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Politically Speaking: State Of State, Death Penalty And Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus

Credit Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics. 

It's another two-part edition of the podcast. Marshall Griffin joins the Politically Speaking crew to talk about Gov. Jay Nixon's State of the State speech and the latest developments involving Missouri's death penalty. Senate Minority Leader Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, joins Chris, Jo and Jason for the second part of the show. 

Justus provided her take on Nixon's sixth State of the State speech, which focused heavily on education funding. She also discussed last year's surprising passage of legislation aimed at shielding gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual Missourians from discrimination.

During the show, Justus said:

  • Nixon's speech on Tuesday was her favorite during her eight-year legislative career. She added she was heartened by Nixon's strong support for expanding Medicaid.
  • She expects the Missouri Non-Discrimination Act to pass the House this year. That bill would bar discrimination in housing, employment or public accommodation based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Nixon urged the legislature to pass Justus' bill during his State of the State speech.
  • Senate Democrats would fight Republican efforts to institute "Right to Work." That's the proposal in which unions and employers would be barred from requiring all workers to pay union dues if a majority votes to organize.
  • One of her biggest priorities during her last year in office is revising Missouri's criminal code. She noted it hasn't been updated since the 1970s -- when former U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Lexington, was in the Missouri Senate.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter@jrosenbaum

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Follow Jolie Justus on Twitter@JolieJustus

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.