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IP debate kills other legislative efforts as Missouri session ends Friday

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IP debate kills other legislative efforts as Missouri session ends Friday


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — State lawmakers are poised to end the regular session of the General Assembly Friday having largely done a lot of what was expected when the session began in January, with one exception that has muddled the legislative process over the past two weeks.

Lawmakers approved a budget before last Friday’s constitutional deadline. They renewed a medical provider tax known as the Federal Reimbursement Allowance, which puts more than $4 billion into the state’s Medicaid program.

But a key GOP priority– asking voters to make it harder to amend the state’s constitution in anticipation of an abortion rights initiative petition question being on the August or November ballot–is unlikely to pass despite supermajorities in both chambers.

A small faction of Republicans in the Senate known as the Freedom Caucus sought near-immediate action on initiative petition reform when lawmakers came into session in January and held up legislative action while battling with Senate leadership.

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Instead of the current “50+1” simple majority, Republicans sought to require a majority of voters in five of the state’s eight congressional districts. The Senate ultimately sent the House a version of the bill that stripped out so-called “ballot candy” of requiring voters to be citizens and to ban foreign spending on initiative petition campaigns–things that are already illegal under state law–after Democrats filibustered in February. 

The House restored those provisions and sent them back to the Senate, where Democrats again filibustered, starting Monday until Wednesday afternoon, setting a record at roughly 50 hours. 

The bill was ultimately sent to committee when Republicans did not have enough support to take what is considered a nuclear option in the Senate–moving the previous question–to force a vote. That led to more threats from Freedom Caucus members to hold up any other business that might come before the chamber before Friday’s deadline.

When the Senate twice gaveled back into session Thursday, there were skirmishes between Freedom Cacus members and GOP members aligned with leadership that quickly led to adjournments.

The House on Thursday said it would not agree to the committee request from the Senate on the initiative petition measure and instead sent it back to the Senate unchanged, setting the stage for one more battle in the Senate Friday, either with the potential for one final Freedom Caucus or Democratic filibuster.

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The House did give final passage Thursday to an omnibus property rights bill that would ban municipalities from passing eviction moratoriums that weren’t authorized under state law. The bill included three separate pieces of legislation authored by State Rep. Jim Murphy, a Republican from South St. Louis County. One bars homeowners associations from preventing people from raising chickens, an issue Murphy conceded was a big deal for his grandchildren. Another exempts non-profits from St. Louis County requirements for electronic vehicle charging stations, while the third would give business owners rebates on taxes and fees in the event a local government prompted a shutdown, harkening back to the COVID era.

Another bill Murphy shepherded wasn’t so fortunate.

He sponsored legislation that would clarify that the city of St. Louis could not collect an earnings tax based on remote work done outside the city. The legislation passed the House in late March and got out of a Senate committee on May 6. 

“It was high on the Senate calendar. It had a path to get done, and then the Senate just simply shut down for the last week as they’ve done in the past. We’re hoping in the future that somehow we get a Senate that will work the entire session rather than closing down the last week or so. It’s unfortunate,” he said. “It got very close to the end and unfortunately suffered the fate of many great bills that should have passed this year. Hopefully next year we’ll do much better.” 

Another legislative casualty is a Senate bill that, if passed, would have authorized St. Louis County to hold a vote for a sales tax to support early childhood education and care. Backers conceded that it won’t get across the finish line this year. A proposal to put a similar question before voters in the city of St. Louis in November is similarly in doubt.

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For a legislative session that figures to see a relatively small number of bills reach the governor’s desk this year, Murphy is taking “a win is a win” approach.

“Getting three things across the line in this session was probably as much as you could hope for,” he said.



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Missouri

Free fishing coming to Missouri on June 8-9

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Free fishing coming to Missouri on June 8-9


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Missouri will allow free fishing June 8-9, the Missouri Department of Conservation said.

During Free Fishing Days, anyone may fish in the Show-Me State without having to buy a fishing permit, trout permit or trout park daily tag.

It is an annual MDC event that takes place statewide during the Saturday and Sunday following the first Monday in June.

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Aside from not needing permits, other fishing regulations remain in effect, such as limits on size and number of fish an angler may keep. Special permits may still be required at some county, city or private fishing areas. Trespass laws remain in effect on private property.

MDC said Missouri is a great place to fish, and Free Fishing Days encourages people to sample Missouri’s abundant fishing opportunities. Missouri has more than a million acres of surface water, and most of it provides great fishing. More than 200 different fish species are found in Missouri, with more than 20 of them being game fish for the state’s more than 1.1 million anglers.

For information on Missouri fishing regulations, fish identification, and more, get a copy of MDC’s 2024 Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations, available where permits are sold, or online at mdc.mo.gov/about-us/about-regulations/summary-missouri-fishing-regulations.

Want to learn to fish? MDC’s Discover Nature – Fishing Program provides a series of free lessons throughout the state. All fishing gear is provided. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/fishing/discover-nature-fishing.

Need fishing gear? MDC works with numerous libraries and other locations around the state to loan fishing gear for free. Fishing poles and tackle boxes are available at all Texas County Library branches for check out, courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

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MDC’s free MO Fishing app can help anglers find the best places to fish in Missouri, access regulation information, identify fish by species and more. Anglers can also buy, store and show fishing permits right on their mobile devices. MO Fishing is available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/contact-engage/mobile-apps/mo-fishing.



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Kenton Deverman wins Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year

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Kenton Deverman wins Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) – Earlier this week, Aces Freshman Pitcher Kenton Deverman was named the Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year.

Deverman is the second Aces to earn the honor all time after going a perfect 5-0 in MVC play.

Did any moment from his special season stand out?

“I don’t really have one or two moments, but just the whole experience,” said Deverman. “Out here with these guys, these coaches, these fans, it’s just been one incredible year. It was an awesome feeling really, this has been such a fun season, and knowing for this team to be where it is, for all these awards to be given out to us, it’s really awesome to see.”

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Congrats to Deverman. USI’s Grant Parson won the OVC Freshman of the year, we will catch up with him when the Screaming Eagles get back to town.



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Results are In: Forbes says Kansas, Missouri drivers among the worst

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Results are In: Forbes says Kansas, Missouri drivers among the worst


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) – The results of the Forbes worst drivers study are in, and the results are unflattering for both drivers in Kansas and Missouri.

On Wednesday, May 22, Forbes announced its new advisory study found that both Kansas and Missouri ranked among the top 10 worst drivers in the nation.

The study ranked Kansas as the 8th worst while Missouri took the number 10 spot.

The survey cited a high number of fatal crashes and an influx of drivers behind the wheel either being under the influence or drowsiness.

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For more information, click HERE.



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