Focus turns to Nixon after lawmakers wrap up legislative session

With Missouri lawmakers concluding their 2016 session Friday, the focus now turns to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who faces decisions on what bills to sign and veto for his final time in the state’s highest elected office.

Although he referenced some “stark differences’’ of opinion between himself and legislators, Nixon struck a more conciliatory tone in his post-session address than he has in recent years.

The Democratic governor will weigh close to 140 bills following a flurry of last-minute activity by lawmakers Friday.

Legislators Friday approved inclusion of a voter ID amendment on the state’s November ballot. They also passed a “stand your ground law,” which allows the use of deadly force in self-defense.

Lawmakers approved limitations on TIF incentives for developers in the St. Louis area.

But the session’s closing days were equally notable for measures that were not approved.

A last-minute push to ban lobbyist gifts to lawmakers failed, although ethics reform bills were approved during the session.House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, said ethics reform would remain a top priority in 2017.

A proposal to increase the state’s gas tax to support infrastructure projects died in the Senate.

A measure that would have led to regulation of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft at the state level also failed to make it to Nixon’s desk.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio, Kansas City Star, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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