JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A proposal to name a new Mississippi River bridge for the late St. Louis Cardinals great Stan Musial is moving ahead in the Missouri Senate.
The measure was approved by the Senate's transportation committee last week and has been placed on the Senate's debate calendar. It's not clear when the full chamber might take it up.
Musial died last month at age 92. A movement quickly began to name the new Interstate 70 bridge over the Mississippi for the seven-time National League batting champion.
Lawmakers in both Missouri and Illinois would have to approve the name. The bridge is expected to open sometime next year.
The Missouri Senate bill is sponsored by Republican Eric Schmitt, of St. Louis County. A similar bill has been introduced in the Missouri House.
Senators gave initial approval Tuesday night to a bill that would raise fees on businesses and narrow the type of future injuries covered by the Second Injury Fund. The fund has a $25 million deficit, which is expected to grow unless lawmakers take action.
The Second Injury Fund was created 70 years ago to cover disabled employees who suffer a second work-related injury or illness.
The legislation also seeks to reverse recent court rulings that concluded occupational diseases are not required to be covered by the workers' compensation system. The bill says they are, and it sets limits on how much money can be awarded for exposure to toxins like asbestos.
Missouri currently enjoys a triple-A rating.
But Moody's Investors Service last week assigned a negative outlook to Missouri because of the proportion of the state budget that already comes from the federally and state-funded Medicaid program.
If Missouri expands Medicaid eligibility as called for in the federal Healthcare Reform Act, it would get billions of dollars more from the federal government in coming years.
The bill given initial approval Tuesday night is aimed mainly at the Kansas City School District, which lost its accreditation in January 2012.
Under current law, Missouri officials must wait until at least June 30, 2014, before intervening in the Kansas City district.
The Senate legislation would let the state intervene immediately after a district loses its accreditation. The state Board of Education could prescribe conditions under which the existing local school board could continue to oversee the school, or it could set up an alternative governing structure.
Those alternatives could include creating a special administrative board, merging the district with neighboring ones or splitting the district into several new ones.