Guest Commentaries

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Extend Missouri's minimum school year

Gov. Jay Nixon has proposed lengthening the school year from a minimum of 174 days to the national average of 180 days.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Can the Republican Party adjust to demographic shift?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 updated projection, in 2043 non-Hispanic white Americans will cease to be a majority. The change is in process already, and it influenced recent presidential voting to such an extent that a few commentators had to address it.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Pay the bills, control spending

Congress under both Democratic and Republican leadership has decided to fund a large number of federal programs. The bills have to be paid, and, as President Barack Obama put it, America is not a deadbeat nation.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in Missouri would save lives

Painkiller overdose deaths have more than quadrupled during the past 10 years in Missouri, the only state in the U.S. that has not passed legislation to enable a functioning monitoring program.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Who should pay costs to improve transportation?

The Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri's Transportation Needs released a report last week listing options to fund the state's transportation system. Those funding options generally fall into two separate categories — everyone pays or users pay.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: StudentsFirst report card misses the mark

StudentsFirst report cards merely labeled schools “failing” because state legislatures haven’t adopted the policy prescriptions pushed by Michelle Rhee’s group.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Take action, state lawmakers, on Right to Work laws, tax credits, Medicaid

After too many years of gridlock, there are promises of action. We will be watching closely to see if they produce — and if what they produce promises to be good for Missouri.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Health care spending slows but not insurance costs

This is happening despite the fact that one of the main objectives of the Affordable Care Act was to stop skyrocketing health insurance costs for consumers. The law specifically seeks to prevent insurance companies from overcharging policyholders and requires that regulators review any request for a rate hike of 10 percent or more.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Proceed with caution on changing laws

The panel accurately characterized the issue of child sexual abuse as complex. In deference to that assessment, the report advances recommendations in the areas of awareness, education, mental health service, public policy and state statutes.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Awareness and training help protect children

Specifically, children can be taught basic, age-appropriate lessons on boundaries and inappropriate touching. Parents are urged to observe and monitor interactions between their children and other adolescents and adults.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Ed Martin finally wins an election, to the shame of the GOP

Mainstream Republicans who hope to see their party regain statewide prowess are aghast at Mr. Martin’s election.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Missouri has an epidemic of child sexual abuse

Child sexual abuse in Missouri is characterized as a “silent epidemic” by members of a task force that studied the issue.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: MoDOT 2012 projects, progress aid mid-Missouri

The road work Missouri motorists encounter regularly and announced projects might seem unimpressive until grouped in an annual progress report.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Medicaid expansion, bond issue are key legislative priorities

There are two very substantial economic development proposals on the agenda for the upcoming legislative session that already have at least some bipartisan support and would do more for the economy than any bill in recent memory.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Make e-commerce pay tax

The law has failed to keep up with society and its increasing dependence on Internet traffic and trade.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: If tax cuts feed a healthy economy, where is Missouri's prosperity?

If tax cuts really improve the economy, then Missouri’s should be booming. By nearly any measure, the state has among the lowest tax burdens in the nation, much of it the result of Republican policies since 2003.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Popping a Wile E. Coyote parachute at the fiscal cliff

Americans deserve better than this bill. They deserve a serious attempt to address long-term debt and spending issues and budget reform. They deserve a serious debate over fair taxation and income inequality.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Familiar issues, changing backdrops and new voices

Among priorities identified by both legislative leaders and local lawmakers is economic development, including job creation and tax credit reform.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: A watershed year? Maybe not, but minds are swinging open

It is customary at this time of year to bemoan the 12 months just past and look forward to a happier New Year. But it must be said that in some ways, the planet and its people were better off in 2012 than they have been in centuries.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: In Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, a true hero

It's difficult to overstate Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf's importance to modern U.S. military history. The military hero of the Gulf War spent his twilight years helping children and charities.