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Bob Watson

Stories by Bob

Senators push against rules based on ‘hysteria’

Remember “pink slime?”

Senate panel to work on House-passed budget

Medicaid’s growing costs will be a main focus of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s work, now that the House has passed its version of Missouri government’s more than $23 billion budget plan.

Lawmakers prepare for final weeks of session

As Missouri lawmakers return from their annual Spring Break on Tuesday, they will have just seven weeks left in the session.

Blunt following, but not analyzing, presidential primaries

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt is paying attention to the presidential primary contests around the country ahead of the national party nominating conventions this summer.

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Capitol renovations progress

The fencing that went up at the Capitol this week marks the start of the next phase of the building’s renovations.

Green’s handling of murder case appeal upheld

Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green properly denied a Jefferson City man’s request for post-conviction relief, a three-judge panel of the state appeals court in Kansas City ruled last week.

Quaker Windows expands operation

Ribbon-cutting formalizes work already underway

Quaker Windows and Doors’ new, 185,000-square-foot production facility is up and running, after construction that began last year was finished earlier this year.

State Tech names new president

Shawn D. Strong is the State Technical College of Missouri’s next president.

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Martin Hall renovation gets go-ahead

Lincoln University’s Curators unanimously awarded a contract to renovate Martin Hall, voted to ban hoverboards and clarified rules for hiring temporary help.

State Tech announces new president

Veteran educator starts July 1; experience includes 14 years at Missouri State.

Blunt launches 'ag tour' as part of re-election bid

Backed by several Missouri commodity and agri-business groups, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt has launched a two-day campaign swing focused on agriculture.

Blunt thinks Cuba trip wrong idea

Missouri U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt thinks President Obama went to Cuba too soon.

Lawmakers asked to force governor to make more appointments

Missouri lawmakers are being asked to force the governor to fill board and commission vacancies quicker.

Appeals court backs Fulton State Hospital release

A Southwest Missouri man currently being held at the Fulton State Hospital must be returned to Polk County to stand trial for a first-degree assault charge, a three-judge panel of the state appeals court in Kansas City ruled last week.

Luetkemeyer explains Warren comments

When U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer suggested Wednesday that someone should “find a way to neuter” U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, the Missouri congressman didn’t mean what some people think he meant, his spokeswoman said Friday.

Politico: Luetkemeyer suggests U.S. senator should be ‘neutered’

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer suggested Wednesday someone should “find a way to neuter” U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, according to Politico, a national website that covers politics.

Riddle proposes bill for mobile app beer sales at events

San Francisco’s 49ers started using the idea at Levi’s Stadium in 2014 — letting customers order beer and other concessions through their smart phones. Now the backers want to bring the idea to Missouri.

Bill would let Lake MyKee, Holts Summit merge

Consolidating their strengths

At their closest point, Holts Summit’s city limits and Lake MyKee’s village limits are eight-tenths of a mile apart.

MU endorses Schaefer proposal for study group

The University of Missouri said Tuesday it welcomes Sen. Kurt Schaefer’s proposal for an outside group to review MU operations.

State Tech’s health science programs moving to Linn campus

State Technical College of Missouri’s health science programs now located in Jefferson City are moving to the main campus in Linn.

Missouri Senate bogs down in week of inaction

Leaders hope to regroup, move forward

It’s been a week since the Missouri Senate ended a nearly 40-hour filibuster by forcing a vote on a controversial proposed religious liberty amendment to the state Constitution.

Poger ‘restraining order’ case continued

Jefferson City lawyer Gaylin Rich Carver wanted Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green on Monday to dismiss the Legislature’s restraining order request against former lobbyist David Poger, St. Louis.

Blunt recommends state wait for 'Clean Power Plan'

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt has made it clear — he’s no fan of federal government “overreach,” especially in Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

'Previous Question' motions rarely used in state Senate's history

The state Senate’s use of the “previous question” — also known as the PQ — generally has been successful in getting proposals into the state’s lawbooks or Constitution.

Trump, Clinton lead polling in Missouri survey

If Tuesday’s voters cast ballots as predicted by a pre-primary poll, the national front-runners — Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton — will carry the most Missouri votes in Tuesday’s Presidential Preference Primary.

2 prayer rallies announced for Capitol

Two different groups have announced prayer rallies for the Missouri Capitol.

Governor’s numbers say LU loses more than it gains

Lincoln University stands to lose more than $1.04 million under the state budget Missouri’s House passed this week, while gaining only $1 million in funds to match its available federal land grant funding.

Kehoe: Most constituents support ‘religious liberty’

Mid-Missouri’s four Republican senators all voted for the proposed constitutional amendment on religious liberty as the final 23-7 vote for it fell along party lines.

