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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Running afoul of Missouri's open government laws could carry a smaller financial penalty but no longer require proof the law was knowingly broken under legislation before a Senate committee.
Officials or agencies now can pay up to $5,000 for a purposeful violation and up to $1,000 for a "knowing" violation. The Senate legislation would reduce the amount of the lesser penalty to $100 and no longer require a violation be committed "knowingly" for there to be punishment.
Supporters say the changes would make enforcement of the Sunshine Law just like that of other statutes.
Organizations representing cities, counties and other local governments are critical. They question levying penalties against people who can be volunteers and who accidently violate an open meeting or public records requirement while serving their communities.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — It's payback time for all of those snow days this winter — but not for everyone.
Spring break was scheduled about this time of year for many school districts, but the brutal winter forced so many snow days that some schools are remaining in session to make up the days.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that not everyone is in attendance. Some teachers who made spring break reservations for trips are sticking with their plans. That has led to a high number of requests for substitute teachers, leaving some districts to scramble for replacements.
The scenario could crop up again at the end of the school year as schools make up for snow days.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says it's not right that businesses that treat their employers fairly can be undercut by competitors who don't.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama is promoting his plan to update rules about which workers are eligible for overtime pay. Obama says he wants to restore the principle that if you have to work more, you should earn more.
Businesses can avoid paying overtime for some workers who earn above a certain threshold. Obama says under the current rules, some salaried workers are actually paid less than the minimum wage.
In the Republican address, Rep. Bill Johnson of Ohio says seniors deserve better than what Obama's health care is delivering. He says if Obama won't help Republicans repeal the law, Obama should at least protect seniors.