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.
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.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Amid the risk of losing millions of dollars in federal transportation funding, Missouri lawmakers are considering changes to rules for commercial driver's licenses.
State House members this week gave initial approval to legislation that seeks to comply with federal regulations dealing with learning permits for commercial driver's licenses and with restrictions on texting and using hand-held cellphones while driving a commercial vehicle.
The Missouri Transportation Department says the state could lose $30 million for one year and $60 million annually after that if it doesn't act quickly enough.
The legislation needs another round of approval in the House before it can move to the Senate. Lawmakers have until their mandatory adjournment on May 17 to approve new legislation.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers could seek to include money for state Capitol repairs in a proposed $1.2 billion state bonding proposal.
A measure endorsed this week by the House Budget Committee would include $100 million for work on the roughly century-old Capitol. The full House could consider the bonding package as early as next week. Voter approval ultimately would be required before bonds are issued.
State officials say years of water infiltration have taken a toll on the Capitol. In part of the basement, stalactites hang from the ceiling and the concrete is damaged. It's estimated to cost $40 million to $45 million to address infrastructure needs such as waterproofing, substructure repairs and fixing exterior stone.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri social service officials have told a House panel the state could save $28 million annually by moving people from welfare programs onto federal disability payments.
The Republican-led committee is investigating a contract that pays Boston-based Public Consulting Group $2,300 for every Missouri resident moved onto disability payments.
Officials with the Department of Social Services told the panel Monday the contracts saves money for the state and assigns people to the appropriate program.
People on welfare are required to engage in job-seeking activities. Committee Chairman Rep. Jay Barnes, of Jefferson City, says people receiving disability payments are unlikely to seek work because it would negatively affect their federal benefits. Barnes called for the hearing in early April.
ASHLAND, Mo. (AP) — One lane of a heavily traveled highway between Jefferson City and Columbia is closed by a rock slide, and officials predict occasional delays for several weeks.
The Missouri Department of Transportation announced the closing of one northbound lane of U.S. 63 on Friday afternoon.
The slide was reported late Thursday along a rock bluff south of Ashland, near the Boone-Callaway county line. MoDOT plans to solicit bids Monday on a contract to stabilize the bluff, with work possibly starting Tuesday.
The northbound lane is expected to remain closed for about 10 days. MoDOT says U.S. 63 will be closed periodically throughout the project, which is expected to be finished in early May.
The national standards define the skills and knowledge students should have. And proponents say Missouri students need Common Core in order to stay competitive with students from 45 other states that have adopted them.
But some state lawmakers are balking, claiming that the move to Common Core will give federal education officials too much control over local schools. Senator John Lamping co-sponsored a bill to repeal Common Core in Missouri. The Ladue Republican has accused federal education officials of coercion. He and other opponents have also questioned the cost of implementation, since the standards call for computerized testing.
The State's Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro says the new standards only outline what students should know, not how schools and teachers should go about teaching, because Common Core doesn't dictate curriculum.
Both Missouri and Illinois adopted the standards in 2010. Illinois will achieve full implementation in the 2013-14 school year, a full year ahead of the Show-me state.
The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports that Christopher Knehans's attorney argued for a 30-day sentence Wednesday. But Judge Dan Green Wednesday ordered the maximum 60 days allowed by the plea agreement, beginning immediately.
The 39-year-old pleaded guilty in September to two counts of sexual contact with a student.
Under the sentence, Knehans will serve serve three years supervised probation after he is released from the jail. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.
The indictment said he inappropriately touched a 17-year-old student in September 2011.
Roorda says he was "inspired" by the GOP approach to protecting gun rights and he wants to do the same for unions. Rep. Mike Leara, of St. Louis County, is sponsoring the bill banning gun-control legislation.
Both measures would give lawmakers prison terms of up to four years for proposing gun restrictions or anti-union bills.
The Republican-led Legislature is currently working on proposals to curb collective bargaining by limiting the ability of unions to collect fees from employees' paychecks.