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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon is giving a mixed review to Missouri's 2013 legislative session.

   The Democratic governor praised lawmakers for boosting funding for education and mental health in the session that ended Friday evening. And he complimented them for passing a bill that would replenish an insolvent state fund for disabled workers.

   But Nixon criticized the Republican-led Legislature for failing to expand Medicaid health coverage to an estimated 260,000 lower-income adults, and for failing to pass a comprehensive overhaul of the state's tax credit programs.

   Nixon implied that he likely will veto a projected $700 million income tax cut. He also cited potential legal issues with a bill seeking to nullify federal gun control regulations.

   Nixon reserved judgment on whether he believes the Legislature's proposed $25 billion operating budget is balanced.

Published in Local News

Governor Jay Nixon says the latest unemployment figures show Missouri's economy continues to build positive momentum.

The state's jobless rate ticked down a tenth of a percent to 6.6 in April. The hospitality sector saw the largest gains with 4,800 new jobs, but construction and finance both lost 700 jobs.

The national rate sits at 7.5 percent.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation that would expand the definition of eggs.

The measure approved on Friday defines eggs edible for human consumption as those produced by chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and guinea fowl. Current law only included chicken eggs in its definition.

Nixon says the expanded definition will allow the state Department of Agriculture to inspect the additional types of eggs and make sure they are kept clean and at proper temperatures.

The bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. Dan Brown, of Rolla.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Children younger than 16 could avoid future federal regulation and continue to work on their parents' Missouri farms under legislation signed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The measure signed on Friday responds to the federal government's proposed rules last year that would have prevented children from doing certain agricultural work. That proposal was eventually scrapped, but the Missouri Legislature moved forward and passed legislation preventing such regulation anyway.

The bill exempts children doing farm work from getting a work certificate and from limits on the number of hours and days they can work. Children would only need the consent of their parents to work on the family's farm. It was sponsored by Republican Sen. Brian Munzlinger, of Williamstown.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon has indicated that he's likely to veto legislation that would cut Missouri income taxes for businesses and individuals.

Nixon said Friday that he has "serious concerns" about the income cut passed a day earlier by the Legislature. He called it fiscally irresponsible and said it could jeopardize funding for higher education, prisons and other government services.

The tax cut was a priority of the Republican-led Legislature and is meant to counteract recent income tax reductions in Kansas.

The Democratic governor estimated that it could eventually drain more than $800 million annually from state revenues.

The measure would essentially cut the income tax in half for businesses and reduce the top tax rate for individuals from 6 percent to 5.5 percent over the next decade.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have prepared a budget that could force Gov. Jay Nixon to choose between developmentally disabled children and low-income seniors.

The nearly $25 billion operating budget being considered Thursday by lawmakers assumes more than $55 million of savings from the elimination of a tax break for low-income seniors and disabled residents who live in rental housing.

The budget would spend that money on early childhood programs for the developmentally disabled, health care for the blind and medical clinics that treat low-income people.

Nixon has said he would veto a repeal of the renters tax break unless it's part of a broader tax-credit overhaul. But if he does, then the early childhood programs and health care initiatives would lose money.

Lawmakers hope that will compel Nixon to accept the plan.

 

Published in Local News

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House is not planning to give Gov. Jay Nixon's administration data related to an attempted access of the list of gun permit holders.

   The Office of Administration requested computer logs last week after a House computer was used to access a secure website containing the gun data. The House computer used credentials the state had previously provided to a federal agent.

   House Speaker Tim Jones says the attempted access was part of an investigation into the Nixon administration. House Clerk Adam Crumbliss sent a letter to the Nixon administration Monday that says releasing the House computer data could compromise the ongoing investigation.

   Commissioner of Administration Doug Nelson says the access was unauthorized because the information on the website had been intended for use by law enforcement.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is warning of employee layoffs and cuts to services if legislators pass a budget that reduces funding for the states' motor vehicle division.

Nixon said Wednesday that lawmakers were acting irresponsibly to put forward a budget that would fund the division for only the first two-thirds of the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Republican lawmakers said Tuesday that the partial funding was intended as an incentive for Nixon's administration to stop making electronic copies of personal documents of people applying for driver's licenses. They said lawmakers could provide the rest of the money when they return to the Capitol next January.

But Nixon called the partial-year funding unprecedented. The Democratic governor said he would treat it as an annual appropriation and cut accordingly.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing using $86 million in next year's budget for work at the state mental hospital, state Capitol and state parks.

Nixon said Thursday an improving budget situation could allow for the "strategic one-time investments." The governor is proposing $13 million for the planning and design of a new facility at the Fulton State Hospital, $28 million for structural repairs to the state Capitol and $45 million for improvements at state parks.

The announcement came shortly after Nixon's budget office announced that state revenues through April are up 11.2 percent for fiscal year.

In addition, Nixon announced Thursday he is releasing $29.6 million that he blocked when the budget took effect last summer. The money will go to various programs, including health and education initiatives.

Published in Local News

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republican lawmakers are raising new questions about whether Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration has tried to comply with the federal Real ID Act.

   Senators on Wednesday released a copy of a form letter sent in March 2010 by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to Nixon thanking him for his efforts to comply with Real ID.

   Nixon signed a 2009 state law prohibiting Missouri from taking steps intended to comply with the goals of the 2005 federal identity law, which sets stringent requirements for photo identification cards.

   Nixon has previously denied that Missouri is trying to implement Real ID. His administration reasserted Wednesday that it's not complying with Real ID and said the letter is meaningless. It distributed similar form letters sent to governors in several other states.

 
Published in Local News
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