The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

January 12, 2014

Lesser-known bills address speed limits, hunting and fishing, even state exercise

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — While issues such as right-to-work, taxes and Medicaid will lead the conversation in the state Capitol this legislative session, many lawmakers have their own, lesser-known priorities.

They include constitutional protection for the right to hunt and fish, the impeachment of state judges, boosting state speed limits and even a proposal to make jumping jacks the official state exercise.

But don’t worry; government agents aren’t going to roust you out of bed every morning and require calisthenics.


Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, and Rep. Bill White, R-Joplin, have filed similar bills in their respective chambers that would move the power of impeachment to the Senate from a special commission of “seven eminent jurists to be elected by the Senate” (often prominent former judges).

The legislation would apply to state judges, who account for most of the impeachment efforts in Missouri history, and to the governor.

White said: “The Senate should try it. That’s the way we used to do it.”

Before voter approval of the 1945 state Constitution, “the way we used to do it” in Missouri was similar to that at the federal level: The House of Representatives would file articles of impeachment, and the Senate would hold the trial with the chief justice of the Supreme Court presiding.

The change was slipped in at the last minute during the constitutional convention, Emery said, with the logic at the time being that because an impeachment is a “trial,” it ought to be done in a court. The problem, he said, is that the people being tried are often judges — peers of those conducting the trial.

Emery pushed similar bills for several years while he was in the House, and he introduced the measure again in the Senate last year.

“A lot of people in the Legislature would say, ‘Why bother?’ because they’re going to be tried in the Supreme Court,” he said. “I don’t mean that should be applied to the character of the current Supreme Court, but it is the sense of legislators, ‘Why would they impeach their own?’”

Missouri has changed impeachment rules four times since becoming a state in 1821 — once in 1865 after the Civil War, then in 1875 to amend some of the 1865 changes, again in 1923, and a fourth time in 1945.

Emery’s previous bills have never made it further than a committee hearing. If approved by the General Assembly, the measure would be placed on the ballot to be decided by voters in November 2014.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

    Bills moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014