Guest Commentaries

WHAT OTHERS SAY: More reforms needed to fix Missouri's criminal justice system

Missouri lawmakers should rewrite the criminal code, reduced penalties for some crimes, streamlined the code and keep their eyes on the ultimate prize: fix the system so in the long run, prison populations drop.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: U.S. should closely watch censorship protests in China

How new chief party leader Xi Jinping handles the media-censorship issue will reveal much about how he intends to proceed in the future.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Ameren has tough sell in seeking new electric rate surcharge

Sometime in coming days or weeks, Ameren is expected to ask for a new surcharge, which charges consumers for ongoing costs of replacing old infrastructure.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Refine strategy to combat meth

Pseudoephedrine in medicines should be carefully tracked without causing collateral damage to cold sufferers.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Coke still needs to get real

Coke's new commercials addressing obesity are just trying to conceal the truth behind their sugary drinks.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Early movements coming from the 'Peoples' Visioning'

Peoples' Visioning wants Columbia to raise its Renewable Energy Standard to 80 percent by 2015.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Hagel has the most important qualities for defense secretary

Chuck Hagel, if confirmed by the Senate, will become the first ever enlisted veteran — an ex-Army sergeant — to serve as secretary of defense, and the first Vietnam veteran.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: It's a travesty the legislature hasn't fixed Second Injury Fund

Missouri workers aren't getting paid what they're owed by the Second Injury Fund — a program that has been broken for more than two years.

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.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Second term poses big test for Gov. Jay Nixon

Playing it safe has gotten Jay Nixon elected four times as state attorney general and twice as governor in an increasingly Republican state, but it won't cement his legacy.

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.