Missouri House committee moves to end corporate income taxes

A powerful Missouri House committee is trying to phase out corporate income taxes. The House Budget Committee on Wednesday tacked the provision onto another bill to cut individual income taxes. The proposal would cut corporate income taxes from 4% to 2% over a series of years and eventually phase out the tax completely. Republican Gov. Mike Parson had called lawmakers back for a special session to spend some of the higher-than-unusual revenue growth this year on tax cuts. The GOP-led Senate advanced a bill to cut the top individual income tax rate from 5.3% to 4.95% next year and additional incremental cuts until the rate hits 4.5%.

Manchin ends pipeline push, easing path for spending bill

Sen. Joe Manchin has abandoned his push to speed up the permitting process for energy projects. His decision eases the Senate’s path toward passing a stopgap spending bill that would keep the federal government running when the fiscal year ends at midnight Friday and provide more aid to Ukraine.  A procedural vote advancing the effort cleared easily, 72-23, after Democrats announced that Manchin’s proposal would be stripped from the final legislation. While lawmakers are waiting once again until the final moments of the fiscal year to keep the government running, they are confident they will do so.

Governors races take on new prominence, with higher stakes

Governors races often are overshadowed by the fight for control of Congress during midterm elections. But this fall, which candidate wins a state's top executive post could be pivotal for the nation’s political future. With abortion rights, immigration policies and democracy itself in the balance, both parties are entering the final weeks before the Nov. 8 election prepared to spend unprecedented amounts of money to win seats for governor. Those elected will be in power for the 2024 election, when they could influence voting laws as well as certification of the outcome.

GOP hits Kansas governor hard on trans athletes, her new ad

Kansas’ Democratic governor declares in a new television ad that she agrees men don’t belong in women’s sports. The ad for Gov. Laura Kelly launched Wednesday seeks to blunt Republican attacks over her vetoing two proposals to ban transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s school and college sports. GOP challenger and state attorney general Derek Schmidt tweeted that Kelly is lying about her record. Her campaign said Wednesday that schools, doctors, families and local officials should make such decisions. Democrats said their party's voters understand the issue isn't men in women's sports because trans women are women. Schmidt and Republicans have raised the issue in at least six television ads.

Lynn Schmidt: An election system designed to excuse officials from responding to constituents

If an employee was completely unresponsive to her or his employer, the employee would likely not have a job for very long. Unfortunately, this is not the case in politics. Americans’ approval rating of the job Congress is doing has fallen to 18%, yet in the 2020 general election, 93% of incumbents nationwide won their reelection bids. Our political system is so broken that elected officials are not motivated to be responsive or accountable.

All eyes on ex-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens in Senate primary

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens hopes to complete a stunning political comeback as voters narrow the field for a pivotal spot in the U.S. Senate. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt’s announcement in March 2021 that he would not seek a third term set off a frenzy for his job. With control of the Senate at stake, Democrats are hoping to pick up what should be a safe seat in red-state Missouri. Greitens, Attorney General Eric Schmitt and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler are seen as the leading contenders in the 21-person Republican primary Tuesday. The Democrats are led by 13-year Marine veteran Lucas Kunce and Trudy Busch Valentine, heiress to the Busch family beer fortune.