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Missouri House advances bill on religious liberty

St. Louis Review

By Joseph Kenny

May 10, 2012

The Missouri House of Representatives has advanced a bill prohibiting the government from forcing employers or employees from paying for abortion drugs, contraceptives or sterilization procedures.

The bill, SB 749, was passed out of the insurance committee as a House Committee Substitute and the rules committee also approved it. The bill is now in position to be debated by the full House. SB 749 might end up in a conference committee where the House and Senate can try to work out their differences. The House Committee Substitute adds a number of new provisions, such as conscience protections for health care providers. An amendment making it clear that individuals can opt out of paying for someone else's abortion is expected to be sought as well.

To continue reading, please visit St.LouisReview.com

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Payday loan reform proponents submit signatures for ballot initiative

Word and Way

By Vicki Brown

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Proponents of a Nov. 4 ballot initiative to cap the annual percentage rate on short-term loans delivered voter signatures with just 20 minutes to spare May 6.

They delivered approximately 180,000 signatures from registered Missouri voters to Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's office at about 4:40 p.m. Although they made their 5 p.m. deadline, they still face a battle challenging the legality of signatures under language struck down by a Cole County Circuit Court judge.

To continue reading, please visit WordandWay.org

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Legislative Update

Missouri Senate Website

May 7, 2012

Week 18 was very much a working week in the Missouri Senate.

On Monday, we returned and went straight into a discussion of the budget.  That discussion lasted well into Tuesday morning, officially ending at 3:30 a.m. 

Later that morning, senators returned to continue budget talks.  Much of the day was devoted to meetings between House and Senate leaders in hopes of finding a compromise that both chambers could agree upon.

To continue reading, please visit MissouriSenate.gov

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Missouri Senate approves Arch sales tax proposal

St. Louis Beacon

By Jason Rosenbaum

April 30, 2012

The Missouri Senate approved legislation laying the groundwork for a vote on a sales tax increase to fund, among other things, improvements around the St. Louis Arch.

The bill would permit the St. Louis Board of Aldermen and the county councils in St. Louis County and St. Charles County to put a 3/16th of 1 percent sales tax increase on the ballot.  About 60 percent of the proceeds would go to the Great Rivers Greenway, while 40 percent would go to local parks.

Funds to Great Rivers Greenway would be used for “enhancements” on the Arch grounds and developing trails throughout the region. To go into effect, at least two of the three voting jurisdictions would have to approve the proposal.

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Missouri senator pushes for new state slogan emphasizing rivers

Missourian

By The Associated Press

April 30, 2012

A Missouri lawmaker wants tourism officials and government agencies in the state to start using another slogan he believes tells more about the state's heritage and attractions.

A resolution by Sen. John Lamping R-St. Louis encourages the Division of Tourism to incorporate the slogan "The Great Rivers State" in its marketing.

Lamping's measure notes that while the Mississippi and Missouri rivers are well-known waterways with significant places in history, Missouri has more than 110,000 miles of rivers and streams altogether.

To continue reading, please visit Missourian.com

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Goodbye Show-Me, Hello Great Rivers

CBS St. Louis

April 30, 2012

A Missouri lawmaker wants tourism officials and government agencies in the Show-Me State to start using another slogan he believes tells more about the state’s heritage and attractions.

A resolution by Sen. John Lamping encourages the Division of Tourism to incorporate the slogan “The Great Rivers State” in its marketing.

To continue reading, please visit KMOX.com

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Legislative Updates

Missouri Senate Website

April 30, 2012

Senators returned Monday afternoon for week 17 of the legislative session. Upon returning, the Senate debated House bills that were up for a third and final vote in the Senate.

As we near the end of session, much of the work is focused on bills that have passed the House and are now in the Senate for similar consideration.

As a chamber, we are also in the process of considering bills that have passed the Senate and then underwent changes in the House before finally passing that chamber. In those instances, the bill sponsor has the ability to request that the bill be heard in what is called a conference committee, which is made up of both senators and representatives. Such committees are tasked with attempting to find some sort of agreement between the two differing versions. Most of the bills related to the 2012 budget are currently in conference committee.

To continue reading, please visit MissouriSenate.gov

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Missouri new slogan proposal- The Great Rivers State?

