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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have sent Gov. Jay Nixon a bill that would require public employee unions to get annual consent from their members to deduct fees automatically from paychecks.

The House passed the measure 85-69 on Monday. It passed the Senate earlier this year.

The legislation would also require public employee unions to get annual consent from members to spend a portion of their fees on political activities.

Organizations representing "first responders," such as police and firefighters, would be exempted from the measure.

Supporters say the measure gives public workers more control over how their union fees spent. Opponents argue it makes it harder for unions to participate in the political process.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have one week to sort out differences on top legislative priorities, including changes to tax incentives and limits on liability lawsuits for businesses.

House and Senate Republican leaders are attempting to negotiate legislation that would scale back existing tax breaks for historic buildings and low-income housing and create new incentives for certain businesses.

Lawmakers also are working to bridge a gap in on legislation that would replenish an insolvent fund for injured workers and prevent lawsuits over occupational diseases by covering them through the workers' compensation system.

Some priorities already have been sent to the governor, including an income tax cut for individuals and businesses and a $25 billion operating budget.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation that would expand the definition of eggs.

The measure approved on Friday defines eggs edible for human consumption as those produced by chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and guinea fowl. Current law only included chicken eggs in its definition.

Nixon says the expanded definition will allow the state Department of Agriculture to inspect the additional types of eggs and make sure they are kept clean and at proper temperatures.

The bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. Dan Brown, of Rolla.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Children younger than 16 could avoid future federal regulation and continue to work on their parents' Missouri farms under legislation signed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The measure signed on Friday responds to the federal government's proposed rules last year that would have prevented children from doing certain agricultural work. That proposal was eventually scrapped, but the Missouri Legislature moved forward and passed legislation preventing such regulation anyway.

The bill exempts children doing farm work from getting a work certificate and from limits on the number of hours and days they can work. Children would only need the consent of their parents to work on the family's farm. It was sponsored by Republican Sen. Brian Munzlinger, of Williamstown.

 

Published in Local News

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri prosecutors advising police on undercover investigations now have greater legal protection that their conduct won't violate ethical rules.

A recent change to the Missouri Supreme Court's Rules of Professional Conduct explicitly allows government lawyers to collaborate on undercover operations without risking sanction for professional misconduct.

The amendment further codifies a tactic that former Cape Girardeau County prosecutor Morley Swingle calls "the oldest trick in the criminal investigator's book" - lying to a suspect to help solve a case. Swingle is now an assistant U.S. attorney.

Missouri is among 10 states to make similar revisions to its conduct codes for lawyers. Many came in response to a Colorado case in which a prosecutor's law license was suspended after he posed as a public defender to elicit a murder confession.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee has advanced a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at protecting gun rights.

The amendment approved on Tuesday would define the right to bear arms as "unalienable" and require the state to defend against any "infringement" of that right. It would also include defending one's "family" with a firearm as a guaranteed constitutional right.

Sponsoring Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer, of Columbia, says the legislation would protect against proposed gun control laws at the state and federal level.

The Senate passed the same measure earlier this year. If passed by the full House, Missouri voters would need to approve the constitutional change.

 

Published in Local News

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Police in southeast Missouri are investigating a road rage incident on Interstate 55 that included several shots fired into a car.

KFVS-TVreports that a silver Sport utility vehicle passed a car Monday afternoon and suddenly slammed on its brakes, causing the car to strike the rear of the SUV.

Pemiscot County Sheriff's Capt. Ryan Holder says someone got out of the SUV with a handgun and fired seven or eight shots into the car. Four people in the car were not struck by any bullets but were injured by broken glass.

Authorities continue to search for the SUV. It isn't clear what prompted the attack.

 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri public schools and universities will be getting a funding increase under an agreement by legislative budget negotiators.

A group of House and Senate members decided Tuesday to provide a $25 million funding increase to public colleges and universities based on whether they have met performance criteria such as student graduation rates. That's less than the $34 million increase sought by Gov. Jay Nixon but more than the House had approved earlier this year.

The budget also includes $10 million for the University of Missouri medical school to expand a residency program at the Cox Health system in Springfield.

Public school districts would get a $66 million increase to their $3 billion of core funding - the same amount Nixon recommended.

Published in Local News

 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have until Friday to finalize the state's roughly $25 billion operating budget.

The House and Senate have each passed their own budget and now must hammer out an agreement on the spending plan that will take effect July 1. Budget negotiators were scheduled to begin formal talks Monday, but delayed that until Tuesday.

The House and Senate must reconcile differences on higher education funding and whether to keep intact cuts made to state agencies over concerns about the new drivers' license procedures.

One item not up for debate this week is Gov. Jay Nixon's plan to draw down nearly $1 billion from the federal government to expand Medicaid coverage for about 260,000 adults. Neither the House nor Senate included the federal money in their budget proposals.

 

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri officials are celebrating the 100th anniversary of groundbreaking for the state Capitol.

Dirt first was turned in 1913 at a ceremony held in Jefferson City for the start of construction. The current building replaced one that burned in February 1911 after lightning struck its dome.

The cornerstone was laid in 1915, the first government offices moved into the structure in 1917 and the building was dedicated in 1924

Gov. Jay Nixon, Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard and House Speaker Tim Jones attended Monday's ceremony, praising the Capitol's design and appearance.

Published in Local News

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