A bipartisan group of U.S. senators, including Claire McCaskill (D-MO), has introduced a bill banning rental car companies from renting recalled vehicles that have not been repaired to consumers.
Anyone with equity in a car (meaning they own it outright or owe just a small amount) can get a short-term loan for up to half of the car's value by pledging their car's title (and often forking over spare keys) to secure the loan. Borrowers keep possession of their cars while they're making payments. But that quick cash comes with a steep price tag: interest rates that can top 100 percent a year, extra fees and the possibility of having the car repossessed.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is blocking a bill that would allow Ameren Missouri to raise electric rates on consumers more quickly with less regulatory oversight. Good for them. Now they should also block Senate Bill 240, which expands the ability of regulated gas utilities, such as Laclede Gas and Ameren, to raise rates outside the normal rate-case process.
The St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance (SLEHCRA) is a coalition of non-profit and community organizations in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The organization works to increase investment in minority communities, regardless of income, and in low- and moderate-income communities, regardless of race, by ensuring that banks are meeting their obligations under the Community Reinvestment Act and fair lending laws.
Consumers Council of Missouri actively participates in SLEHCRA.
In a number of states, Republican lawmakers are making a stubborn stand against the expansion of Medicare coverage contained in the federal Affordable Care Act. They laud themselves for having denied a tenet of Obamacare, sticking it to the president whose name is attached. Trouble is, their main effect is to make life harder for constituents in their own states, not to mention throwing sand in the progress of health care reform.
A brutal form of cynicism lies behind the latest excuse offered by Missouri Senate Republicans for refusing to even discuss an expansion of the state Medicaid program. The proposal would extend health insurance to poor people and bring thousands of jobs to the state by leveraging billions of dollars in federal investment.
Associate Press, April 16, 2013
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri Senate has rejected a bill that would have allowed additional water and sewer companies to seek permission for surcharges to build new infrastructure.
Currently, only water companies in St. Louis County can impose such a surcharge between formal rate cases. Other water companies must get approval for a rate increase from the state Public Service Commission.
Associate Press, April 16, 2013
Rallying with one of the largest crowds of the year at the Missouri Capitol, Gov. Jay Nixon urged activists on Tuesday to implore reluctant Republican lawmakers to expand Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of lower-income adults.
St. Louis Public Radio has launched a new project that will keep track monthly of gifts and money lobbyists give to Missouri legislators. Its first report tracks expenditures in the first two months of 2013. In January and February Ameren Corp., provider of electricity and gas to a large portion of the state, topped the list with expenditures of more than $25,000.
KWMU, University of Missouri - St. Louis, April 10, 2013
The St. Louis Beacon, April 2, 2013
The Missouri House has passed a new state budget without Gov. Jay Nixon's sought-after Medicaid expansion, but that doesn't mean Republicans are dropping the issue entirely.
The House Government Oversight and Accountability Committee is slated to vote Wednesday on HB700, a bill proposed by state Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, to change the state's current Medicaid program dramatically.