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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has issued a subpoena compelling the state Revenue Department to hand over documents by April 2 about new state driver's licensing procedures.

The order was signed Monday by Republican Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey. It requires the department to produce documents to help determine whether the state is sharing people's personal information with the federal government or a private company.

Lawmakers began investigating after a southeast Missouri man filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit challenges the new requirement that documents such as birth certificates and concealed weapons endorsements be scanned into a state database when a person applies for a driver's license.

Revenue Department officials have denied during legislative hearings that personal information is being shared.
Published in Local News
Missouri voters may be asked to amend the state Constitution to make prosecuting child sex offenders easier.

A 2007 Missouri Supreme Court ruling had banned prosecutors in child sex abuse cases from using "propensity evidence," which is often used to show a suspect has a proclivity to do the alleged crime. The ruling made Missouri the most restrictive state in the nation by banning such evidence as prior convictions.

Representative John McCaherty, a High Ridge Republican, filed a bill that would allow prosecutors to use prior convictions, along with findings by the state Children's Services Division indicating that sexual abuse of a child did occur, even if there were no charges filed.

The measure has already cleared the House and is now in the hands of the Senate.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Senate has advanced a proposed one cent sales tax to fund state and local transportation projects.

The tax would need approval by Missouri voters and would automatically go to another statewide vote after 10 years. It's expected to generate nearly $8 billion over a decade, with 10 percent dedicated to local transportation needs.

Senators gave the measure first-round approval Wednesday.

The legislation requires the Highways and Transportation Commission to develop a list of projects before the tax goes on the ballot. The commission would prepare an annual status report for the governor and the Legislature.

When the increased sales tax is in effect, Missouri's gas tax would be frozen and existing roads could not be become toll roads.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri Senate panel is trying to prevent the enforcement in the state of President Barak Obama's executive orders on gun control.

The committee voted Tuesday to adopt the measure sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger, of Williamstown.

Obama signed 23 executive actions in January, including orders to make more federal data available for background checks and end a freeze on government research on gun violence.

Munzlinger's bill initially would have criminalized the enforcement of all federal gun laws, even those enacted by Congress, passed after Jan. 1, 2013. But those provisions were revised to include only the enforcement of executive orders.

A House committee endorsed similar legislation last week, but that measure seeks to criminalize enforcement of all federal gun laws.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri welfare recipients would be barred from using their benefits for alcohol, gambling or adult entertainment under a proposal from two state senators.

The legislation outlined Monday would also prevent welfare recipients from using their electronic benefit card for sporting events, lottery tickets, amusement parks, zoos or museums.

Repeatedly misusing welfare money would carry a felony charge and prison sentence.

The measure would stop short of preventing welfare recipients from purchasing banned items, because electronic benefits could still be converted into cash.

Republican Sen. Will Kraus, of Lee's Summit, and Democratic Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, of University City, are sponsoring the measure.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Debate has stalled in the Missouri Senate on legislation that Democrats say is part of the state's "war on labor."

Senators stayed late Monday night to debate SB29, legislation that would bar public-sector unions from deducting dues out of employee paychecks.

Republican supporters say the legislation would give public employees the choice of how they want their dues spent. But Democrats blocked a vote on the measure, arguing it would hurt organized labor.

The measure would also require union members to annually give consent for their dues to be spent on political contributions. It would not apply to unions representing "first responders," such as police or firefighters.

The Senate passed a similar measure two years ago, but it died in the House.
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 00:39

MO Senate endorses bill to allow gun safe course

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri first-graders could see an addition to their curriculum under a bill given first-round approval in the Missouri Senate.

The measure endorsed Tuesday would give school districts the option to teach a National Rifle Association-sponsored gun safety program to students in first grade. SB75 would also allow schools to implement a training program for teachers and other personnel on responding to intruders.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Dan Brown, of Rolla, originally would have required schools to adopt both programs. But opposition from Democratic senators caused Brown to make the training and gun safety course optional.

The measure needs one more affirmative vote before moving to the House.
Published in Local News
Missouri legislators are cutting their work week short because of concerns over a winter storm that's expected to dump snow, sleet and freezing rain on much of the state.

The House and Senate usually meet from Monday until mid-day Thursday each week. But with a mixture of ice and snow expected on Thursday, the Senate has decided to quit for the week around noon Wednesday -- early enough to give lawmakers time to get home before the weather hits.

The State House will also give members a chance to leave early, planning only a technical session on Thursday, in which no bills will be debated.
Published in Local News

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.

 

 
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 00:30

MO Senate backs bill to replenish disability fund

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators have endorsed legislation intended to replenish an insolvent state fund for injured workers.

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.
Published in Local News
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