Political Rewind: Missouri Minimum Wage Set to Increase

Our weekly roundup of Missouri political stories that hit the media this week.

Editor's Note: The following articles were aggregated from several news organizations in Missouri. You can read more about each story by clicking on the headline.

Lack of a Republican bench worries Sen. John Lamping (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Like many Republicans, state Sen. John Lamping of Ladue was disappointed in the election results in Missouri last week.

Though Republicans improved their already-strong majority in the Missouri House and retained their two-thirds majority in the Missouri Senate, they lost four of the five races for statewide offices.

Lamping, 50, is a relative newcomer to politics. After working in the financial industry in New York and St. Louis, he won the 24th District Missouri Senate seat in St. Louis County two years ago. He has an economic degree from Princeton and an MBA in finance from New York University.

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Todd Akin: 'I have a good sense of peace' (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Todd Akin returned to Congress this week after a Senate campaign that left him vilified for his verbal missteps and blamed for his role in the Republican Party's dismal showing in the elections.

He's worried now that the "fiscal cliff" negotiations will lead to stiff tax increases and has concerns about his own financial well-being, knowing he'll be out of work when the new Congress takes over in January.

Nonetheless, Akin, 65, is hopeful about what lies ahead. He said he is considering taking advantage of his new fame by writing a book — something Sen. Claire McCaskill, the victor in his race, also has discussed.

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Federal government tweaks health insurance exchange deadlines (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

The federal government is tweaking its deadlines for states to decide how they want to move forward with health insurance exchanges that will be set up as part of the Affordable Care Act, but the change may have little impact on Missouri.

On Friday, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to governors explaining that states must still declare by Friday whether they will create their own exchanges, but their larger blueprints for establishing the exchanges can now be turned in through Dec. 14.

States that want state/federal partnership exchanges will have until Feb. 15 to submit their proposals, and – as experts had predicted – states will be able to transition from federally-run to state-controlled exchanges down the road.

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Panel hears the good, and bad, of Missouri's approach to immigrants (St. Louis Beacon)

Stories of success -- and discrimination -- peppered the testimony of public officials, immigration experts and immigrants during a four-hour hearing before the Missouri Senate’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Immigration.

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Missing deadline won't prevent Missouri from setting up a health exchange (St. Louis Beacon)

Proposition E, approved by voters last week, closed the door on Missouri setting up its own health insurance exchange by January 2014. But some observers believe the state will pursue a federal option to set up its own exchange later.

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Business, worker groups split over pending increase in Missouri's minimum wage to $7.35 an hour (St. Louis Beacon)

On Jan. 1, Missouri's minimum wage will for the first time be higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Missouri's will be 10-cents-an-hour higher. Business groups decry the event, while labor groups laud it.

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Ann Wagner grasps first rung of House GOP leadership ladder (St. Louis Beacon)

U.S. Rep.-elect Ann Wagner hit the ground running this week when GOP freshmen chose her to represent them at the House Republican leadership table. But she is promising to keep her feet firmly planted in her new congressional district in the St. Louis area.








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