Informing Judges of Sentencing Costs a Budget-Saving Tool

Expanding prison populations and revenue shortfalls have devastated state budgets across the county.  In response, Missouri is now providing judges with the average cost to incarcerate an individual for a particular crime prior to actual sentencing with an eye on increasing fiscal awareness in sentencing.  Understanding the true budgetary costs of imprisonment versus alternative options may be a critical tool in moving states towards saner sentencing systems.

Despite Missouri Vote, Nullification Continues to Fail Across the Country

Health care nullification forces scored a symbolic victory in Missouri Tuesday as voters supported a ballot initiative to block the individual mandate portion of the federal health care law. But it was a primary electorate dominated by GOP primary voters -- and the real story is how isolated this victory has been for the repeal forces. 26 states and counting have rejected health care nullification, while even the most right-wing state governments are moving forward on implementing the new law for the benefit of their citizens, as documented at

MO: Food banks get share of stimulus

The Columbia Daily Tribune:

Nearly $25 million in federal aid is coming to Missouri to help restock food pantry shelves, and the money couldn’t come at a better time, one local shelter director said.

MO: Report Shows Statewide Dropouts Decrease

Missouri ranks 31st nationwide in the 2010 Kids Count databook, a report released today that rates the status of children in each state based on statistics from 10 key areas.

Missouri improved in four categories, with its most significant improvement in the high school dropout rate. The other areas in which Missouri improved were child and teen death rates and teen birth rates. Conditions worsened in the areas of children in poverty, low birth weights and infant mortality.

MO: Gov. Nixon Creates Commission to Review Tax Credits

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Gov. Jay Nixon has appointed a committee of 25 people to review Missouri's 61 tax credit programs.

Nixon's office said Wednesday that the Tax Credit Review Commission will recommend ways for tax credits to meet their goals more effectively and generate a better return on investment for taxpayers.

MO: Incentives’ track record raises doubts

The Columbia Daily Tribune:

First there was the Ford factory in Hazelwood. Then Chrysler’s twin production plants in Fenton. Next, a potential Bombardier airplane assembly shop in Kansas City.

2010 Legislative Session Roundup: Missouri

Missouri lawmakers left Jefferson City on May 14 following a session defined by extreme budget cuts, partisan posturing, and the upcoming midterm elections.  Some lawmakers criticized the session as failing to address crucial issues.  Rep. Shalonn Curls stated, "[i]t's unfortunate we couldn't pass more meaningful legislation this year.  We spent a lot of time on meaningless resolutions denouncing the federal health care plan, when we could've been creating more opportunities for economic growth and stability for our constituents."