Heartland Votes

  Pritzker signs more than 2 dozen Illinois bills into law

  Southern Ill. government members figuring out weed regulations

  Juden defends tenure in DPS draft audits

Bevin issues call for special legislative session

Gov. signs executive order to establish Flood Recovery Advisory Working Group

Gov. Pritzker: Illinois to refuse to implement gag rule on women’s health

Continued Coverage

Missouri audit cites Parson for travel to shows, sports game

  Mo. Lt. Governor’s Office given “fair” rating in audit

Another military veteran joins Kentucky US Senate race

Ky. gov. recognizes WWII sailor recently identified

Kentucky governor: Trump ‘absolutely not’ a racist

Military pay to be discussed in committee

Bayer announces expansion; 500 new jobs to St. Louis area

Bayer is expected to bring new, high-paying jobs to the area.

New legislation to protect victims of sex trafficking to become law in Mo.

The bill will protect underage victims of sex trafficking.

Kentucky lawmakers called into special session for pension relief bill

In May, Gov. Matt Bevin said he wouldn't call a special session unless the votes needed to pass legislation to give immediate relief and provide long-term options were available.

Bevin: Special session on pensions to start Friday

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has called a special legislative session that will start on Friday in an effort to offer pension relief for regional universities and dozens of quasi-governmental agencies

  Sen. Duckworth in southern Illinois to talk flooding, housing issues

Sen. Duckworth hosts town hall at SIU

Missouri governor blocks repeal of motorcycle helmet law

  ‘Back the Blue’ license plate available in Mo. in 2020

Ill. gov. signs Property Tax Relief Fund, other bills

‘Common horse sense has flown out the window:’ Rep. Bost addressed fixing Len Small Levee in committee meeting

  Clay seeks to free Honduran residing in sanctuary at church

Democratic U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay has introduced legislation aimed at freeing Alex Garcia, a Honduran refugee who has spent the past two years residing in sanctuary at a suburban St. Louis church

Ill. Gov. reacts to immigration raids with commitment to ‘protect Illinois’ immigrant families'

The Governor has directed all state agencies not to coordinate with ICE

Gov. Bevin continues fight against ‘grotesque’ abortion procedure

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s team defended HB 454 to the U.S. Court of Appeals

Mo. Gov. Parson signs bills fixing glitch on insurance for aged out foster care children

Former foster youth in Missouri will be able to access Medicaid beginning August 28, 2019, when the bill takes effect.

Mo. gov. signs laws making in-home child care safer

Beginning August 28 providers may care for a total of six children and no more than three under age 2.

Kentucky Democrats put forth pension fix plan

Democratic leaders in the Kentucky House are making a play for bipartisanship with a state pension repair proposal

Lawmakers propose bill to make all VA facilities smoke-free

The legislation was introduced Thursday, July 11.

Gov. Parson signs economic strategy bill into law and several other pieces of legislation

Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed several pieces of legislation into on Wednesday, July 10.

State Rep. signs legislation to ease application process for gun owners in Ill.

The bill has been sent to the governor for consideration.

Mo. Governor Parson signs ‘Lyndon’s Law’

Lyndon Ebker was a 30-year employee of MoDOT when he was hit and killed in a Franklin County work zone by an inattentive driver in 2016.

Kansas City Chiefs become Missouri’s official NFL team

Founder Lamar Hunt brought the franchise to Kansas City, Mo. from Dallas in 1963.

Gov. Parson signs legislation to ‘Back the Blue’ with specialty license plate

The plates are expected to become available by early 2020.

Cape Girardeau County businessman appointed to Southeast Mo. State University board

Dennis Vinson, of Cape Girardeau, is the President and CEO of Signature Packaging and Paper, LLC in Jackson, Mo.

  Amy McGrath announces Senate run against McConnell

Amy McGrath has announced her run for U.S. Senate

Audit: Madison Co. Collector’s Office had $13K in missing property tax payments

According to the state auditor’s office, property tax bills were paid and deleted from computer system. The payments were not deposited into county accounts.

Aides: Tax cut likely off table next year in Missouri

Missouri political aides are warning that a state income tax cut is probably off the table next year after revenues fell short of their target

  Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker visits Walker’s Bluff to celebrate new casino license

The gaming expansion legislation also enables the Walker’s Bluff Winery to move forward with resort expansion.

  Ill. Governor celebrates approval of gaming expansion, cigarette and online taxes

The approval of the bill authorizes Walker's Bluff to operate a casino.

Near 20-cent fuel tax increase begins July 1 in Ill.

Title fees will also increase.

  Flags ordered at half-staff July 1 honoring fallen Mo. officer

Officer Langsdorf was shot and killed after responding a business in Wellston on Sunday, June 23.

  Ill. gov. signs executive order protecting transgender students, marches in Chicago Pride Parade

Pritzker signed an executive order on Sunday giving schools statewide the tools be affirming and inclusive for transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming students.

  Businesses react as Illinois gas tax hike goes into effect July 1

The gas tax in Illinois will double to 38 cents a gallon on July 1.

Kentucky gov, AG clash over office space amid gov race match

Kentucky's Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear are fighting over Capitol office space as they clash in the race for governor

  Gov. Pritzker signs $45B Rebuild Illinois capital plan

The Rebuild Illinois package consists of four bills.

Governor Parson closes state offices for Friday, July 5

Governor Mike Parson announced he plans to sign an executive order declaring state offices closed on Friday, July 5, 2019.

