ST. LOUIS – A theme for 2022 could be “decisions, decisions”. You could probably make this argument for most years, but as we take a look at some of the region’s biggest stories as the New Year approaches, it seems like a good place to start. Our region, like the rest of the world, faces decisions on how we will continue to fight the COVID pandemic and its many facets. The St. Louis area faces many decisions about how to spend an unprecedented amount of money that will flow into the area for a variety of reasons.
Voters face many important decisions at the polls in 2022, highlighted by a race for the U.S. Senate that could grab the nation’s attention. St. Louis and the County of St. Louis have choices to make about the direction of their respective police departments. And there is a new man in charge on the pitch for the Cardinals, who will have several of his own decisions to make, assuming the owners and players agree on a new contract in time to avoid disrupting the game. season.
In particular, here’s a look at five stories to watch in 2022.
At the start of 2022, we still find ourselves in the middle of a pandemic almost two years later. More than a year after starting a vaccine regimen, variants are the concern. Health officials fear the St. Louis area is heading for a “winter wave” thanks to the Omicron variant. The potential increase comes at the same time as Attorney General Eric Schmitt has won a string of court victories related to limiting mitigation mandates for things like vaccines and masks. Many school districts in the St. Louis area will remove mask requirements when returning from school in January. Will access to testing improve in 2022? Will more boosters be needed? Can children under 5 be vaccinated? State lawmakers in 2021 passed a law limiting public health orders. Will further steps to clarify these orders be on the table? So many questions we asked in 2021 will continue to be asked in 2022.
Between the NFL settlement, the COVID relief and the recently passed federal infrastructure bill, an unprecedented amount of money is pouring into the St. Louis area on both sides of the river. Together, it has the potential to have a generational impact on the region. While the funds from the legislation have specific purposes as established by law, the roughly $ 500 million of the Rams trial settlement to be divided between the regional stadium authority, St. Louis and the County of St Louis still have an uncertain value. future. Mayor Tishaura Jones and County Executive Sam Page did not disclose the criteria that will be used to distribute the funds. Some city leaders have previously said the city should get a bigger cut than the county because the county has not contributed to efforts to keep the Rams in town. Will the regional stadium authority’s share be used to pay for improvements to the convention center? The uncertainty explains one of the reasons some fans were hoping the lawsuit would lead to an expansion squad as part of a settlement. A team is a tangible asset that the community can see instead of the result of a political agreement.
AMERICAN SENATE RACE
Roy Blunt’s decision not to get re-elected created an overcrowded GOP primary field seeking to keep what is widely seen as a secure Republican seat in party hands in November. Former Governor Eric Greitens, State Attorney General Eric Schmitt, U.S. Representative Billy Long, U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler, St. Louis Attorney Mark McCloskey, and Missouri Senate Dave Schatz have previously declared themselves from GOP side. U.S. Representative Jason Smith also considered the race. Former State Senator Scott Sifton and Navy veteran Lucas Kunce have declared their intentions on the Democratic side. No one can file a file before February 22. Pundits have already wondered aloud whether a Greitens primary victory, in particular, would put the seat up for grabs in a general election, to the point where some are begging former President Donald Trump not to endorse the former governor who resigned under pressure from legal and ethical scandals in 2018. If Democrats feel Greitens could land the GOP nomination, could that push a more prominent candidate in the race to their side?
Police chiefs wanted
St. Louis and the County of St. Louis are both on the lookout for new leaders. Chief John Hayden has announced he will resign in St. Louis next February, while Lt. Col. Kenneth Gregory is currently the acting chief after Mary Barton announced her resignation in July after agreeing to a settlement of 290,000. $ for a discrimination complaint. As our press partners on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch report, the search for the city is linked to political wars, while the search for the county has not yet started.
NEW RESPONSIBLE CARDINAL
The youngest manager of a major league dugout to start the season will be Oliver Marmol, who took over from Mike Shildt after Shildt stepped away from the front office and was fired in a move that stunned the baseball world. How will Marmol deal with what could be a rushed start to the season depending on negotiations for a new collective agreement? How is he going to handle what could very well be the final year for Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina in Cardinals uniforms? What about the expected arrival of the designated hitter, and juggling a bullpen? The Cardinals failed to add throwing depth last offseason and were dangerously shorthanded when injuries hit the rotation in 2021. Has the front office done enough for 2022? How will Marmol react if the major additions stop at pitcher Steven Matz?
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