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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Industry and special interest groups have spent more than $200,000 in the last three years on trips for Missouri lawmakers.
 
Records reviewed by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch showed the travel-related spending in many cases included airline tickets, hotel rooms, meals and convention fees.
While the lobbyist spending is legal in Missouri, critics say the practice creates conflicts of interest when legislators go to vote on issues important to those lobbyists and industries.
 
Those who defend lobbyist spending say providing trips focused on giving lawmakers valuable information is not the same thing as plying legislators with perks.
 
The Missouri Biotechnology Association, which promotes the growth of Missouri's biotechnology and biomedical industries, spent more than $40,000 between 2011 and 2013 on tours of Missouri biotech facilities and other events in Missouri.
 
Monday, 21 April 2014 07:40
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are poised to send Gov. Jay Nixon legislation to overhaul the state's criminal laws.
House Majority Leader John Diehl says the chamber will vote on a measure that passed the Senate earlier this year. An affirmative House vote would send the bill to Nixon, who has expressed concern over the bill's size and scope.
 
The measure creates new classes of felonies and misdemeanors, and reorganizes crimes to fit the new penalty structure.
Some crimes, such as possessing small amounts of marijuana for the first time, would be punished less severely than under current law. But other crimes, including child molestation, would carry longer possible prison sentences.
Monday, 21 April 2014 07:14
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House members plan to advance legislation that seeks to address a student transfer law requiring unaccredited school systems to pay for students who want to attend better-performing schools in nearby districts.
 
A House committee could vote on a measure this week, and leaders say the student transfer measure could be debated by the full House next week. Legislation passed the Senate in February.
 
Republican House member Rick Stream says there likely will be changes to what the Senate approved. He says the changes could involve the tuition paid by sending school districts, charter schools and attempts to prevent borderline districts from slipping.
 
The deadline to pass new legislation is May 16.
 
Monday, 21 April 2014 07:12
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Kraft Foods is recalling approximately 96,000 pounds of Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners because the products may contain Classic Cheese Dogs in the Classic Wieners’ packages.
The product labels are incorrect, as they do not reflect the ingredients associated with the pasteurized cheese in the cheese dogs.
 
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall Sunday. The products were formulated with milk which is an allergen, and is not declared on the product label.
 
FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.
 
The following products are subject to recall:
• 16 oz. packages –individual consumer packages– of “Classic Wieners Made with Turkey & Chicken, Pork Added” with “USE BY 16 Jun 2014” date and product code “044700000632”
 
• Cases of 16 oz. packages –distributed to retailers– of “Classic Cheese Dogs Made with Turkey & Chicken, Pork Added, and Pasteurized Cheese Product” with “USE BY 16 Jun 2014” date and case code “00447000005300” .
 
The products were produced on March 2-3, 2014, and bear the establishment number “Est. 537H” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were distributed to Kraft distribution centers and in retail stores nationwide. 
 
Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Kraft Consumer Relations at (855) 688-4386. 
 
Monday, 21 April 2014 06:42
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