New Study Reconfirms Need for Living Wages in KC and St. Louis

The Economic Policy Institute just released an update for their Family Budget Calculator, a measuring tool of economic security across America.

When accounting for geographic differences and basic necessities, such as housing, transportation, child care, and health care, the report concludes there is “nowhere in the country where a minimum-wage worker-even a single adult without children-earns enough to meet the requirements of their local family budget.”

Kansas City and St. Louis families are not immune from the struggle of trying to make ends meet with a low paying job.

In Kansas City, two parents who are raising 2 children need an income of $5,242 a month or almost $63,000 a year to barely get by day to day.

In St. Louis, that same family would need to make $5,258 a month or nearly $63,100 a year.

Missouri ALEC Co-Chair: Missouri taking cues on voter id from ALEC

When Republicans start talking about "Voter Fraud," we know it's a dog whistle to an extremist base that has little regard for equal access to ballot boxes. In Ed Emery's latest video touting how awesome he thinks ALEC is, Missouri's ALEC co-chair and State Senator talks about one of his House colleagues getting new ideas from Texas to "control voter fraud."

Ed Emery: I was just talking to one of my colleagues from the Missouri House, he had dinner at a table with a group from Texas which is doing something on controlling voter fraud. And it's a new idea, well, it's new to me, it's a great workable idea and he's already directed his staff, and told them to start working with House Research on drafting legislation.

If this idea is anything like the Voter ID legislation that Texas passed, Sen. Emery and his yet-unnamed House colleague should take a long hard look at what's happened since the bill passed: it has discriminated against women, students and minorities. The bill even prohibited a 93 year-old veteran from voting because he no longer drives. Worst of all, if Emery and his legislative colleague are looking to use Texas' voter ID bill as a model, a bill that closely matches ALEC's model legislation, they should be forewarned that portions of it have been thrown out by the courts for... you guessed it, violating the Voting Rights Act.

Senate President Resigns to Join Sinquefield Lobby Shop

The effort to enact ethics reform last session was downright pathetic. It wasn't prioritized and when meager reforms were passed the House and Senate couldn't come to an agreement on lobbyist gift limits so the bills were stalled. It's hardly shocking another politician has gone through the revolving door from elected official to private lobbyist.

Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles) just last Friday resigned his elected position, and this week started work at a Clayton-based lobbying firm called Gate Way Group. It just so happens, Rex Sinquefield, a large donor to Dempsey in the past, is their premier client.

Bill Lant has new conspiracy theory, and it reminds him of Hitler

Rep. Bill Lant (R-Pineville) tries "very hard not to be a conspiracy theorist." Or so he says in his most recent newsletter.

Of course, he goes on to lament the "decisions [...] to teach much less history than we used to." And posing questions like, "when governments are doing the same things that have led to World Wars in the past doesn't it make sense to question their decisions?"

It gets even better when Lant expresses his fear of the government taking everyone's guns away.

Our government is attempting to confiscate guns from elderly people on the premise that they are unable to handle their finances so they shouldn't be able to own guns. What? Did someone add that to the 2nd amendment when we weren't looking? Gun confiscation of any kind is wrong! This is the kind of stuff that Hitler and Mussolini did.

Hmm and he said he was trying hard not to be a conspiracy theorist?

Majority of GOP voters in Missouri support raising minimum wage to at least $10 an hour

Two thirds of Missouri voters in a new PPP poll support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, and 52% of Republicans favor increasing it to at least $10. 

PPP Poll: Roy Blunt is one of the least popular Senators in the country

Public Policy Polling released new data today showing Jason Kander gaining ground on the increasingly unpopular Roy Blunt.

Roy Blunt is one of the least popular Senators in the country, with only 30% of voters approving of the job he's doing to 47% who disapprove. Blunt has become increasingly unpopular over the course of his first term in the Senate.

Blunt is unpopular among independents with an approval/disapproval rating of 24/52. Even with Republican voters his rating is only at 46/28.

PPP writes: "Those are the kinds of numbers that usually make you susceptible to a primary challenge."

Meanwhile, Kander is making gains.

Star: "Schaefer appears to be doing the bidding of multimillionaire Rex Sinquefield"

Senator and Attorney General hopeful, Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) is upset about Kansas City's decision to raise minimum wage. He has decided the only way to fix this wrong is for the Missouri Legislature to strike down Kansas City's 1% earnings tax, coincidentally a pet issue of multimillionaire Missouri political donor, Rex Sinquefield.

The KC Star took Schaefer to task in an editorial that began:

After a session of intern-related scandals and continued inaction on issues like highway funding, the Missouri General Assembly hardly seems qualified to micromanage the affairs of the state’s largest city.

But a cabal of lawmakers is threatening to retaliate for a Kansas City ordinance enacting a minimum wage increase by terminating the 1 percent earnings tax used to provide services such as police and fire protection.

"Schaefer, who often wanders into uninformed, near-hysterical verbiage, wrote that local minimum wage increases would 'cause a tremendous amount of damage to our state’s economy.'"

Voting Rights Act Still a Big Deal

The Missouri Supreme Court struck down a voter ID law in 2006, therefore extremists are trying to change the Missouri constitution. Voter photo ID laws have been proven time and time again to restrict access to voting for certain populations, and the courts continue to rule against them. This is why we need the Voting Rights Act and why it continues to be important to this very day.

New Polls: Americans More Concerned with Racial Inequality Than a Year Ago

New polls released in Augsut show Americans are more concerned with racial inequalities than they were a year ago.



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