Remember When Kurt Schaefer Said Politicians Should Leave Academic Decisions Alone?

 

Back in 2008, Kurt Schaefer said about stem cell research, "I think that academic decisions should be made by academics based on peer-review academic standards and professional standards and not by politicians."

The sentiment is strikingly similar to that expressed by Rep. Stephen Webber (D-Columbia) recently in response to attacks on the University of Missouri's stem cell research.

Grover Norquist is wrong a lot about "Right to Work" votes in Missouri

Maybe it's because he's based in Washington, D.C. and not Missouri, but Grover Norquist gets things wrong about Missouri... a lot. Especially when it comes to ALEC's so-called 'Right to Work' bills.

Prior to veto session, Norquist was confident HB 116, ALEC's so-called 'Right to Work' bill sponsored by Rep. Burlison, would be overridden.

2015 Veto Session Preview

This Wednesday is the Missouri Legislature's veto session. Here's a snapshot of the most contentious bills that may be brought up for a vote

USDA: Missouri 2nd in nation for households without enough to eat

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports annually on hunger and food security across the country. This year wasn't good for Missouri families.

Missouri is ahead of only Arkansas in number of households without enough to eat; almost 8% of Missourians have a "very low food supply." With a food insecurity rate of 17%, Missouri is tied for 7th in the nation.

GOP Rep: Jeff City shouldn't overstep local control

Rep. Linda Black (R-Park Hills) expressed her opposition to HB 722, a bill that would ban local control on certain issues and is up for a vote during next week's veto session.

She calls the bill's ban on bans* of plastic bags, "a very obvious example of this-should-be-left-to-local-control."

The Jeff City Gift Culture, by the Numbers

Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) records show that state legislators, statewide officials, judges and local officials have accepted more than $10,810,500 in gifts from lobbyists since 2004. On average, that’s $900,000 — every year — in free meals, booze, trips, lodging and other gifts. Almost all of these gifts go to members of the General Assembly and their staff members.

One More Teenage Hero Who Deserves Support

At Progress Missouri, we know that heroes are defined by their courage in the face of adversity. Last week, one hero came into the spotlight, for taking a stand for who she is and what she deserves. That hero is Lila Perry.

Lila Perry only asked to be treated like every other girl at Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, Missouri. Lila, who identifies as transgender, was tired of using a unisex faculty bathroom, so she went into the girls’ bathroom. The result- over one hundred of her peers walked out of school in protest.

Jeff City Gift Takers, Ranked (New Data)

The Missouri Ethics Commission today released lobbyist gift data for July 2015. Rep. Mike Colona (D-St. Louis) now tops all gift takers for the year. 

Missouri GOPers reaffirm strong opposition to ALEC's 'Right to Work' attacks

Opposition to ALEC's so-called 'right to work' attacks is and always has been bipartisan. Pushed by out-of-state corporate interests, 'right to work' legislation would harm all working Missourians. This is why Republican legislators have stood against it. Recently, Representatives Linda Black (R-Park Hills), Kathie Conway (R-St. Charles), and Galen Higdon (R-St.

MEC: ALEC junket details improperly hidden from public

The Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) ruled Friday that free food and drinks provided to former Speaker John Diehl, former Speaker Tim Jones, Sen. Ed Emery, Rep. Sue Allen and Sen. Wayne Wallingford during the 2014 American Legislative Exchange Council junket in Dallas, TX were improperly reported as ‘group expenditures.’ The MEC’s consent order and Letter of Concern indicating that “there were reasonable grounds to believe violations of the law occurred” are posted on the Commission’s website.

The MEC investigation and ruling centered on a “Missouri Night” dinner during the August 2014 American Legislative Exchange Council junket and meetings in Dallas.  The total bill for the meal at the Dallas Chop House was an outrageous $5,686, split between the five legislators, two of their spouses, fifteen lobbyists and fifteen other unidentified individuals. Lobbyists with interests before the General Assembly paid for the extravagant evening.

The free food and drinks provided to Diehl, Jones, Allen, Emery and Wallingford were originally reported as going to the "Entire General Assembly," even though the lobbyists paying for the meal knew exactly which legislators were in Dallas at the luxury steakhouse. Incredibly, some of the lobbyists in question reported the small cab fares for specific legislators before attempting to hide the much larger cost of the meal from those same legislators' gift reports.

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