KSDK.com

By Kristen Gosling

April 30, 2012

A Missouri lawmaker wants tourism officials and government agencies in the Show-Me State to start using another slogan he believes tells more about the state's heritage and attractions.

A resolution by Sen. John Lamping encourages the Division of Tourism to incorporate the slogan "The Great Rivers State" in its marketing.

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Jefferson City Bishop Testifies in Support of Bill to Provide Conscience Protection in Health Plans

Missouri Catholic Conference

April 26, 2012 

Bishop John Gaydos of the Diocese of Jefferson City asked members of the Missouri House Health Insurance Committee to support a bill that would defend conscience rights in health plans by ensuring that insurance companies will, upon request, write policies that exclude abortion drugs, contraceptives and sterilization procedures.

“To put it simply, no person should be forced to pay for abortion drugs or other items that violate their moral and religious convictions. This is exactly the conscience coercion imposed by the new HHS mandate,” Bishop Gaydos said in Tuesday’s hearing.

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Legislative Update

April 21, 2012

The Senate returned this week for the 15th working week of the 2012 session.

Upon arriving to the Capitol on Monday afternoon, I met with students from St. Monica’s Parish in St. Louis.  We had a great discussion about the legislative process in Missouri.  We also discussed some of the bills I’ve sponsored, and I responded to questions posed by the students and teachers.  It was a great way to begin my week at the Capitol. 

Monday evening brought a long debate on issues related to education as we returned to discussion on House Bill 1174, a bill we debated and that I mentioned in the column last week.  Some of the discussion focused on a fix to the Turner vs. Clayton case, an issue that I know is of great importance to the citizens of the 24th District.  Unfortunately, the bill was yet again laid over before a fix to the Turner case could be amended onto the legislation.  As I mentioned last week, we will not give up the push to amend this language onto other pieces of legislation related to education.

To continue reading, please visit Senate.mo.gov

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Teacher tenure bill sidelined by sharp criticism (Audio)

 By Bob Priddy

April 20, 2012

Pointed criticism from some members of her own party has forced the sponsor of a teacher tenure bill to abort an effort to get the senate to pass it. 

Senator Jane Cunningham wants to kill teacher tenure. She says it lets too many poor or mediocre teachers keep their jobs.  The best she could do this year was get a proposal extending the time to quality for tenure from five years to ten. 

To continue reading, please visit Missourinet.com

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Missouri Senate passes education overhaul legislation

By Wes Duplantier

April 19, 2012 

Struggling school districts in Missouri could see significant changes under two pieces of education legislation passed Thursday by the Missouri Senate.

One measure would allow for an expansion of charter schools in lagging districts, while the other would let the state intervene more quickly and make changes in districts that have lost their state accreditation. Both measures now go to the House.

To continue reading, please visit ColumbiaMissourian.com

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Governor/Lieutenant Governor running as team stalls in senate (Audio)

Missourinet

By: Bob Priddy

April 11, 2012 

Whether the office of Lieutenant Governor is important enough to be elected becomes an argument matching the citizens’ right to vote versus government efficiency.

Senator John Lamping of Clayton proposes a constitutional change that would let the winners of party primaries for governor pick their own runinng mates and have the two of them run as a team, as the president and Vice-President do. He says most people don’t know what the Lieutenant Governor does anwyway, a statement that a leading opponent agrees with.

To continue reading, please visit Missourinet.com

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New bill protects religious freedom

Northwest Missourian

By: Ashley Herring

April 6, 2012

Across the country, people and organizations have been speaking out against the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate. With the approval of Senate Bill 749 Thursday March 29, the Missouri Senate is standing up to protect religious freedom.

Senate Bill 749, sponsored by Sen. John Lamping, states that “No employer, health plan provider, health plan sponsor, health care provider, or any other person or entity shall be compelled to provide coverage for, or be discriminated against or penalized for declining or refusing coverage for, abortion, contraception, or sterilization in a health plan if such items or procedures are contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of such employer, health plan provider, health plan sponsor, health care provider, person, or entity.” The bill extends this same protection to employees and self-employed individuals.

