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Capitol Perspectives: Was I Ever Wrong about the Legislative Session

By Phill Brooks

Earlier this year, I wrote how it seemed that the legislature was taking a less chaotic approach for 2016.

In my defense, there were indications of a more orderly process.

But golly, did the final weeks prove me wrong.

The biggest indication was the degree to which the lawmakers approved legislative behemoths that contained piles of topics unrelated to the original purpose of the bill.
Early in

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Capitol Perspectives: Missouri’s legislative session has not ended quite yet 

by Mark Hughes

Lawmakers have headed back to their districts, but the 2016 session of the Missouri General Assembly is not yet over. Not quite. There are still several days and a bit of work to be done before most of the bills passed this year can become law.

Since at least the Missouri Constitution of 1875, no bill can become law in Missouri until it is signed by the

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Capitol Perspectives: Missouri’s gaming tax trend focuses on fantasy

by Mark Hughes

Final action on major bills is often left until the end of legislative sessions, and this was especially true in Missouri’s 2016 session. With a range of pending proposals encompassing issues from photo voter ID to union payroll deductions and a tax boost for highways, some seemed a bit surprised when Gov. Jay Nixon cited regulation of online fantasy sports gambling as his priority going into the

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Summarizing the session just ended

by State Sen. Dan Hegeman

The gavel has finally fallen on the 2016 legislative session, months of hard work by lawmakers and staff have officially come to a close. This session certainly had its ups and downs, but I was pleased we were able and pass a number of measures benefiting the citizens of Missouri.

Among those bills I’m most proud of passing was Senate Bill 635, which is my

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Capitol Report: House session over; regional jail awaits signature

by State Rep. J. Eggleston

As of 6 p.m. Friday, May 13, another legislative session in Jefferson City has concluded. While there were a couple of disappointments, there were many successes as well.

Ethics reform reducing the influence of lobbyists on legislation passed.

A $20 million cost matching fund was created for MoDOT transportation projects.

A $70 million increase for our K-12 schools is in the budget, as well as

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Graves Statement on GOP Obamacare Victory

Congressman Sam Graves issued the following statement after a federal judge found President Obama broke the law by handing out subsidies to fund Obamacare (the judge ruled the White House was illegally spending money that was not appropriated by Congress, as increased healthcare costs brought on by Obamacare left many Americans unable to afford coverage without government subsidies):

“Obamacare has been a never-ending string of lies, broken promises, and increased

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Capitol Perspectives: Teaching Journalism

by Phill Brooks

For my last column as director of MU’s State Government Reporting Program, I want to describe some of what I’ve sought to teach my students about public policy journalism during the last four decades. While this is not a complete list, maybe it will give you a better understanding of what makes government reporters tick.

*Learn the Process and Policy: To effectively cover government and politics, you

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Capitol Perspectives: Questions to ask our next gubernatorial candidates

by Phill Brooks

As the Missouri legislative session winds down its 2016 session, I’ve been thinking about the issues lawmakers have left unresolved. Those issues present a foundation for questions that could be asked of the candidates who seek to be Missouri’s governor for the next four legislative sessions.

A major question involves how the candidates would change their approach with the legislature.

For the past eight legislative sessions, Missouri’s

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Capitol Report: The legislative ‘harvest’ approaches

by State. Rep. J. Eggleston

The farmer plants in the spring, the crop grows in the summer, and the farmer harvests in the fall. These are the stages of the reaping of a crop. Similarly, there are stages in the legislative process as an idea germinates in filing, sprouts through the committee and debate process, and then in maturity grows into law.

With only one week remaining in session, we

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