OPINION: Rep. Stacey Newman Says Some New Gun Laws Will Save Lives

By State Rep. (D)Stacey Newman pictured with Al Sharpton.

A flurry of bills have been recently filed in Missouri – to “take guns away”, to declare federal gun laws unenforceable and even one to make it a felony for legislators to file gun safety bills.

The widespread attention to these bills has detracted from the focus on rising gun violence fatalities and common sense solutions. Unnecessary drama over who can file the most comedic or outrageous legislation has resulted in our state legislature forgetting their utmost responsibility: saving lives.

Electric surcharge bill debated in House committee

Missouri News Horizon
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would allow Missouri’s investor owned electric energy companies to seek rate increases to fund infrastructure projects.

The bill has already received united support from Missouri’s three top energy companies — Ameren Energy, Kansas City Power and Light, and Empire District Electric Company — as well as Missouri electrical unions, but has been opposed by energy consumer groups.

The Missouri Industrial Energy Consumers, a group of business including Noranda Aluminum (Ameren’s largest energy consumer) and Anheuser-Busch, testified in opposition to the bill, claiming it could cost 60,000 jobs in the state due to cost increases.

House gives first round approval to school report card ratings

Missouri News Horizon
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri lawmakers gave first-round approval to legislation that would give public and charter schools an ‘A’ through ‘F’ letter grade rating performance.

The House of Representatives approved the bill Tuesday evening. Under the proposal, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Swan, would give a school a report cared based on a set of criterion in an effort to simply the reporting system.

Missouri Viewpoints: The Cost of Food in Missouri

What Should We Plan For After Two Years of Hard Times on Farmers?

By Mike Ferguson

(St. Charles, MO) – First it was flooding and then an extended drought.

While news reports occasionally profiled the impact the weather has had on Missouri farmers these last two years, it’s likely that we’ll all feel the impact in the coming months.

That’s because lowered crop production generally means higher food prices. That’s a result of basic supply and demand.

In a new “Missouri Viewpoints”, the Missouri Farm Bureau’s Kelly Smith says that impact isn’t limited to corn, beans and wheat.

Business groups “uncomfortable” supporting Medicaid expansion

Missouri News Horizon
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — House Speaker Tim Jones says business groups are uncomfortable with the fiscal impact of Medicaid expansion, despite their public push for Gov. Jay Nixon’s proposal to expand the program.

“I think the business groups are receiving a lot of pressure from those who would gain the most financially from medicaid expansion,” he said. “From talking to them privately, I’m not sure they’re very comfortable with their positions.”

Ameren, energy companies begin push for raising rates for infrastructure funding

Missouri News Horizon

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri energy companies made their case Tuesday for legislation that would allow them to raise rates to fund infrastructure projects.

Sen. Mike Kehoe presented the legislation — Senate Bill 207 — to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Tuesday afternoon, where he called on lawmakers to allow investor owned energy companies to raise rates to fund already completed projects.

“The upcoming need for infrastructure is our energy cliff,” he said. The legislation, “if done right, can be an effective way to fix aging infrastructure.”

Lawmakers mull higher education funding formula

Missouri News Horizon

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s universities would need to show better performance to get additional state funding, if lawmakers approve a new funding formula that was unveiled on Monday.

Legislation was announced in the Senate Education Committee by State Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrnesburg, that would force universities to compete for a portion of additional state funding.

“I just think that we need to hold our universities accountable,” Pearce said. “We as a state need to determine what we think are important things that they should be doing and then reward those universities that are doing a great job.”

Missouri View Points - Keeping Missouri’s Highways Safe On A Budget

(St. Charles, MO) – No matter where you go, part of state government is always underneath your feet or, in this case, tires.

Missouri Department of Transportation officials have been warning for the last few years that funding will not always keep up with the cost of maintaining and expanding our roads and bridges.

Part of the reason is the current transportation funding approach, which relies on fuel taxes and sales taxes on vehicles. Auto sales aren’t what they used to be and cars are more fuel efficient, meaning less revenue for the state.

Taxpayers still need safe roads and strong bridges, though.

New sports tax credit could help lure armature-sporting events to Missouri

MNH - Photo by Kyle Quick

The sports tax credit would entice Missouri venues to be more active in hosting events such as NCAA basketball.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — They’re supposed to be cutting tax credit programs in the state legislature...not creating new ones. But the Missouri Senate has given first round approval to a new tax credit program designed to lure large scale amateur athletic events to Missouri.

The legislation, pushed by State Sen. Eric Schmitt, would offer tax credits to event organizers based on the number of tickets an event organizer sells.