Clean Missouri | KCUR

Clean Missouri

As the GOP-controlled Legislature seeks to undo a new state legislative redistricting system, some are pointing to the plan’s potential negative impact on majority-black House and Senate districts.

While those arguments aren’t prompting African American Democrats to vote to get rid of what’s known as Clean Missouri, that doesn’t mean black political leaders are universally embracing the new system. Some believe the language in the new redistricting process won’t prevent a scenario where the percentage of black residents in House and Senate districts get reduced — making it easier for white candidates to win.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

The Missouri House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Monday to advance a joint resolution that would have voters decide whether to make changes to the redistricting process outlined by Amendment 1, otherwise known as Clean Missouri. Voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment last November.

Segment 1: With only three weeks left in the regular legislative session there are still major issues to be addressed.

From asking Missourians to vote again on the Clean Missouri intitiative to redefining blight in order to curtail the use of TIF to a strict abortion bill, state lawmakers have their hands full for the rest of the session. A review of these and other major issues offered insight into the bills connected with each.

Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Democrats might be down, but party leadership says they’re not out in the Missouri House of Representatives — despite being outnumbered more than 2-to-1.

In fact, Republicans hold a trifecta, controlling all three branches of government. Democrats lost control of the House in 2003, and haven't controlled the Senate since 2000. But with U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill losing her seat in November's election, House Minority Leader Crystal Quade said it's time to rebuild the party. 

Segment 1: Missouri House minority leader explained her party can still manage to get issues across the finish line.

Representative Crystal Quade says her run for leadership was motivated by a desire to help Democrats through a time of rebuilding and she's one of the first millenials to do so in Missouri. The second-term legislator explained that building relationships with Republicans and finding issues they can agree on is more important than who gets the credit.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Any member of the public can go to the debates in Missouri House or Senate. And in November, voters said the discussions about legislation and strategy that lawmakers have in emails and other documents should be public knowledge, too.

But some legislators are looking to once again shield those records from public view, a move that opponents say is a step backward for government openness and transparency.

Creative Commons

Seg. 1: A recent poll shows Jolie Justus and Steve Miller leading the race for Kansas City mayor, but nearly 30 percent of voters are undecided.

A bill that would change Missouri's open records law has made it through a Missouri Senate committee and is moving forward.

The bill would reverse a decision made by voters in November when they approved a Constitutional amendment known as "Clean Missouri."

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Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio file photo

The majority of Missouri state representatives decided Thursday to subject local officials to the same lobbying and campaign contribution limits that state legislators face, as well as limit the amount of official records that can be made public.

Senior Airman Thomas Barley / 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Segment 1: After unprecedented ballot initiative success in November, GOP lawmakers look to change the process.

Gov. Mike Parson and Republican lawmakers in the Missouri General Assembly have made ballot initiative reform a priority for this legislative session, saying the current system is too easy for out-of-state interests and funding sources to exploit. Critics of that position say the reform proposals are an affront to voter's ability to directly influence state policy. Today, we heard from both sides of the issue.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Missouri’s lawmakers return to the Capitol in Jefferson City this week for the first session under Gov. Mike Parson. There’s a host of issues on the agenda for General Assembly’s 100th session, and here’s a look at the major ones.

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Segment 1: Missouri has had three governors in the last three years. Soon, a new class of state lawmakers will take their seats in the Statehouse.

Missouri lawmakers will next week begin revisiting proposals on more than a few issues previous legislatures were unable to resolve. A gas tax that would have financed road and bridge projects was rejected by voters in November, leaving state lawmakers wondering how else to find the funding. Other issues like Clean Missouri and a prescription drug-monitoring program are likely to be taken up. 

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Missouri’s comprehensive revamp of ethics laws goes into effect this week, as does a new redistricting process that is unique among all U.S. states.

Despite passing with 62 percent of the vote in November, Amendment 1 (or Clean Missouri) still rankles opponents, who are pushing to bring the topic back to the ballot box.