Hawley Files Lawsuit Against

Attorney General Josh Hawley announced today that Missouri has filed suit challenging Obama Administration rules that drastically expand federal power over farm and ranch land across Missouri and the nation. The rules in question expand the definition of “critical habitat” for endangered and threatened species. Missouri joins 19 other states in the suit filed in

Continue reading Attorney General Josh Hawley Files Lawsuit Against

Sen. McCaskill votes against DeVos

Citing the danger posed to Missouri’s small towns and rural communities, where public school resources are critical, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) voted against Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education, joining bipartisan opposition to the nominee.

“Ms. DeVos has focused on one goal when it comes to education—robbing public schools of resources in order to

Continue reading Sen. McCaskill votes against DeVos

Why no license bureau for Daviess County?

by State Rep. J. Eggleston

When you think of “the government,” who do you picture? If you are like most people, you envision the elected officials whose faces were seen on the campaign trail and whose names were on an election ballot.

But elected officials – your spokespersons in government – only make up the

Continue reading Why no license bureau for Daviess County?

Graves helps focus on 21st Century infrastructure

Congressman Sam Graves (R-Mo) participated in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s first hearing of the 115th Congress. The discussion explored challenges facing America’s infrastructure and a vision for building a 21st century transportation network.

Among those testifying at the hearing were CEOs from FedEx, Cargill, and BMW.

“This Committee, working alongside the Trump administration, has

Continue reading Graves helps focus on 21st Century infrastructure

Capitol Perspectives: Transparency

by Phill Brooks

A cloak of secrecy has descended upon Missouri government to a degree I never imagined in all my decades covering this statehouse for you. It comes from the administration of Missouri’s new governor, Eric Greitens.

I actually had hoped for something different. He ran a campaign promising change and challenging the old

Continue reading Capitol Perspectives: Transparency

Taking another look at Missouri’s Nonpartisan Court Plan

by State Sen. Dan Hegeman

The fourth week of session began with the annual State of the Judiciary address, given by Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge, to a joint session of the General Assembly and statewide office holders. Similar to the State of the State, the State of the Judiciary gives the chief

Continue reading Taking another look at Missouri’s Nonpartisan Court Plan

State government will tighten its belt in 2017

by State Rep. J. Eggleston

Your Missouri House and Senate debate many bills each year. Already around 1200 bills have been filed. But the only bills we are constitutionally obligated to pass is a budget.

In creating a budget, the legislature is not planning on how to spend money that has already come in. Instead,

Continue reading State government will tighten its belt in 2017

Reflecting on the Governor’s State-of-the-State address

by State Sen. Dan Hegeman

Members of the legislature gathered in the House chamber to listen on as newly sworn-in Governor Eric Greitens gave his first State of the State address.

In his speech, the governor called for creating more jobs and growing an economy that will lead to higher incomes for all families in

Continue reading Reflecting on the Governor’s State-of-the-State address

Legislature gets right to work on Right-to-Work

by State Rep. J. Eggleston

In the election campaign of 2016, Missouri candidates for governor, House, and Senate ran on two main issues: protecting individual freedom and improving our economy by adding jobs. Voters overwhelmingly chose candidates that embraced those goals. So, with all of the ceremony of inaugurations out of the way, the House

Continue reading Legislature gets right to work on Right-to-Work

Celebrations give way to challenges

by State Sen. Dan Hegeman

This past week began with the inauguration of Gov. Eric Greitens, Missouri’s 56th governor. Thousands of Missourians joined in the celebration, including several from northwest Missouri who joined in the swearing-in and the inaugural ball later that night.

In addition to the swearing-in of our new Governor, the swearing-in of

Continue reading Celebrations give way to challenges

Graves helps introduce proposal to penalize cities that protect illegal immigrants

Congressman Sam Graves helped introduce a bill targeting cities that knowingly harbor illegal immigrants and protect them from being deported. The Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act would block grant funding from any locality that ignores federal law and withholds information on illegal immigrants from the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“I am proud

Continue reading Graves helps introduce proposal to penalize cities that protect illegal immigrants

Capitol Perspectives: What change does ‘a new direction’ mean?

by Phill Brooks

The actions surrounding the inauguration of Missouri’s new governor suggested to me a level of governmental transformation I cannot recall since Kit Bond’s first gubernatorial term in 1973.

Bond called for a more transparent government and a broad package of consumer protection laws.

Missouri’s new governor, Eric Greitens, also based his campaign

Continue reading Capitol Perspectives: What change does ‘a new direction’ mean?

Sen. Hegeman appointed to head committee

State Sen. Dan Hegeman (R-Cosby) has been appointed chairman of the revamped Senate Committee on Local Government and Elections. Committee appointments are made by the Senate president pro tem.

According to the new rules adopted for the 99th General Assembly, the Committee on Local Government and Elections “shall consider and report upon bills and matters

Continue reading Sen. Hegeman appointed to head committee

Cameron legislator proposes marijuana bill

Rep. Jim Neely (R-Cameron) has introduced HB 437 to give terminally ill patients access to medical marijuana.

  “Missourians fighting for their lives don’t have time to wait for the FDA to approve investigational treatments that contain cannabis,” said Rep. Neely, a local physician. “We need to do everything we can as a state to

Continue reading Cameron legislator proposes marijuana bill

What’s likely to be atop the state’s legislative agenda

by State Rep. J. Eggleston

A new year has arrived, and with it comes the dawn of a new era in both state and national government. Our nation will soon swear in a new president. Our state has a new governor. And as of January 4th, Missouri has begun a new legislative session and sworn

Continue reading What’s likely to be atop the state’s legislative agenda

Capitol Perspectives: Waiting to see the courage of a SEAL

by Phill Brooks

Navy SEALS are known for their courage in training and combat. So when Missouri’s governor-elect, Eric Greitens, gives his inaugural address, I’ll be listening to hear how he demonstrates that courage in governmental leadership.

Does he directly address the major, but politically dangerous problems facing this state? Or, does he give an

Continue reading Capitol Perspectives: Waiting to see the courage of a SEAL