To continue reading, please visit NWMissourian.com

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Missouri legislature gives first-round OK to bills on religious freedom

St. Louis Review

March 30, 2012 

The Missouri legislature has given initial approval to two bills on religious liberty supported by the Missouri Catholic Conference. The bills are headed for further consideration and another vote in the other chamber before heading to the governor for his approval.

After March 27's Rally for Religious Liberty at the state capitol in Jefferson City, the Missouri Senate took up and passed a bill prohibiting the government from forcing either employers or employees from paying for abortion drugs, contraceptives or sterilizations through their health plans.

The bill, SB 749, is sponsored by Sen. John Lamping, R-Clayton.

To continue reading, please visit StLouisReview.com

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Should Contraceptive Services be Optional for Missouri Employers?

Florissant Patch and Mehlville-Oakville Patch

By: Kurt Greenbaum

March 29, 2012

The Missouri Senate gave an initial thumbs-up to legislation that would allow employers to deny coverage for contraceptive services. Do you agree?

To continue reading, please visit FlorissantPatch.com or Mehlville-OakvillePatch.com

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Mo. lawmakers pass measures allowing moral, religious opt-outs for employers, medical workers

The Republic

Wes Duplantier

March 29, 2012

Employers could refuse to provide health insurance coverage for birth control under legislation approved Thursday by the Missouri Senate, while the House passed a separate measure that would permit health care workers to refuse to participate in procedures that violate their ethical or religious beliefs.

Supporters of the Senate bill said business owners should not have to pay for medication or medical procedures they find morally objectionable. House leaders said their legislation would protect the rights of health care workers.

The Senate measure, sponsored by Sen. John Lamping, would allow employers to deny coverage unless a worker has a medical need for birth control. Sterilization treatments would only be covered if they were medically necessary or if a person elects to be sterilized so that he or she wouldn't pass on a genetic disease to their children.

To continue reading, please visit TheRepublic.com

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Missouri Legislature takes up birth control, abortion bills

Stl Today

By: Elizabeth Crisp

March 29, 2012

Missouri lawmakers tackled two bills today that opponents say will limit access to birth control or abortion for some women.

The Senate passed a bill that would let employers deny health insurance coverage for birth control for employees who do cannot prove a medical need for it. The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

During debates on the issue, Sen. John Lamping, a Republican from Ladue who sponsored the bill, stressed that many of the provisions are already covered under current state law.

“In my opinion, employers today have the right to offer whatever benefits they want,” he said.

He said the federal health care overhaul could change that, making his bill more relevant.

Earlier this week, religious groups held a rally at the Capitol advocating for the effort. Leaders said that they should not be forced to provide coverage for medical procedures they do not condone 

To continue reading, please visit STLtoday.com

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Mo. lawmakers approve health care legislation

BND

By: Wes Duplantier

March 29, 2012

Employers could refuse to provide health insurance coverage for birth control under legislation approved Thursday by the Missouri Senate, while the House passed a separate measure that would permit health care workers to refuse to participate in procedures that violate their ethical or religious beliefs.

Supporters of the Senate bill said business owners should not have to pay for medication or medical procedures they find morally objectionable. House leaders said their legislation would protect the rights of health care workers. 

The Senate measure, sponsored by Sen. John Lamping, would allow employers to deny coverage unless a worker has a medical need for birth control. Sterilization treatments would only be covered if they were medically necessary or if a person elects to be sterilized so that he or she wouldn't pass on a genetic disease to their children. 

To continue to read, please visit BND.com

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Should Contraceptive Services be Optional for Missouri Employers?

Florissant Patch

By: Kurt Greenbaum

March 29, 2012

In the wake of a massive Jefferson City rally over the issue, the Missouri state Senate this week gave initial approval to legislation that would allow employers to deny insurance coverage for contraceptive services if they have religious or moral objections.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered the issue this week with a story that quoted several St. Louis-area residents who attended the rally in the Missouri Capitol.

To continue reading, please visit FlorissantPatch.com

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Missouri Senate endorses 'conscience' objections bill

News-Tribune

By: Bob Watson

March 28, 2012

With several thousand Missourians coming to the Capitol for Tuesday’s mid-day “Rally for Religious Liberty,” state Senate leaders focused on the proposed law protecting employers from being forced to provide health care coverage they don’t believe in.

