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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers plan to make another attempt at cutting income taxes during their 2014 session.
   Democratic Governor Jay Nixon vetoed an income tax cut bill passed earlier this year, and majority party Republicans were unable to override it.
   House and Senate leaders say an income tax cut will be an early priority when lawmakers convene January 8th.
   Representative T.J. Berry, who sponsored the vetoed bill, says next year's version will leave out some of the provisions to which Nixon objected. One of those dropped sections would have automatically cut state income tax rates even further if Congress enacted a law making it easier for states to collect taxes on sales made over the Internet.
   Bill sponsor Senator Will Kraus says lawmakers want to simplify the legislation and lower its cost.
 
Published in Local News
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 02:25

Slay to testify on Boeing plant tax incentives

   St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay will be in Jefferson City Tuesday to testify in favor of tax breaks aimed at luring Boeing's 777X plant to St. Louis.  

   Yesterday, a bill was introduced that would expand state tax credit programs by $150 million for aerospace companies that create at least 2,000 jobs in Missouri.  

   Slay will make the case to a Senate subcommittee that landing the Boeing plant would be good for the St. Louis region and the whole state.  

   Governor Jay Nixon says Missouri is facing a December 10th deadline to submit an offer to Boeing.  

Published in Local News

   There's more fallout from a loaded handgun found inside a bathroom at the Missouri Capitol last month.  

   The aide to House Speaker Tim Jones who left that gun behind has resigned.  The speaker's chief of staff, Tom Smith, confirmed Thursday that Dave Evans had resigned September 27.  

   Smith says he was satisfied with the corrective actions Evans agreed to after the incident but that Evans thought it was best for him to step down.  

   A 2011 Missouri law allows elected officials and their employees to carry concealed firearms inside the Capitol if they have permits.

 
Published in Local News

   There are a lot of problems with Missouri's school transfer law, but no easy solutions.  That's what state lawmakers heard from St. Louis area school administrators and state educators during five hours of hearings Tuesday.  

   The legislators are considering changes to the current law that allows students in unaccredited districts to transfer to better schools at the expense of their home district.  Issues of cost were a repeated theme yesterday.  

   Three districts in the state are currently unaccredited: Normandy, Riverview Gardens and Kansas City.  But with 11 other districts only having provisional accreditation and new state education standards, there is concern that the transfer situation could be much more widespread in the next few years.

Published in Local News
Thursday, 12 September 2013 01:07

MO Gov. Nixon veto sustained on UN agreement

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have sustained the veto of legislation barring state or local officials from adopting policies infringing upon private property rights and traceable to Agenda 21.

   Agenda 21 is a nonbinding resolution adopted in 1992 by the United Nations that encouraged sustainable development. Its title is a reference to the 21st century, and it encourages changes in global consumption, management and conservation practices.

   Senators supported the override 24-6 on Wednesday. It fell short of the needed two-thirds majority in the House, where legislators supported the override 107-53.

   Gov. Jay Nixon said the legislation would require a costly analysis by cities and governmental bodies to determine if a zoning ordinance can be traced to the resolution. Supporters say their concern is infringement of personal property rights without due process.

   The Agenda 21 bill is SB 265.

 
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 02:16

MO income tax cut faces challenge in veto session

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Republican push to cut Missouri's income taxes faces resistance as lawmakers decide whether to override Gov. Jay Nixon's vetoes.

   The Republican-led Legislature convenes Wednesday for a veto override session. The tax cut is the highest profile issue out of Nixon's 33 vetoes.

   The legislation would phase-in hundreds of millions of dollars of income tax cuts for businesses and individuals. Republican legislative leaders say it would spur the economy and help Missouri compete against recent tax cuts in Kansas and other states.

   But Nixon says the lost revenues could jeopardize education funding. And he says a drafting error would impose sales taxes on prescription drugs.

   A veto override requires a two-thirds majority in both chambers. Supporters may fall short in the House, because several Republicans plan to vote "no."

 
Published in Local News

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - An environmental group is heading to court in another attempt to overturn the way Missouri officials have implemented a 2008 ballot initiative about renewable energy.

   The initiative requires investor-owned utilities to tap renewable energy sources for at least 5 percent of their electricity by 2014, with that amount gradually rising to 15 percent by 2021.

   In 2011, the Legislature blocked part of an administrative rule that would have required the electricity from renewable energy sources to be produced or sold in Missouri. The result is that utilities have been able to purchase credits for renewable energy produced by others.

   A lawsuit filed this past week on behalf of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment challenges the legal basis for the Legislature's action.

 
Published in Local News

   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

   KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Online retailer Amazon is severing ties with its online associates in Missouri because of a new state sales tax law.

   Amazon Associates are people who write blogs or product reviews then link to Amazon.com. They collect commissions if people use their link to buy at Amazon.

   The Kansas City Star reports that Amazon blames its decision to sever ties with its Missouri associates on a new state new law that takes effect this month subjecting those transactions to sales taxes. The retailer says it will no longer pay advertising fees for customers referred to an Amazon site after Aug. 27.

   Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, a Kanas City Democrat, says lawmakers didn't hear from Amazon when the bill was under debate in the Legislature. 

Published in Local News

   Call it the tale of two hearings.  

   Missouri Senate and House committees each held hearings Wednesday on the state's Medicaid program.  Each focused on different perspectives.  

   At the House hearing in St. Louis, most testified in favor of expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.  But at the Senate hearing in Jefferson City, the stress was on the need to overhaul the system first -- by finding ways to reduce costs and improve care.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri's 8.5-billion dollar Medicaid program currently serves 875-thousand low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.  Expansion would add about 260-thousand low-income, working people.

Published in Local News
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