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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The first bill being considered by a Missouri House committee this year would prohibit the payment of union fees from being a condition of employment.
The legislation, known as "right to work," is scheduled for a Monday hearing in the House Workplace Development and Workplace Safety Committee.
It is a top priority for Republican House Speaker Tim Jones, of Eureka. He led a rally of about 100 activists in support of the bill before the legislative session opened last week.
While the proposal is at the top of the House agenda, Senate leaders haven't been as optimistic about it passing this year.
The measure is sponsored by Republican Rep. Eric Burlison, of Springfield.
Monday, 13 January 2014 09:36
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House Democrats are preparing to outline a tax cut proposal, despite their fierce opposition to a Republican tax plan last year.
Rep. Jon Carpenter, a Democrat from Kansas City, was expected to file legislation and release his plan to reduce state taxes on Monday.
Another Kansas City Democrat, Sen. Jolie Justus, has signaled that her party would be open to tax cuts under certain circumstance. She says it is a matter of who benefits from the cuts.
House Democrats voted last year against a Republican proposal to reduce individual and corporate income tax rates over 10 years. The GOP plan failed when the Legislature could not secure enough votes to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto.
 
Monday, 13 January 2014 09:10
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DE SOTO, Mo. (AP) - An eastern Missouri man is recovering after falling from a kayak into a frigid river and clinging to a branch to stay afloat.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 50-year-old Joe Sullivan of rural De Soto was kayaking in the Big River in Jefferson County Sunday afternoon when he fell into the river. Sullivan grabbed a branch to stay afloat in the river swollen by rain and snow melt.
Sullivan picked his cellphone out of a plastic bag and called 911. He floated about two miles before he was able to climb out of the river. Rescuers from the De Soto Rural Fire District found Sullivan on a riverbank, cold but OK.
 
Monday, 13 January 2014 09:08
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A bill filed in the Missouri Senate could well strike another blow against the federal Affordable Care Act. The bill, sponsored by Ladue Republican John Lamping, would suspend insurance companies’ state licenses if they accepted subsidies offered by the federal government to help pay health insurance premiums for low- and middle-income Missourians.  Lamping tells the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the subsidies are illegal and eventually will be thrown out by a federal court. By rejecting them, he says, Missouri could remove the trigger in the federal law that, beginning in 2015, will assess penalties against large employers that don’t provide health insurance.  Critics of Lamping’s plan say that the Affordable Care Act is helping people obtain health insurance and that it’s time to stop fighting it. 
It wouldn’t be the first time Missouri had tried to halt Obamacare.
In 2010, about 71 percent of Missourians voted to oppose the mandate to purchase insurance and in 2012, nearly 62 percent voted to prevent the governor from setting up a state-based insurance exchange.
As a result, Missouri is one of 34 states where the federal government is operating the exchange, an online marketplace that allows consumers to compare health plans and sign up for coverage.
That website, HealthCare.gov, gained notoriety because of a problem-plagued rollout last fall. As of Nov. 30, only 4,124 Missourians had selected a marketplace plan.
Monday, 13 January 2014 08:34
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