Missouri legislature 2013
The House approved a constitutional amendment that allows a photo ID requirement. Lawmakers then endorsed legislation to implement it.
The bill would require the Public Defender system to contract out all cases in which a person was charged with a nonsexual Class C or D felony, a traffic violation or a probation violation which could reduce the system's caseload by about three-quarters.
Members of the Missouri House approved a proposal that would require voters to show photo identification at polling places.
The Senate gave initial approval Wednesday to a measure expanding the definition of "misconduct" in the workplace.
A 2005 law had capped noneconomic damages at $350,000 and was part of a broader effort to curb liability lawsuits. The Supreme Court ruled this past summer that the cap was unconstitutional.
The resolution would ensure that no law could be enacted in Missouri that would abridge "the right of farmers and ranchers to employ modern farming technology and modern livestock production and ranching practices."
Lawmakers were considering two proposals Tuesday that would change the state's "prevailing wage," which is the pay rate that cities, counties and other governmental entities must pay for construction projects.
Lawmakers endorsed separate measures Tuesday that would alter provisions of the state's Sunshine Law. Some of the new provisions would require greater notice of government meetings and flight details of elected officials.
Moody's Investors Service assigned a negative outlook to the state's credit rating last week because of its link to the federal government.
Supporters say existing penalties for Missouri are harsh and costly. The bill would allow offenders to expunge the misdemeanor from their criminal records.
The extension of five benevolent tax credits, passed by the Missouri House of Representatives on Wednesday, benefits Columbia's Rainbow House as well as other people and organizations around the state.
Supporters argue the legislation would allow Missouri to be more competitive in the job market. Opponents say it would weaken unions and hinder collective bargaining.
Although it would apply to any failing school district in Missouri, the Senate legislation is targeted primarily at the Kansas City school system.
A Senate committee considered a proposal that would let local governments impose a tax. Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed last year's attempt.
The head of the Legislative Black Caucus criticized the photo identification requirement as a "voter suppression" measure. Republicans argued the requirement would increase transparency and reduce voter fraud.
The Sunshine Law currently allows fines of up to $1,000 against officials or governmental bodies who "knowingly" violate it. The legislation would reduce the fines to $100 but no longer require that violations were "knowing."
The Missouri Senate passed a bill Thursday that could help lure big sporting events to the state. The legislation would reimburse the sporting event's sponsors $5 for every ticket sold. An additional bill that reinstates tax credits to certain charities was also passed by the Senate.
The bill, filed one day before the December massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, would require that a certified instructor teach a National Rifle Association-sponsored gun safety course in first-grade classrooms across the state.
Legislation filed this past week in the Senate would let electric utilities seek an infrastructure system replacement surcharge for several types of projects. The bill's sponsor says consumers would save money over time through increased reliability and efficiency.
Missouri's Republican lawmakers, who hold a majority in the legislature, hope to expand gun rights in the state, contrary to federal proposals that would limit them.