On Monday, Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer discussed the “complicated” confirmation process for Jason Hall. Hall - the former executive director of the Missouri Technology Corporation - was tapped to be the next director of the Department of Economic Development.
I spent all of Wednesday and a little bit of Thursday at the Missouri Capitol doing some work for the St. Louis Beacon. Along the way, I filmed what could be best described as a copious amount of videos.
The first one is a clip of Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, speaking to a pool of reporters about the state’s budget situation.
A lawsuit was filed yesterday against a redistricted map passed over Gov. Jay Nixon’s objection. You can read more in this story from the St. Louis Beacon.
Click on the above video to see Nixon’s reaction.
Finally, here’s a compilation video I made on Tuesday of various reactions to changes made in wide-ranging economic development legislation. Those changes included taking out a $300 million portion of a plan aimed at luring a “China Hub” to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
Some lawmakers say other elements of the bill - such a program called Compete Missouri - can accomplish that goal. Others - like House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville - don’t approve of the idea because it provides too much power to the Department of Economic Development.
Gov. Jay Nixon wants the legislature to alter statutes pertaining to electronic communication between teachers and students.
The provision was included in a bill known as the “Amy Hestir Student Protection Act,” which was aimed at curtailing sexual misconduct against students. The provision in question garnered controversy after questions arose how it would affect teachers’ ability to use social networking to communicate with students.
That aspect of the law prompted lawsuits, including one that today resulted in an injunction. Now, Nixon is adding changes to the communication provisions to a September special session.
“First and foremost, our top concern and priority is and always will be protecting children across Missouri, and making sure students receive the quality education they need and deserve,” Nixon said in a statement. “In a digital world, we must recognize that social media can be an important tool for teaching and learning. At the same time, we must be vigilant about threats posed to students through the Internet and other means. Because of confusion and concern among educators, students and families over this specific provision of Senate Bill 54, I will ask the General Assembly to repeal that particular section, while preserving other vital protections included in the bill. In addition, I will be asking for input on this issue from teachers, parents and other stakeholders.”
Nixon added: “Although this legislation included a number of vital provisions, it’s clear this one particular section is causing substantial confusion and concern among teachers, students and families. For that reason, it’s important that we repeal this specific language during the upcoming special session, while we continue to work together to ensure the safety and protection of Missouri’s children.”
Backers of the legislation had expressed a desire to tackle the issue at next month’s special session.
Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation that would have extended a deadline to install sprinklers in residential care and assisted living facilities.
The bill in question would have extended a 2012 deadline to 2014. The requirement was largely put in place in response to a 2006 fire in southwest Missouri.
“The loss of life from the Anderson Guest House fire led to important changes to protect the most vulnerable in our society,” Nixon said in a statement. “The law provided these facilities with more than five years to install the basic measures that would save lives. Yet here we are, several years later, with only incremental progress made toward having sprinkler systems in every group home. Any further delay puts lives unnecessarily at risk, and that is unacceptable.”
The bill ended up passing the Missouri Senate 33-1. The only person who voted against that bill in the chamber was Sen. Jack Goodman, a Mt. Vernon Republican. The governor’s office included a statement from Goodman in the press release announcing the veto of the legislation.
“Pushing back those important protections would endanger residents who already are vulnerable in emergency situations,” Goodman said in a statement. “Gov. Nixon made the right decision in vetoing this bill.”
Here are the final two videos I shot from yesterday’s hearing of a commission tasked with redrawing state Senate districts.
The first features Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, answering some questions from the panel, which is made up of five Democrats and five Republicans:
And here is more footage from Sen. Brian Nieves’ testimony. Nieves, R-Washington, presented three proposals to redraw the 26th Senatorial District:
I wasn’t able to make the House commission hearing, so I suggest you read Jo Mannies’ write-up at the St. Louis Beacon.
I sat in today on a public hearing for a committee tasked with drawing state Senate districts for the next decade. A number of state senators testified before the commission, thus I’ll be posting a few videos.The first video features Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, testifying before the committee.