The measure, which won first-round approval after the rally, concentrates on “contraceptive” services — including family planning, sterilization and abortion — that some oppose on religious and/or moral grounds.

“I think there’s a tremendous amount of misinformation,” sponsor John Lamping, R-Ladue, said. “It’s not been made clear in the public discourse that, today, women receive contraceptive services when their need for them (is) the result of a medical issue.”

To continue reading, please visit News-Tribune.com

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Senate advances anti-contraception coverage bill (AUDIO)

Missourinet

By: Bob Priddy

March 28, 2012

One side says the bill clarifies a religious freedom issue for Missouri employers and workers in the face of an Obama administration edict about employer-provided health care insurance.  The other side says it’s a useless piece of anti-woman legislation. 

Senator John Lamping of St. Louis  says the Affordable Care Act had the support of Catholic Bishops and other religious leaders until the January 20th announcement by the Obama administration that coverage of birth control services would be required in employers’ healthcare plans. 

He says his bill is needed to clarify Missouri’s existing law that says employers cannot be forced to provide that coverage if it conflicts with their religious or moral standards. 

To continue reading, please visit Missourinet.com 

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Legislation Would Punish Those Who Do Business with Iran

CBS St. Louis

Wednesday, March 8th, 2012

Investing overseas is certainly a common practice among businesses, but legislation in Missouri would punish companies that invest over a million dollars in Iran.

“It’s not about collecting penalties , it’s about sending a message, if you are going to do business with Iran you are not going to do business with the state of Missouri.” said Senator Bill Stouffer.

The measure was introduced by St. Louis Republican John Lamping.   It passed in the senate.

Under the legislation companies that invest more than a million dollars in Iran’s energy sector would be subject to a $250,000 fine and would be barred from doing business with Missouri’s governmental bodies.   The bill now goes to the house.

To read the full article, please visit StLouisCBS.com

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Legislators Say I-70 Toll Plan in 2012 Unlikely

KOMU Columbia

By: Mila Mimica

Sunday, February 26, 2012

After two legislators sparked a state-wide conversation over a possible toll road on I-70, debate followed on the possible consequences of the plan.

"Mike [Kehoe] and I said 'Let's file that legislation for the sole purpose of starting a very loud conversation around the state," St. Louis County Senator John Lamping said.

The legislation would allow the state to enter into a contract with a private company to spend more than $2 billion to restore I-70.

"We're not looking to make money off the corridor," MoDOT chief engineer Dave Nichols said. "We're looking for an opportynity to rebuild the corridor, relieve the congestion and keep the toll roads as low as possible."

To continue reading, please visit KOMU.com

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Kehoe leads long-term planning for transportation infrastructure

Lake News Online

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Lake area Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, is leading conversation about ways to address Missouri’s long-term need for transportation infrastructure funding.

The bill, SB752, would authorize the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission to enter into a public-private partnership to finance, reconstruct, and operate I-70.

“This legislation begins a conversation by the General Assembly that is long overdue,” Sen. Kehoe said. “For too long we have kicked the can down the road as it relates to critical transportation infrastructure improvements. I don’t want to kick the can down the road any longer, because if we do, that road will soon be gravel. Instead, I want to begin real conversations about how to pay for the improvements to a road bed that has long outlived its projected life expectancy and upon which drives more traffic than was ever intended or envisioned. Not only that, rebuilding a dilapidated I-70 will put thousands of Missourians back to work and will ensure that Missouri remains a premier conduit for intrastate commerce.”

To continue reading, visit LakeNewsOnline.com

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Missouri Legislature may chime in on contraception mandate

St. Louis Post Dispatch

By: Virginia Young

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Missouri Senate is poised to jump into the federal fray over insurance coverage for birth control.

A Senate committee fast-tracked a bill today that would let employers and health insurers in the state opt out of providing coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortion based on the employer's or the health plan's religious beliefs or "moral convictions."

"It's our effort to essentially put back the conscience clause at the state level," said the sponsor, Sen. John Lamping, R-Ladue.

The bill came out of the Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee on a party-line vote of 5-2, despite protests that it is vaguely worded.

