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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Pizza parlors, doughnut stores and other restaurants could get a tax break under legislation passed by the Missouri House.
 
The bill would grant a sales tax exemption on the electricity used to produce food that is sold to customers at restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores and convenience stores.
The Department of Revenue estimates the proposed tax break could reduce total state revenues by between $4 million and $20 million annually.
 
Republican House member Craig Redmon, of Canton, says his bill was prompted partly by a recent state Supreme Court ruling that said Schnucks grocery stores could not get tax-free electricity to warm their food under Missouri's existing laws.
 
The legislation passed the House by a 134-12 vote Thursday. It now goes to the Senate.
   
 
Published in Local News
 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Public water systems could be required to notify Missouri customers before eliminating fluoride from drinking water.
 
The Missouri House gave first-round approval Tuesday to the legislation. It would require notification at least 90 days before a vote to permanently cease fluoridation.
 
Water systems would need to inform customers, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Health and Senior Services.
 
The measure needs a second affirmative vote before moving to the state Senate.
Published in Local News

   The Missouri House is advancing a bill aimed at keeping electronic cigarettes out of the hands of children and young teens.  

   E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices used to heat a liquid nicotine solution and create vapor that's inhaled.  

   The proposed legislation would bar sales to anyone younger than 18. The bill was approved by voice vote Tuesday and needs another affirmative vote before moving on to the state Senate.  

   The federal Food and Drug Administration has said it plans to set marketing and product regulations for E-cigarettes in the near future, but hasn't done so yet.

Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri students could use food, pencils or their hands to imitate a gun without penalty under legislation endorsed by the state House.  
 
The bill advanced Wednesday would shield students from discipline of fines for "simulating a weapon while playing."  Sponsoring Republican Rep. Mike Kelley, of Lamar, says he was motivated by the Maryland case of a Baltimore second-grader suspended last year for chewing a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.  
 
Opponents say the legislation could allow some students to encourage violence among their peers.
The measure would allow students to be disciplined for causing bodily harm, disrupting a learning environment or creating a serious threat. It needs one more vote before moving to the Senate.
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 12:32

Missouri Rep. Rory Ellinger dies

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House member Rory Ellinger, of St. Louis County, has died after a battle against liver cancer.
   Ellinger's death Wednesday was announced in the House by Minority Leader Jake Hummel and in the Senate by Sen. Joe Keaveny, who had been Ellinger's roommate in Jefferson City.
   Ellinger was 72 years old.
   The Democrat had announced last month that he would not seek re-election because of his health, and he had not been at the Capitol recently. Ellinger's failing health sparked quick action by lawmakers to pass his legislation preventing nursing mothers from being penalized for breast feeding in public places.
   Nixon signed the bill into law last Thursday during a ceremony with Ellinger in his home town of University City.
   Ellinger first was elected to the House in 2010.
Published in Local News
   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri drivers would not need to show birth certificates or other source documents when renewing their licenses under legislation passed by the state House.
   The bill was approved with a 135-10 vote on Monday and now heads to the Senate.
   Under the measure, only a reasonable belief of fraud could cause drivers to be required upon renewal to show license clerks documents that prove lawful residence and citizenship.
   Supporters say the bill makes renewals easier and that drivers already had to show source documents to get their license the first time. Some opponents argued the measure could make it easier to commit fraud.
   Republican Rep. Stanley Cox, of Sedalia, is the legislation's sponsor.
 
Published in Local News

Another blow to the Normandy School District. The Post-Dispatch reports that the Missouri House rejected a spending bill that would provide the district with $1.5 million to keep schools open for the rest of the school year. The money is part of a $327 million supplemental budget bill that was unanimously passed by the Senate. The House and Senate will have a joint committee to resolve the differences. Without the funds, Normandy is likely to run out of money by next month.

Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missourians could lose welfare benefits if they go too long without using them in the state under legislation advanced by the House.
The House gave the measure first-round approval Wednesday. It needs a second vote before moving to the state Senate.
 
Recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families would be warned of possible suspensions if they go 60 days without using their electronic benefit card in Missouri.
The Department of Social Services would suspend accounts if benefits went unused in Missouri after 90 days. State officials would investigate whether a recipient is a Missouri resident.
 
 A state audit in December identified 366 cases in which recipients used $461,000 of benefits exclusively out of state for at least three months.
 
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House members have endorsed a bill that attempts to resist proposed federal regulations of wood-burning stoves.
The legislation received initial approval Wednesday. It would prohibit the state Department of Natural Resources from implementing regulations on wood-burning heaters without specific approval from the Legislature.
 
It's prompted by a proposed rule change by the Environmental Protection Agency that would give manufacturers five years to meet tougher standards that would reduce emissions from wood stoves by an estimated 80 percent.
Some manufacturers contend it would drive up the costs and could put them out of business.
 
Supporters of the Missouri legislation hope to prevent state regulators from helping to implement the proposed EPA regulations. The bill needs another House vote to move to the Senate.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House is preparing to consider a proposed state budget that partly ties education funding to the strength of the economy.
 
House Majority Leader John Diehl says debate will begin this week on the budget for the next fiscal year. The plan endorsed by the House Budget Committee would add $122 million to the state's $3 billion in basic school funding. But if state revenues meet more optimistic projections, then it would provide a $278 million increase for schools.
 
The House plan would also bar universities from offering resident tuition rates to students living in the U.S. illegally.
 
The Republican-led committee rejected Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's proposal to expand Medicaid eligibility to more lower-income adults. But its plan would restore adult dental coverage that was previously cut from Medicaid.
   
 
Published in Local News
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