Political news

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The Missouri House and Senate have come to a tentative agreement on funding for Governor Mike Parson’s plan to repair over 200 state bridges.

At a conference committee meeting on Monday, lawmakers agreed to a $301 million bond plan and $50 million in general revenue spending. The bond spending would be triggered if Missouri receives federal grant money to help with the projects.

Senator Lincoln Hough says he supports the agreement but he doesn’t want the legislature to use general revenue next year on bridge repair.               

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The Missouri House gave initial approval on Wednesday to a Campus Free Expression Act that could curtail faculty free speech.

Most of the provisions in the bill deal with ensuring college campuses don’t limit students’ free speech. But the bill says university faculty should be “cautious in expressing personal views in the classroom.”

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After concerns that state revenue would be lower than expected, lawmakers got good news this week.

Revenue totals are up about 0.5% from the same time last year, according to a new report from the Department of Revenue. Much of the increase came as Missourians filed their taxes. State revenue is still shy of the 1.7% growth that lawmakers expected and based next year’s budget on.

Senate Appropriations Committee chair Dan Hegeman says the new numbers give hope.

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The Missouri House gave initial approval on Tuesday to send some Clean Missouri provisions back to voters.

In November, 62% of voters approved the measure, which took the redrawing of voter districts out of legislator’s hands and shifted the responsibility to a non-partisan demographer. The House wants to roll that provision back, and give lawmakers the power again to weigh in on district drawing.

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Senators are considering making cuts to the $29 billion budget passed by the house in late March as revenue reports are coming in lower than projected.

The Senate Appropriations Committee met Tuesday to review the budget line by line. Senator Denny Hoskins proposed saving money by eliminating around 200 state full-time positions that haven’t been filled for over six months.