JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are seeking to allow new charges on cellphones and wireless devices to help improve the state's 911 system.
Public safety officials say many counties cannot identify the location of someone who uses a cellphone to call 911.
Legislation advancing this year would establish a 3-percent charge on prepaid wireless devices. Proceeds would go for the poison control center and for counties to improve 911.
The proposals also would give counties a new 911 funding option by permitting a monthly fee on devices that can contact 911. The fee would be capped at $1.50 and require voter approval. Counties currently can assess a fee on landline phones or a sales tax. Counties would not be permitted to combine funding options.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are considering an overhaul of the state's payday loan industry that would give borrowers more time to pay back a loan.
The legislation passed by the Missouri Senate last week also would stop borrowers from renewing a loan and would remove a cap on the amount of fees and interest lenders can charge.
Under current law, payday loans can be up to $500 and last from 14 to 31 days. Loans can also be renewed up to six times.
Sponsoring Representative Mike Cunningham of Rogersville says the cap is not necessary since loans can't be renewed, and that market forces would set the interest rates. The measure's opponents said the bill was a step in the right direction, but doesn't go far enough.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers could clear up a legal thicket entangling communities' red light cameras while also applying the brakes to cameras designed to nab speeders.
State approval would be required for speed or red light cameras on state highways, and communities seeking to place them elsewhere would need to follow specific requirements. Speed cameras on local roads would be limited to school zones, work zones and areas where serious traffic accidents are excessive.
Legislation endorsed by a House committee also seeks to address recent court cases over red light cameras. Appeals courts have focused on how points are assessed for violations caught by red light cameras.
The bill would specify that traffic infractions captured by speed or red light cameras would not lead to points on a motorist's driving record.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri education officials are digging into proposals to help struggling school districts.
Three Missouri districts, including Kansas City, are currently unaccredited, and a 2013 law gave the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education more power to intervene in struggling school systems.
More than a half-dozen improvement plans have been submitted by school districts, education organizations and the Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust, a private school reform group under contract with the state.
The State Board of Education scheduled a work session on the proposals Monday. The education department plans to present its recommendations to the board on Feb. 18.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — More than 80 Missourians are serving sentences of life without parole that the U.S. Supreme Court says are unconstitutional because they were juveniles at the time of their crime.
A Missouri state senator has introduced legislation that would allow those 83 people convicted of first-degree murder to receive a new sentencing hearing.
The measure would allow those older than 16 to serve life without parole or a 50-year minimum sentence. Offenders younger than 16 could also spend their lives behind bars or be eligible for parole after 35 years.
In 2012, the high court said states can't automatically impose life without parole sentences for juveniles. It said states must account for differences between juveniles and adults when sentencing them for murder.