To continue reading, visit STLtoday.com

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Sen. Lamping of Missouri sponsors legislation to halt federal health care mandate

St. Louis Review

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

A Missouri senator has introduced a bill that seeks to halt the federal mandate requiring health coverage for contraception, sterilizations and abortion-producing drugs.

Sen. John Lamping, R-St. Louis, is sponsoring SB 749 to halt the mandate recently issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The bill is supported by the Missouri Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state's bishops.

"I want to send a message to Washington that the people of Missouri will not stand for this intrusion on religious liberty," said Lamping.

To Continue, please visit StLouisReview.com

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Shorter legislative sessions to be debated

Missourinet

By: Bob Priddy

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

State senate leaders hope to talk by the end of the week about making Missouri’s part-time legislature even more part-time.

If Senator John Lamping’s proposed constitutional amendment already were in effect, this year’s debates would end on March 23rd, not May 18th.  And the veto session would be in June, not in September. Supporters say shortening the sessions would save a lot of money.

His proposed amendment would give several days to properly edit and print final versions of the bills with April 6th the new adjournment date. 

To continue reading, please visit Missourinet.com

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Mo. senator calls for changes to payday loan laws

CBS News

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Missourians who take out payday loans could get more time to pay them off, under legislation put forth by a state senator.

Payday loans are unsecured loans of $500 or less. Current law says that that they must be paid off in 31 days. Sen. John Lamping, R-St. Louis County, told a Senate committee Monday that people should get at least 90 days to pay those loans. His legislation bill would make it illegal for payday lenders to "rollover," or extend loans beyond 90 days. It also would require lenders to enter customers' names in a state database to ensure a single customer does not take out more than one loan at a time.

To continue reading, please visit CBSnews.com

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Missouri Senator Seeks to Halt Federal Mandate Requiring Health Coverage for Contraceptives, Abortion Drugs 

Missouri Catholic Conference

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Missouri Senate is responding swiftly to a new mandate by the Obama Administration that requires religious employers to offer health coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and abortion drugs. Sen. John Lamping (R-St. Louis) filed SB 749 to halt the mandate recently promulgated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The HHS mandate requires all employers, effective Aug. 1, 2012, to provide coverage in their health plans for contraceptives, abortion-inducing emergency contraceptives such as Ella (ulipristal acetate), and sterilization procedures, provision of which the Catholic Church condemns.

To continue, please visit MOCatholic.org

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Sen. Lamping Files Several Adoption Reform Measures

Senate Press Release

January 26th, 2012

John Lamping, R-Ladue, filed three pieces of legislation today (1-26) to continue a theme he began in the 2011 legislative session of reforming Missouri’s adoption process.

“This legislation is aimed at getting more Missouri orphans in adoptive homes by increasing the efficiency of the process,” said Sen. Lamping.  “My goal is to help parents experience the miracle of adoption and children to find forever homes.”

Currently, adoptions in Missouri can take up to two years. Senate Bill 711 would help expedite the process by prohibiting the court from using the race of a child, of the biological parents or of the potential adoptive parents as a consideration when placing a child with adoptive parents. 

To continue, please visit senate.gov

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The Mark Reardon Show: State of the Union Preview, New Measure for Missouri Governor, Keystone Pipeline

From The Mark Reardon Show

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Missouri State Senator John Lamping tells us his new measure for Missouri Governor and Lt. Governor to be elected jointly.

Click hear to listen in CBS.Radio.Player

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Columbia representative Still files bill to raise cigarette tax

Missourian

By: Karen Miller

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An increase in Missouri’s tobacco tax proposed by Rep. Mary Still would generate $400 million in new revenue for education if approved by state voters. Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the nation at 17 cents per pack. Mary Still, D-Columbia, wants to increase that tax to 89 cents. The new tax, proposed in House Bill 1478, would remain well below the national average of $1.46. The tax also would apply to cigars, snuff and chewing tobacco. 

To continue, please visit Columbia-Missourian.com

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Move to designate Missouri 'Great Rivers State' starts flowing

St. Louis Beacon

By: Jason Rosenbaum

Monday, January 23, 2012

From barbecue to Branson, Missouri possesses plenty of noteworthy ventures. But a push is underway to showcase one of the state’s most scenic features – its rivers. 

