Power prices could rise again, on top of Ameren rate hike

By Johnny Kampis | Missouri Watchdog

ST. LOUIS — Customers of Ameren Missouri will be paying $120 a year more for electricity, and higher rates are on the horizon.

The Missouri Public Service Commission earlier this week OK’d Ameren’s rate increase that will hike residential bills an average of $10 a month.

But the PSC has yet to act on a proposal to create a separate rate class for low-income power customers, which could cause bills to increase even more for those not in that lower rate class.

Tax increases on middle class - the wealthy - budget cuts - Congress can't decide as "fiscal cliff" nears

By Johnny Kampis | Missouri Watchdog
ST. LOUIS — Tick tock goes the fiscal clock, and when the alarm sounds taxes will rise.

The nation will fall off the so-called “fiscal cliff” in less than three weeks unless Congress can reach an agreement on a combination of budget cuts and tax increases.

But as the days draw nearer to 2013, when Bush-era tax cuts expire and rates stand to go up, Missouri’s congressional delegation seems as divided on the issue as the rest of the nation.

“The clock is ticking, no question about that,” said Steve Walsh, Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s press secretary.

If nothing is done the average American family’s tax bill stands to go up between about $3,000 to $4,000, depending on which study you believe. The Heritage Foundation said the average Missourian would pay $2,634 more in taxes next year.

Missouri voter turnout down from 2008

--Approximately 65.7 percent of registered voters participated in elections earlier this year, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan said Wednesday.

Voter turnout was down from both 2008 — when 69 percent of registered voters cast their ballots — and from Carnahan’s own prediction of 72 percent. About 2.7 million cast ballots this year, with the highest turnout reported from Osage County.

Bill proposing stores to be closed on Thanksgiving - Not beloved by free market believers

By Johnny Kampis | Missouri Watchdog

ST. LOUIS – A Missouri lawmaker wants you to enjoy your turkey and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but not buy a LCD high-definition TV at a low, low price.

State Rep. Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart, has pre-filed what he calls the Thanksgiving Family Protection Act, which would prohibit all retail establishments except restaurants, gas stations and drug stores from opening on Thanksgiving.

Roorda said he filed the bill, which is co-sponsored by Mike Colona, D-St. Louis, in response to major retailers such as Walmart and Target moving back their Black Friday sales to Thursday.