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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - An unaccredited St. Louis-area school system facing bankruptcy could end up paying $130,000 for lobbying efforts while urging Missouri lawmakers to approve a financial rescue.
 
A document obtained by The Associated Press through an open-records request shows the Normandy School District agreed to pay a $90,000 retainer in monthly installments for representation and could spend up to $40,000 more to hire additional consultants. The costs have prompted concern from some lawmakers.
 
Missouri legislators are considering a $5 million budget infusion for Normandy aimed at preventing the district from running out of money this spring. A state transfer law is requiring the district to pay to send students to other accredited districts.
 
A Normandy spokeswoman says the district is doing what anyone needing legislative assistance would do.

White House warns Obama could go around Congress

Sunday, 26 January 2014 10:21 Published in National News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The president's advisers are warning that if lawmakers won't work with the White House, the White House will go around them.

President Barack Obama makes his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Top White House aides say Obama will try to work with Congress where it's possible.

But press secretary Jay Carney and senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer say the White House will take action with executive orders if needed.

On ABC's "This Week," Carney says the White House will "bypass Congress where necessary."

Pfeiffer tells "Fox News Sunday" that Obama, quote, "has a pen, and he has a phone, and he's going to use those."

Republican Sen. Rand Paul tells CNN's "State of the Union" that it sounds like a threat.

The new face of food stamps: working-age Americans

Sunday, 26 January 2014 10:17 Published in National News

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a first, working-age people now make up the majority in households that rely on food stamps.

That's a switch from a few years ago, when children and the elderly were the main recipients.

Some of the change is due to demographics, like the trend toward people having fewer children. But the slow economic recovery is also playing a role, with high unemployment, stagnant wages and an increasing gulf between low-wage and high-skill jobs.

Government data shows that food stamp participation has grown fastest among workers with some college training. It's a sign the safety net has stretched to cover what used to be the middle class.

The program now covers 1 in 7 Americans.

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