State Sen. John Lamping, R-Ladue, plans to introduce a resolution Tuesday in the Missouri Senate to spur the state’s Department of Tourism to tout Missouri as the “Great Rivers State.”

According to a draft obtained by the Beacon, the resolution will encourage the use of the “Great River State” as a slogan for Missouri. It will also urge the Division of Tourism to recognize and incorporate the slogan in promoting tourism.

To continue, please visit STLBeacon.org

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Senators: Missouri Governor and Lt. Governor should be from same party 

Missouri News Horizon

By: Tim Sampson

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

In an effort to mirror the way citizens elect the president and vice president, a pair of Missouri state senators have introduced legislation that would require Missouri’s governor and lieutenant governor to be elected jointly.

On Monday, the Senate elections committee held its first hearing on a set of bills that would eliminated the current practice of choosing the state’s top two elected officials in separate elections.

Republican Sens. Jason Crowell and John Lamping, have both offered up bills that are largely similar. Crowell’s would require that candidates running for governor to choose a running mate before party primaries. Lamping’s would allow gubernatorial candidates to name their running mates after receiving their party’s nomination – similar to presidential campaigns.

To continue, please visit Missouri-News.org 

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Missouri Tax Credits on the Chopping Block

KMOX News Radio

By: Jordan Shapiro

Friday, January 20th, 2012

The Senate Ways and Means Committee considered legislation Thursday to scale back Missouri’s tax credits, after the issue derailed September’s Special Session.

Four bills were presented to the committee that would pare down tax credits in Missouri. Supporters of tax credit reduction said their measures would save the state money and free up revenue for other programs. In 2013, the state is expected to redeem $685 million in tax credits.

To continue, please visit KMOX.com

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 Senate panel considers curtailing tax credits 

Missourian

By: Jordan Shapiro

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

The Senate Ways and Means Committee considered legislation Thursday to scale back Missouri's tax credits after the issue derailed September's special session of the General Assembly.

Four bills were presented to the committee that would pare down tax credits in Missouri. Supporters said their measures would free up revenue for other programs. In 2013, the state is expected to redeem $685 million in tax credits.

To continue, please visit Columbia-Missourian.com

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Missouri Supreme Court Rejects State Senate Redistricting Maps

Senate Press Release

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Sen. John Lamping, R-Ladue, applauds the Missouri Supreme Court’s opinion today rejecting the Senate redistricting maps drawn by the Appellate Apportionment Commission late last year.

Sen. John Lamping, R-Ladue, applauds the Missouri Supreme Court’s opinion today rejecting the Senate redistricting maps drawn by the Appellate Apportionment Commission late last year.

“I applaud the Supreme Court’s upholding of the Constitution in its decision to reject the Senate redistricting maps,” Sen. Lamping said.  “This decision is a big win for the citizens of Missouri who deserve district boundaries that adhere to the guidelines set forth in the Missouri Constitution.”

The Supreme Court’s finding means that the reapportionment process must start over with the appointment of a new commission.

To read more, please visit senate.gov

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Legislators Can Rebalance Tax System - And Make Missouri More Competitive - Without Raising Taxes 

Show-Me Daily

By: Patrick Ishmael

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Last week, I highlighted one good-intentioned but misconceived proposal that a Missouri legislator suggested to get the state’s economy moving. This week, there is a proposal that may have a kernel of a good idea in it, though the implementation leaves something to be desired.

State Sen. John Lamping, R-Ladue, has followed through with his plan to file a bill that eliminates state income taxes on the first $2,000 in individual income and replaces the money by hiking the state’s cigarette tax — now among the nation’s lowest.

Lamping says the bill is revenue neutral.

Under his proposal, SB 638, no Missourian would pay taxes on the first $2,000 of earned income. Now, state income tax is levied on all income, no matter how small. That cut would cost the state $128 million a year.


To read more, please visit showmedaily.org


Domestic violence task force's goal: Making a difference

News-Leader.com

By: Kathryn Wall

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Attorney General Chris Koster assembled a task force last year with a tough assignment -- to turn the tide on domestic violence in Missouri despite a dearth of money.

Koster's group, a mix of legislators, domestic violence experts, law enforcement and legal minds, focused on existing programs and language changes that could make a difference without big funding.

