JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri General Assembly has officially come to a close.
House and Senate leaders gaveled the annual session to an end Thursday in compliance with the adjournment date set in the Missouri Constitution.
The actual work ended two weeks ago. The constitution prohibited lawmakers from passing any legislation after May 17, but allowed additional time for bills to be printed and prepared for delivery to the governor.
On Thursday, the House speaker and Senate president pro tem signed bills as a verification that they had passed.
Gov. Jay Nixon now has until mid-July to decide whether to sign those bills into law or veto them.
Dangerous weather seems likely any season in Missouri. A new list released by Yahoo Finance supports that observation.
The Show Me State appears in the top ten states most at risk for major disasters. Missouri is in the tenth spot with 53 major disaster declarations since 1953. Texas tops the list with 86 declarations.
You can see the full list here.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Some adoption advocates say Gov. Jay Nixon should veto new Missouri legislation dealing with international law because it could complicate overseas adoptions.
The legislation would make court rulings unenforceable if they use rulings or decisions based upon foreign laws that are inconsistent with the state and U.S. constitutions.
The Jefferson City News Tribune reports adoption advocates are concerned about the measure. Lutheran Family and Children's Services said it could mean Missouri would not recognize an adoption decree that is completed in the child's birth country.
Sen. Brian Nieves says people opposed to the legislation are using "dishonest tactics." Nieves, a Republican from Washington, Mo., says many critics have ignored that the legislation targets foreign laws inconsistent with the constitution.
OZARK, Mo. (AP) — A southwest Missouri county health department has posted health advisories for three waterways because of high bacteria levels.
The Springfield News-Leader reports that the Christian County Health Department has posted advisories warning swimmers about high levels of E. coli bacteria at the Jim Turner Access at Finley River Park in Ozark, the Shelvin Rock Access southwest of Nixa and the Delaware Access west of Nixa.
The health department tests public waterways for E. coli, a type of bacteria that can cause diarrhea, dehydration and other problems.
Christian County Health Department Administrator Cindy Bilyeu says anyone who plans to swim in the river on Memorial Day weekend should take a shower immediately afterward. The health advisory will be removed after two consecutive samples at acceptable levels.
CHAFFEE, Mo. (AP) — A federal agency has sent investigators to southeast Missouri, where seven people were injured when two cargo trains collided on tracks under a highway overpass, causing the overpass to partially collapse.
Scott County Sheriff's Office Dispatcher Clay Slipis said the collision happened around 2:30 a.m. Saturday near Chaffee when a Union Pacific train hit a Burlington Northern train. Slipis said several cars derailed and hit a pillar of the Highway M overpass, bringing it down. Two cars were on that stretch of road.
Seven people — five in the vehicles and both train conductors — were taken to a hospital. Slipis said all but one was treated and released; the seventh is in good condition.
The National Transportation Safety Board says it's sent a crew to investigate the cause.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two crew members from a tow boat, including one who died, have been honored for their efforts to save a family of five after the family's boat became disabled on the Mississippi River at St. Louis.
The U.S. Coast Guard hosted a ceremony Friday to honor Jarvise Shelton and Kyle Hardman. Coast Guard officials say the pleasure craft was in "imminent peril" last year when Shelton and Hardman launched a small boat to save the family.
The rescue boat capsized, killing Hardman. Shelton and crew members from three other tows were able to save the family.
Shelton was presented the Coast Guard's Gold Lifesaving Medal during a ceremony in Alton, Illinois. Hardman's survivors will receive his medal at a later date.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Voters in southeast Missouri voters are running out of time to request absentee ballots by mail or fax for next month's congressional election.
The special election to replace Republican Jo Ann Emerson in the 8th Congressional District takes place June 4. Emerson gave up her seat in the U.S. House to lead a national association of rural electric cooperatives.
Secretary of State Jason Kander says voters unable to go the polls June 4th have until 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 29th, to get applications for absentee ballots to their local election authority.
Absentee ballots may be cast at county clerks' offices through June 3rd.
The four candidates in the race are Republican Jason Smith, Democrat Steve Hodges, Libertarian Bill Slantz and Constitution Party member Doug Enyart
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is weighing whether to sign legislation that would allow children's non-related legal guardians to receive adoption subsidies.
Currently only grandparents, aunts, uncles, adult siblings or cousins can get state-sponsored subsidies when they become the legal guardians of a child.
But a bill passed by the Legislature would expand that list to include people who are not blood relatives if their lives and those of a child are "intermingled" in a manner similar to a family relationship.
The subsidies are payments given to guardians to help pay for the child's care.
The bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. John Lamping, of St. Louis.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Civil engineers say Missouri's infrastructure gets only a C-minus.
The regional chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers released the letter grade Wednesday. It is part of a report card that evaluated the state's aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, inland waterways, levees, railroads, roads, schools and wastewater. Each sub-category also received a grade.
The engineers found the most faults with the state's dams and energy, giving them both D-minus grades. The report says Missouri regulates only a portion of the dams that could cause significant damage if they failed. The engineers also said more investment is needed to help shift from coal toward sustainable energy.
The state's roads earned a C. Lawmakers ended their session without approving a 1 cent state sales tax for transportation projects.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Prison sentences for Missouri juveniles convicted of first-degree murder remain uncertain because lawmakers did not pass a new sentencing scheme before adjourning.
Under state law, people under 18 convicted of first-degree murder are automatically sentenced to life without parole. But a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision said such automatic sentences are unconstitutional.
The high court said states had to consider an offender's upbringing and role in the crime before sentencing a juvenile to life without parole.
Republican Sen. Bob Dixon, of Springfield, proposed legislation that would have left life without parole as a possibility but also would have allowed juveniles to be given a 50-year prison term. But it stalled in the closing days of the Legislature's session that ended last week