Senate panel considers colleges expanding post-graduate fields

Missouri’s public colleges and universities should not have to get approval from another school before they launch a new master’s or doctorate degree program, state Sen. Eric Schmitt told the Senate’s Education Committee Wednesday afternoon.

Previous question motions rarely used in Senate’s history

Wednesday morning’s previous question motion to end the state Senate’s nearly 40-hour filibuster on the proposed “religious liberty” constitutional amendment once again brought the Senate into conflict with one of its general philosophies.

Court rules in MoSMART case

After taking evidence in the case for a second time, Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce correctly sent the case back to MoSMART for its review, a three-judge appeals panel ruled Tuesday.

Senate filibuster keeps going and going

The idea of a filibuster remains a strong tradition in the Missouri Senate.

House-passed bill opens some adoptees’ birth records

It’s been more than 10 months since Annette Driver, of Jefferson City, and Aileen Woods, of St. Louis, “found” each other. So count Driver — whose jobs include lobbying Missouri lawmakers — among the people excited the House sent the Senate a bill making it easier for many adults to get their original birth certificates.

Former Gasconade County officer faces federal sex charges

A former Gasconade County sheriff’s deputy — already facing state sex crime charges — now is accused in a federal indictment of sexually abusing four women and enticing a minor into prostitution.

Missouri bill would limit lawmakers-turned-lobbyists’ funds

The Missouri Senate this week unanimously passed a bill that aims to restrict donations from campaign funds of legislators who become lobbyists.

Senate passes bill canceling state income taxes for military in Missouri

Making the state more military friendly

With officials from Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base watching — because they were in the Capitol for Military Appreciation Day — the Missouri Senate voted 31-0 Thursday on Sen. Wayne Wallingford’s bill eliminating income tax obligations for active-duty Missourians stationed in the state.

Schaefer pitches bill to regulate legal fantasy sports games

Representatives from Draft Kings and FanDuel — the nation’s two biggest fantasy sports operations — testified together Wednesday supporting state Sen. Kurt Schaefer’s bill to regulate their businesses.

Riddle pushes bill to help Department of Mental Health in forced medication cases

Lawmakers asked to give DMH lawyers ‘standing’ in competancy cases

Sometimes when a person is charged with a crime, the judge will order a mental health exam.

State Senate approves 'paycheck protection' with changes

Bill now goes back to House, which can take the changes or seek a conference committee to find a compromise.

Lawmaker proposes review of University of Missouri System

State Sen. Kurt Schaefer wants lawmakers to order an in-depth study of the University of Missouri after months of turmoil, student unrest and voter unhappiness.

Ferguson lawmaker proposes making LU state's 'flagship' campus

For former Mizzou student Courtney Allen Curtis — now a state representative — the recent troubles on the Columbia campus mean it’s time to create a different “flagship” university for the state.

Higher ed officials concerned with proposals for weapons on campuses

State Sen. Brian Munzlinger said last week he’s working on a substitute for his bill allowing weapons on college campuses in Missouri. However, many of the state’s college administrators hope his bill goes nowhere.

Brown’s filing creates primaries in both parties

While he was standing in the slow-moving filing line at the secretary of state’s office last Tuesday, Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla, said he was going to surprise some people.

More money eyed for Lincoln University land-grant match

Lincoln University is slated to get $500,000 as the state’s match for its federal funding under the 1890 land grant program — less than the $1.4 million the school expects to receive during the current school year.

Schaefer wary of Highway Patrol funding proposals

Even as some candidates for governor suggest improving Missouri’s transportation system by using funds sonstitutionally mandated for the Highway Patrol, Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer worries those proposals would hurt Patrol operations.

Ameren, Noranda ask lawmakers to help stabilize energy rates

The recent cooperation between Ameren Missouri, the state’s largest electricity provider, and its single largest customer, Noranda Aluminum, this week was extended to the Missouri Legislature.

State Tech presidential search: final 4 coming to visit Linn

Four finalists have been named in the search for a new leader at State Technical College of Missouri.

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Missouri top court hears challenge to video limits by Senate

At least three Missouri Senate committees and their chairmen — including Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City — last year violated the state’s Sunshine Law every time they prohibited a Progress Missouri representative from recording pictures and audio during a Senate committee hearing, the group told the Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday.

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Steinman running for governor instead of president

For much of last year, Leonard Steinman II, of Jefferson City, said he was going to run for U.S. president.

‘Missouri First’ claims two court victories protect people from legislative mistakes

Maries County resident Ron Calzone, who’s a director of the group “Missouri First” and frequently appears at legislative committee hearings to testify on various bills, said in a Sunday news release that members of the group have won two court victories recently, seeking to enforce existing constitutional limits on the Legislature’s power to pass bills.