Koster, formerly a Cass County prosecutor, said he brought the group together after seeing firsthand the effects of domestic violence.

To read more, please visit News-Leader.com


A Tax Switch Worth Discussing

Show-Me Institute

By: David Stokes

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Missouri Sen. John Lamping (R-Dist. 24), who is no longer my senator because of redistricting, has introduced a bill to basically trade a cigarette tax increase for an income tax decrease. His bill aims to remove the state income tax on the first $2,000 everyone makes, and to offset it with a cigarette tax increase of 26 cents per pack.

To read more, please visit Show-Me Institute


Lamping calls for hiking cigarette tax, reducing state income tax

STLBeacon.com

By: Jo Mannies

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

State Sen. John Lamping, R-Ladue, has followed through with his plan to file a bill that eliminates state income taxes on the first $2,000 in individual income and replaces the money by hiking the state's cigarette tax -- now among the nation's lowest.

Lamping says the bill is revenue neutral.

To read more, please visit STLBeacon.com


David Spence introducing himself to Missouri Republicans

STLToday.com

By: Jake Wagman

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Months after he first discussed the goal of seeking the Republican nomination for governor, St. Louis businessman Dave Spence remains a virtual unknown to most party activists across Missouri.

As he travels around the state pressing his case, party leaders are meeting — most for the first time — a man who does not fit the standard template of a candidate for statewide office. About the closest he's come to an elected office is serving as the rush chair of his fraternity.

To read more, please visit STL Today.com


State Supreme Court set to hear challenges to state, congressional redistricting

STL Beacon.org

By: Jo Mannies

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

The Missouri Supreme Court has agreed to hold back-to-back oral arguments next Thursday on suits challenging Missouri's congressional and state Senate redistricting.

The court will listen to arguments in two congressional cases -- one from Kansas City area Republicans and the other from St. Louis area Democrats -- that challenge the new map approved by the Republican-controlled General Assembly last spring. Legislators overrode the veto of Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.

To read more, please visit St. Louis Beacon


'We can work it out' May be Theme of Upcoming Legislative Session

STL Beacon.org

By: Jason Rosenbaum

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

State legislators are promising more than just a busy agenda this coming legislative session, which opens Jan. 4. After the failure of this year's regular and special sessions to pass a major economic development bill, legislators are now talking about more cooperation across the two GOP-controlled chambers as well as reform of the legislature itself.

As is common in election years, lawmakers say they want to police themselves better -- as well as change the structure of state government.

To read more, please visit St. Louis Beacon


A New Session Nears, Legislators Hope to Resolve Last Term's Unfinished Business

STL Beacon.org

By: Jason Rosenbaum

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

After Missouri's General Assembly failed to accomplish many of its goals this year in regular and special session, lawmakers are looking to next year to complete unfinished business — and tackle complex issues.

The session starts Jan. 4.

The General Assembly's 2011 session was characterized by big debates yielding little substantive action. For example, a wide-ranging economic development bill with incentives to attract international trade to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport foundered in both the regular and special sessions. Other bills less expansive in scope also fell by the wayside.

To read more, please visit St. Louis Beacon


Missouri Cable & Telecommunications Association Interview with Senator John Lamping


Video can be found at: Missouri Cable & Telecommunications Association


Not all Missouri lawmakers accept gifts from lobbyists

STL Post-Dispatch

By: Jake Wagman

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Ethics legislation proposed by State Rep. Jason Kander has sparked a discussion about the many ways special interests can influence lawmakers.

In addition to unlimited campaign contributions and the prospects of future unemployment, lobbyists can also provide endless gifts to legislators in Jefferson City, from sports tickets to lavish birthday parties.

To read more, please visit STLToday.com


Redistricting Earthquake Shakes Up Plans

Chesterfield Patch.com

By: Jason Rosenbaum

December 9th, 2011

For the most part, last week’s great redistricting earthquake threw a number of lawmakers into the same state legislative districts. But rather than spurring primary fights, at least some incumbents are making plans to move.

Such was the case with Sen. Jane Cunningham, a Chesterfield Republican who was drawn into the same district with Sen. John Lamping (R-Ladue). But instead of a confrontation, Cunningham instead will run in the nearby 27th District, which features parts of western St. Louis County and northern Jefferson County.

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