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.
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 ALECFail.com.
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.
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."