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County Commissioner Carl Carder focuses on township news pulled from archives.
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Protecting Victims of Sexual Assault

by State Rep. Dan Hegeman

Earlier this session, I was contacted by a constituent who was having a difficult time protecting his adopted daughter (a minor) from being contacted by her biological father — the very individual who sexually assaulted her years ago. Though the adoptive father searched for some measure of legal remedy, he was unable to find a satisfactory solution under current state law. What the adoptive father

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Money and Politics: We Need Change Now!

by Lee H. Hamilton

I’ve seen a lot over my decades in politics, and not much alarms me. But I have to be blunt: Money is poisoning our political system.

The people who matter most to a representative democracy — the ordinary voters in whose interests elected politicians are supposed to act — feel as though they’ve become an afterthought in the political process. The tidal wave of money washing

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Budget Sent to the Governor

by State Rep. Dan Hegeman

This week, the Missouri General Assembly completed work on the final version of the state’s budget for Fiscal Year 2016, and it is now on its way to the governor’s desk. The $26 billion budget manages to provide a record level of funding for K-12 public education, while also attempting to address the unsustainable growth of our state social welfare programs.

As I said when

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McCaskill Questions Garnishment of SS for Student Loan Debt

Sen. Claire McCaskill is asking for answers about the controversial policy of garnishing Social Security benefits in order to recoup federal student loan debt.

In a letter to the U.S. Comptroller General, McCaskill, along with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, asked the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study of the effects of Social Security benefit garnishment for senior households, including how such garnishment affects retirement, and how much of each

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Capitol Perspectives: Challenging the Legislature

by Phill Brooks

Missouri’s Republican legislature has laid the groundwork for a classic confrontation with the Democratic governor.

This year, the GOP-dominating legislature sent Gov. Jay Nixon bills he normally would veto including unemployment compensation cuts, welfare cuts and restrictions to his budget powers.

They sent the entire operating budget to Nixon early enough that they can take their veto override votes before the session ends rather than waiting until

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Time to Start Doing Homework

Dw.cdrAnnouncements by candidates for president captured the news cycle in major media last week, as you know. Wouldn’t it be something if we voters ignored the drama of the upcoming horse race and all the hype for ruling by dynasty (there are candidates with names other than Clinton and Bush, you know) and, instead, use positions on issues as the measure?

I don’t know about you, but I want to

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Capitol Perspectives: Macks Creek and Hidden Taxes

by Phill Brooks

The Supreme Court’s recent hearing on the legislature’s efforts to deal with the Macks Creek issue reminded me of the complicated history of the legislature’s approach to hidden taxes and budgets. Macks Creek no longer exists, but it has left a legacy that has lasted for decades.

Running through the Camden County town was U.S. 54 that carries heavy traffic of tourists driving to the restaurants and

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Capitol Perspectives: A Passing Era at the Auditor’s Office

by Phill Brooks

The two deaths in the state auditor’s office mark, I fear, the passing of an era for Missouri statehouse reporters.

State Auditor Tom Schweich and his spokesperson, Spence Jackson, were among the most helpful, open, candid and friendly major state figures I have covered in recent years. They displayed a deep respect for journalism and went out of their way to help reporters.

Schweich often dropped by

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Call Before Digging

Attorney General Chris Koster recently announced his office obtained more than $50,000 in penalties from violators of Missouri’s Underground Facility Safety and Damage Prevention Act, also known as the Missouri One Call law.

Under that law, any person beginning an excavation must notify the Missouri One Call System prior to digging, to allow utility companies to check for underground lines in the area. The Missouri One Call System provides a

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