Brewers leasing coolers to retailers for cold beer is being discussed at the Capitol. Bill Wise reports
A house committee is talking about an increase in Missouri’s gas tax. Bill Wise reports.
The state House has passed a provision that would allow breweries to lease coolers to retailers to sell cold beer. Representative Robert Cornejo (R-St. Peters) added it to a bill that would allow a state wine board to oversee the marketing of wine.
“I can pull you headlines within the past year or year and a half from every single state of the craft beer industry booming,” said Cornejo. “This is great for sales. For everybody who wants to campaign and talk about freedom, this is it. This is economic freedom.”
Representative Dan Shaul (R-Imperial) says under the measure, one cooler per corporation per store would be allowed.
“This limits the ability of the big mega corporations that are the larger brewers, from flooding the market with coolers,” said Shaul.
Representative Keith English (R-Florissant) says the change would hurt Missouri’s small breweries.
“Yes, maybe some businesses in other states have increased small business, but the only reason we have this is to tap into the three-tier system that we’ve had for 80 plus years is so that the big business here in downtown St. Louis can get a little bit more of their market share. This is the only way they can do it,” said English. “I know a lot of people over here aren’t appreciating this, because they don’t want to make our friends that we work with every day that are on the outside of this hall, but I don’t give a care Mr. Speaker. The small businesses are the backbone.”
The bill heads back to the state Senate.
Missouri farmers have planted their corn faster than the rest of the nation. Missouri farmers are done or close to being done planting, which is earlier than normal. Robert Alphers farms near the North central Missouri town of Prairie Home. He is not used to getting done so early.
“We finished the earliest in history that I can ever remember,” said Alpers. “We planted our last field I believe it was on the 16th of April and a lot of times we’re just maybe getting started then.”
Some Missouri farmers will delay soybean planting this year, in hopes of avoiding sudden death syndrome, which is a fungus that can grow from too much moisture.
“We had a chance to go ahead and plant in mid-April, but we decided to hold off, and I think as soon as it dries up again, if and when, we’re going to go ahead and start,” said Alpers.
He hopes to start planting in early May.
Tom Steever of Brownfield Ag News contributed to this story.
St. Louis area company Forrest Innovations hopes it can reduce the spread of the Zika virus, which is transmitted sexually and by infected mosquitoes. That’s according to Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Peter Lyskowski.
“Using either genetically modified or otherwise modified mosquitoes that are sterile that can’t reproduce has shown some affect,” said Lyskowski. “There’s actually a company that has an office presence in St. Louis that is actually on contract with Brazil to release up to 25 million mosquitoes a week.”
There have been four confirmed cases of people in Missouri with the virus.
Zika can be transmitted sexually and by infected mosquitoes. There have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain in babies of mothers who had Zika virus while pregnant.
A health officials said about 80% of those who get Zika, do not show symptoms of the virus. Those who get the virus, generally have red eye, fever, rash and muscle aches.
The disease, which is rapidly spreading across central America and South America, has prompted many to worry about the potential for travelers to bring Zika to the United States.
Bill Peterson of KWIX contributed to this story.
A new standard for expert witnesses in court cases is being proposed by the Missouri legislature. A state House task force has recommended changes aimed to improve St. Louis County’s elections. Alisa Nelson reports.
The legislature has sent Governor Jay Nixon (D) a bill that would change the standard for who is considered an expert witness in a Missouri courtroom.
The proposal would have expert witness testimony allowed only if it is based on “sufficient facts” and “reliable principles and methods.” The current standard allows expert testimony based on facts “reasonably relied upon by experts in the field.”
Sponsor Kevin Corlew (R-Kansas City) says the bill would help ensure that a jury can rely on people presented as experts.
“That the jury can rely upon the expert evidence that’s being presented to them, that it’s trustworthy, reliable,” said Corlew.
The bill had bipartisan opposition. Representative Mike Colona (D-St. Louis) said it would drive up the cost of qualifying an expert witness, thereby making it more expensive for injured parties to filed lawsuits.
“Insurance companies save money and your constituents lose their rights in court,” Colona told fellow lawmakers. “Also insurance companies can make more money.”
The new standard would not apply in juvenile or family courts.
Business organizations, insurance organizations, and the state prosecutors association were among backers of the bill while the circuit judges association was among opponents.
The governor could sign the bill into law, veto it, or let it become law without taking action. If he vetoes it, its vote totals in the House and Senate fell short of the totals necessary for an override.
Senator McCaskill wants to curb sex assault retaliation in the Military. Bill Wise reports
One of Missouri’s U.S. Senators wants to curb retaliation against sexual assault victims in uniform. Bill Wise reports.
The state House could still bring up a controversial ballot proposal regarding same-sex marriage, but its leader doesn’t expect that to happen.
A tie vote in a committee Wednesday meant the failure a plan to ask voters whether the state Constitution should block lawsuits and penalties for religious organizations and businesses who deny services in same-sex marriages. There are ways the House could still vote whether to advance the measure, but House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) thinks it’s finished.
“I’m disappointed that the resolution wasn’t able to move forward. I said at the beginning that I was going to let the process work and the process operated here, and the bill didn’t have enough votes to get out of committee,” said Richardson. “I don’t see any effort to bring it back.”
Richardson says the topic will come back up in future legislative sessions.
“It doesn’t mean that that’s the end of the discussion about religious liberty. It’s important to me, it’s important to, I know, a fair majority of the General Assembly,” said Richardson.
Backers of the resolution said its passage would protect the freedom of those with religious objections to same-sex marriage. Opponents said it would protect discrimination against the LGBT community.
Three Republicans voted with Democrats in Wednesday’s committee decision.