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Brian Ellison / KCUR 89.3 file photo

The Missouri General Assembly convenes this week and Republicans are still in charge, with supermajorities largely unaffected by the 2018 election. They’re united with Gov. Mike Parson, who's a decidedly less controversial leader than predecessor Eric Greitens, who resigned in June.

Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio file photo

All over Kansas City, its suburbs and outlying areas, new Missouri lawmakers will be taking their seats this week in Jefferson City. Who are the people representing you? Read on.

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.

Chris Haxel / KCUR 89.3

Lawmakers this week are reintroducing federal legislation that would require background checks on nearly all gun purchases — what they call "universal background checks." But what are universal background checks, and how could they affect gun sales in Kansas and Missouri? Let's take a look at what they would — and would not — entail.

Rebecca Hange / KCUR 89.3

After three years of investigation and review, a dark chapter in the history of the Kansas City Police Department appears to have come to a close.

An internal investigation, uncovered two years ago by the Kansas City Star, showed a massive failure in KCPD's Crimes Against Children's unit.

It’s going to be awhile before medical marijuana will be available to Missouri patients.

The timetable imposed by Amendment 2 – which Missouri voters overwhelmingly backed in November – will likely give the state close to a year before pot in its various forms will be legally available for patients.

Dr. Patricia Hurford, a Kirkwood-based physician, is optimistic that the wait will be worth it. She also practices in Illinois, which has had a medical-marijuana program in place for several years.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Depending on where you live in Missouri, the amount of sales tax you pay can vary widely.

Those discrepancies exist within Kansas City, where you could pay anywhere from 8.6 percent to 11.6 percent sales tax based on where you are.

St. Louis-area Senator Andrew Koenig wants to limit the total amount local governments can collect.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

The $2.9 billion settlement between Volkswagen and the federal government could bring newer buses to Missouri’s roads, but it’s up to local transit authorities and bus companies to apply. 

Robert J. Dole Federal Courthouse

Though the criminal justice reform bill signed into law Friday by President Donald Trump affects only prisoners charged with federal crimes, it could have an outsized effect in states like Kansas and Missouri, where repeat drug offenders are more likely to face harsh prison sentences.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

Updated 7 p.m. Dec. 20 to reflect the city council’s vote — The full Kansas City Council approved four proposals Thursday to address the lack of affordable housing in the city.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

After months of tense negotiations behind closed doors, the Kansas City Council passed a series of changes Thursday that it hopes will cut into bad scrap yard behavior. 

Several times in the past months, a deal was said to be close but it ultimately fell part.

Gov. Mike Parson selected House Budget Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick to be state treasurer.

The 31-year-old Barry County Republican will succeed Eric Schmitt, who Parson selected to be Attorney General. It’s the third statewide vacancy that Parson has filled since taking office on June 1.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

When the 100th Missouri General Assembly starts Jan. 9, more than 30 percent of the seats will be filled by new lawmakers. Many are finding that it’s one thing to run for state office, it’s another to actually serve. 

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)

Kansas City officials got another look on Thursday at what a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport might look like, although the design is still in the early phase. 

Although the two-story fountain featured in the original conceptual design is still absent, the architect from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) assured city councilmembers that they’re working on one, possibly in the retail area.

The first thing that Kansas City residents will see approaching the airport is… the parking garage.

A Washington, D.C. based think-tank has released a report showing just how hard Saudi Arabia is trying to influence the American government using lobbyists and PR campaigns. One senator from Missouri made the top 10 list of politicians taking campaign contributions from firms representing the Persian Gulf kingdom.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Updated at 7:20 p.m. Dec. 10 with a response to the investigation from the Office of the Attorney General.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. Dec. 10 with secretary of state's office requesting the auditor's help in the investigation— Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is under investigation for possibly using "public funds" in his bid for U.S. Senate, the Secretary of State's Office announced Thursday.

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.

Missouri News Horizon / Creative Commons-Flickr

Former Missouri state Sen. Ryan Silvey received more than $170,000 in contributions over a four-year period from the executives of a nonprofit that is the focus of a long-running federal investigation, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Council passed a resolution Thursday allocating revenue from dockless scooters to affordable housing initiatives.

The 9-4 vote followed nearly an hour of debate over what is, in the context of the city's housing needs, a small amount of money.

Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate

Nearly a month ago, Kansas City, Missouri, officials were assured that the biggest airlines that serve Kansas City International Airport were on board with the higher price tag of $1.6 billion to build a new, single terminal.

Now, they’re not so sure.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James says he’s making progress to ensure that the airlines flying in and out of Kansas City International airport are all on board with the new single terminal project.

In a statement e-mailed late Tuesday afternoon, James said the city and the airlines have agreed to revisit the project’s scope.

This could further delay terminal construction, which has already been pushed back several times.

Madeline Fox / Kansas News Service

Turmoil marks the troubled norm for foster care in Kansas.

Now political, financial and legal forces look poised to slam the system into a new level of chaos that makes seasoned child welfare professionals worried about a barrage of change.

David Kovaluk / St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Since the end of the 2018 election season, Missouri lawmakers from both parties have openly discussed trying to alter ballot items that voters approved this month — especially a constitutional amendment overhauling state legislative redistricting.

But legislators appear to have little appetite to revisit right to work, which voters overwhelmingly repealed during the August primary.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City might be four years and $2 billion away from a single terminal at Kansas City International Airport, but that doesn't mean it's too soon to start thinking about how to police it.

The Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court on Friday to bypass lower courts and rule quickly on its ban of most transgender military members.

As he prepares to change jobs, state Treasurer Eric Schmitt talked to St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies about two of the major influences on his life:

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Advocates for more transportation funding in Missouri say lawmakers need to quickly consider alternative funding sources after voters rejected a gas tax increase at the polls this month.

Google Street View

Prairie Village City Council members debated the wisdom and scope of an LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinance and ultimately voted unanimously Monday night for a broader ordinance than it originally contemplated.

The suburban council took action where state and federal law hasn’t yet reached — barring discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity by the city, landlords and any business offering services to the public.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Gov. Mike Parson appointed state Treasurer Eric Schmitt as Missouri’s next attorney general Tuesday morning, filling the office that will be vacated by Josh Hawley, who was elected to the U.S. Senate last week.

Supporters of a plan that would have boosted Missouri’s gas tax by 10 cents are plotting their next steps after voters rejected the increase Tuesday.

Proposition D failed 54 percent to 46 percent, winning just six counties, all of which are located along Interstate 70. Voters last approved an increase in 1996.

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