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Rep. Tony Dugger resigns, MAF calls for a more robust revolving door law

In response to Rep. Tony Dugger’s resignation from the House of Representatives, Ryan Johnson, President of the Missouri Alliance for Freedom, called on the Missouri Legislature to follow through with its ethics reform priorities and to strengthen the new revolving door law.

“Tony Dugger’s resignation from the House does not make him a bad person. It does, however, illustrate the need for a more robust fix to the problem that

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Thoughts about negative campaigning

by State Rep. J. Eggleston

Like most of you, I used to get my information about the candidates on the ballot from TV ads and mailers. As an elected representative, I now have more opportunities to meet and visit with the candidates in person.

In the run up to the primary, I would use these visits to ask direct questions and evaluate not only what a candidate would say, but

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Capitol Perspectives: The dignity of Missouri’s capitol

by Phill Brooks

The recent conviction of 22 protesters whose 2014 demonstration in the Missouri Senate visitors’ gallery chamber forced the Senate to recess is an indication of how different Missouri’s Capitol is from the U.S. Capitol I covered in 1972.

For an hour on May 6, 2014, the protesters sang and chanted against the legislature’s refusal to expand Medicaid. Those convicted in the Cole County Court of misdemeanor trespass

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Capitol Perspectives: Deep pocket donor finances ballot measure to limit deep pocket donors

by Mark D. Hughes

To grotesquely paraphrase George Orwell’s Animal Farm, “All elections are crazy. Some are more crazy than others.” This year’s election cycle in Missouri may stand as the craziest of all.
We have a Republican nominee for governor who previously was a Democrat. We have a Democrat nominee for governor who previously was a Republican. In the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, we had a candidate named

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Vibrant ag industry requires public policy

by State Sen. Dan Hegeman

Agriculture has long been, and remains to this day, the Show-Me State’s No. 1 industry. Here in northwest Missouri, it is still the foundation of our local communities and way of life. As such, it is essential our state lawmakers and agencies implement policies that allow Missouri’s agricultural producers and associated industries to remain vibrant and productive and stand as a check against bureaucratic overreach.

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Capitol Perspectives: An unusual primary, if you follow the money

by Phill Brooks

This year’s Missouri primary was one of the most unusual I’ve seen. It involved more negative attacks funded by more big-buck donors with more inexperienced winners than I can remember.
I had thought it would be a pretty clean primary as a result of the suicide of one of the Republican candidates for governor, State Auditor Tom Schweich. His suicide coming shortly after a broadcast advertisement making

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From the Bench

By Circuit Judge R. Brent Elliott

The last article highlighted legislative changes to felony classifications and prison terms that will take effect January 1, 2017. This month I will focus on changes to fine provisions for felonies. Currently, criminal fines are set forth in Chapter 560 of the Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri (RSMo.)  Next year criminal fines will be set forth in Chapter 558 RSMo.

Section 560.011

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Capitol Perspectives: Initiative and Referenda: Does Missouri’s system still empower voters?

by Mark D. Hughes

Missouri is one of 24 states that permits initiative petition — placing statutory or constitutional changes directly before voters for their approval. This concept was born of the progressive movement that swept America at the turn of the 20th century.

In 1904, the Missouri Direct Legislation League, led by St. Louis attorney Silas L. Moser, lobbied the Legislature to place an initiative petition and referendum amendment

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Missouri Ballot Initiatives: A Tale of Two Tobacco Taxes 

by Mark Hughes 

Missouri’s cigarette tax, at 17 cents-per-pack, is the nation’s lowest. This makes the tax an irresistible target for advocates who want to raise money for public uses.

This year two initiative petitions to raise the cigarette tax have been approved by the secretary of state, circulated by supporters and turned in to have signatures verified by local election authorities.

Missourians approved the initiative process in 1908 to

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