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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Some Republicans in the Missouri House say a veto override appears likely for a high-profile gun bill, but the odds remain uncertain for a tax-cutting measure after a meeting of GOP lawmakers.

   House Republicans who attended a private weekend caucus said Monday that there was a lot of discussion about the income tax cut vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

   The bill's sponsor, Rep. T.J. Berry of Kearney, says he feels more optimistic about the prospects of an override. But the meeting may not have changed too many minds. Rep. Don Phillips, of Kimberling City, says he still plans to vote "no."

   Rep. Doug Funderburk, of St. Peters, says his bill attempting to nullify some federal gun-control laws received little Republican opposition and appears poised for a veto override.

 
Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The National Rifle Association's Illinois lobbyist is predicting an easy legislative override of Gov. Pat Quinn's gun-carry veto.

Todd Vandermyde says the Democratic governor's suggested changes to concealed carry legislation are too late. He says lawmakers settled the issues Quinn raised and adopted the plan with overwhelming majorities.

A federal appeals court ruling requires a law by July 9 allowing Illinois residents to publicly possess concealed guns. The Legislature sent Quinn a plan last month.

Quinn used amendatory veto authority Tuesday to ban guns from any establishment serving alcohol and to limit gun owners to carrying one weapon at a time.

But Vandermyde says negotiators on all sides in the General Assembly discussed the changes and "the governor's people were never really part of it."

 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed a pair of bills that he says would have imposed new mandates on governments to solve problems that don't exist.

   One of the bills vetoed Monday would have banned public entities from restricting celebrations or discussions of federal holidays. Though it could have protected religious-oriented holidays such as Christmas, Nixon said it also could have hampered efforts to enforce fireworks ordinances around Independence Day.

   The other vetoed bill would have forbidden governments from enacting policies traceable to Agenda 21 -a nonbinding resolution adopted in 1992 by the United Nations that encouraged sustainable development.

   The Democratic governor said both bills passed by the Republican-led Legislature attempt to fight imaginary problems but could have caused real headaches for officials in local communities.

 

Published in Local News
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 11:11

Gov. Nixon vetoes income tax cut

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that would have reduced Missouri's income tax rates for the first time in more than 90 years.

The legislation vetoed Wednesday had been touted by the Republican-led Legislature as a way to keep Missouri economically competitive with neighbors such as Kansas and Oklahoma that have cut taxes.

But Nixon cited concern about an apparent mistake in the legislation that would have repealed an existing sales tax exemption on prescription medicine. The Democratic governor also has raised concern that the lost income tax revenues could hurt funding for education and mental health services.

The bill would have gradually reduced corporate and individual income tax rates while also creating a new deduction for business income reported on individual income taxes.

Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers have overridden Gov. Pat Quinn's veto of legislation that addresses so-called Smart Grid technology.

   The Illinois House voted Wednesday to again approve the legislation, a day after the Senate approved it for a second time. Quinn vetoed it May 6, saying the proposal weakened oversight and forced automatic rate hikes.

   ComEd and Ameren pushed the bill to clarify legislation allowing the utilities to raise rates to fund the high-tech system. But the Illinois Commerce Commission and both utilities disagreed over implementation. ComEd filed an appeal over technical matters and faces a lawsuit over installation delays.

   ComEd says with the new law the average residential customer will pay 40 cents more a month starting in 2014 and 80 cents more in 2017.

 

Published in Local News
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 03:16

IL Senate overrides `Smart Grid' veto

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Senate has again approved a plan to address so-called Smart Grid technology over the objection of Gov. Pat Quinn.

   Senators voted 44-11 Tuesday to override Quinn's veto earlier this month. Quinn claimed the bill undermined oversight and would force automatic rate hikes.

   Senate President John Cullerton disputed those claims. A three-fifths majority was needed. It now heads to the House.

   ComEd pushed the bill as a way to clarify 2011 legislation allowing utilities to raise rates to fund a high-tech system. But executing it has been tricky.

   The Illinois Commerce Commission and ComEd disagreed over implementation. ComEd filed a court appeal over technical matters and faces a class-action lawsuit over installation delays.

   The proposal clarifies some of those issues and hastens installation.

 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's legislative session is over, but the work may continue for some lawmakers.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey says he is considering appointing at least three committees to study issues before the 2014 session.

A joint panel of Senate and House members could look into potential changes to the Medicaid health care program for the poor.

Another committee could study potential projects to be included in a bonding proposal that would be put before voters.

Dempsey said an interim committee also could look into changes to the state's regional solid waste management districts.

All of those committees would be continuing work on measures that failed to pass during the legislative session that ended Friday.

Published in Local News
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