Clay proposal would allow cities to enact tougher gun laws

Democratic U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay is introducing a bill aimed at reducing gun violence in urban areas like his hometown of St. Louis

  More than $44.7B approved for Ill. roads, education, conservation

According to Gov. Pritzker’s office, the funding will go towards projects and grants for transportation, education, state facilities, environment/conservation, broadband deployment, health care and human services and economic and community development.

  G-20 leaders clash over values, face calls to protect growth

World leaders attending a Group of 20 summit in Japan that began Friday are clashing over the values that have served for decades as the foundation of their cooperation as they face calls to fend off threats to economic growth.

  Businesses getting ready for legal marijuana in Illinois

When weed becomes legal in the land of Lincoln businesses are going to have to adapt

Sen. Durbin reintroduces Safe Food Act

The Safe Food Act would consolidate the FDA and USDA food safety inspections, enforcement, labeling, and research into a single entity.

AP FACT CHECK: Dems’ missteps on climate, wages in debate

A look at some of their statements and how they compare with the facts:

New Ky. concealed carry law goes into effect Thursday

Kentuckians can still get a concealed carry permit, but it will no longer be required.

Lawmaker proposing legislation to crack down on service dog misuse

A new bill pre-filed in Frankfort looks make it illegal for Kentuckians to use their untrained pet as a service dog.

Death benefits for families of Ill. fallen first responders increased

Death benefits for fallen first responders will be increased from $10,000 to a cap of $20,000

Kentucky probation and parole officers to receive pay hike

Kentucky officials say probation and parole officers are the first state employees to see their salaries increase due to an adjustment in the state's salary schedule

Top Democrat: Auditor Galloway plans to run for governor

A top Missouri Democrat says that Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway is planning to run for governor in 2020

  How Illinois legalizing recreational marijuana could affect you

Political expert John Jackson, with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, said there are pros and cons to this legislation.

  Illinois becomes 11th state to allow recreational marijuana

Pritzker signed a bill that will legalize adult-use cannabis.

Missouri Rep. Clay co-sponsors resolution to impeach Trump

Missouri Rep. William Clay Jr. has joined two other Democratic congressmen in sponsoring a resolution to impeach President Donald Trump

Ill. Gov. signs 3 immigrant protection bills

The bills take effect immediately.

  Missouri denies clinic’s abortion license

Missouri's health department has declined to renew a license to perform abortions for the state's lone clinic, but the St. Louis Planned Parenthood affiliate can continue to perform the procedure for now

Gov. Pritzker: Steps being taken to help farmers hurt by flooding

Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau said this was one of the worst floods in Illinois in more than a quarter of a century.

Release date set for new Kentucky ID

The pilot phase will begin on June 28 in Franklin County. Woodford and Hart counties will be next but dates have not been released yet.

Ill. Sen. opposes Trump nominee, Matthew Kacsmaryk

Sen. Durbin said he can not support President Trump’s nominee Matthew Kacsmaryk.

  Cape Girardeau City Councilman announces resignation

Councilman Victor Gunn, who represents Ward 3, announced he is resigning from the Cape Girardeau City Council on Monday, July 8.

Woman held on capital murder, abuse of corpse charges in Arkansas lawmaker’s death

Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce said in a media release that no information about the case would be released while it was under investigation.

Raising tobacco product age enters new debate in Congress

For generations, tobacco powered Kentucky’s economy. While the industry is withering in the Bluegrass State, it continues to pay addiction’s deadly price. The unlikeliest of reformers are calling for change in Washington.

Push for public vote on Missouri abortion law hits roadblock

Efforts to put a new Missouri law banning abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy to a public vote have hit another roadblock.

  Gov. Parson takes first Trade Mission trip to Europe

Gov. Mike Parson is in Europe on a Trade Mission trip to attract new business to Missouri.

Kentucky Supreme Court voids victims’ rights amendment

The Kentucky Supreme Court has voided a proposed amendment on crime victims' rights because the question posed to voters was too vague

  Cape Girardeau Co. democrats raise $10k to attract presidential candidate

The Cape Girardeau County Democrats want to bring the race to the White House through Cape Girardeau.

Ill. Gov. Pritzker signs legislation reinstating 5-hour minimum school day

According to the state Board of Education, the law also allows school districts statewide to utilize e-learning days in lieu of emergency days.

Democrats show unity amid GOP squabbles in Kentucky

While Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has run into resistance from Republican lawmakers on pension legislation, and faced a messy dispute with his lieutenant governor, his Democratic challenger has forged alliances with his former rivals.

Mo. requests joint damage assessments due to flooding, tornadoes

Missouri has asked for the assessments due to worsening flooding, and also tornado damage and severe storms.

Effort to repeal Missouri 8-week abortion ban hits roadblock

Efforts to repeal Missouri's new eight-week abortion ban with a public vote have hit a roadblock

Bevin writes to lawmakers to outline changes to pension plan

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has reached out to lawmakers to outline changes he's agreed to make in the pension relief proposal he'd like to have taken up in a special legislative session.

  Ill. Gov. Pritzker Signs bipartisan balanced budget

The sports betting legislation, SB 0690 passed 46-10 in the Senate.

Chemical castration bill awaiting Ala. governor’s signature

There’s a bill on Governor Kay Ivey’s desk that would require convicted sex offenders on parole to undergo chemical castration.