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.
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.
PECULIAR, Mo. (AP) — A 21-year-old Missouri man is accused of impersonating a police officer during two traffic stops, including one that sparked an armed confrontation with a shotgun-toting teenager.
The Kansas City Star reports Beaudonavan Martin Jr. of Peculiar has been charged with two felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon and one misdemeanor count of impersonating an officer.
One man told police the suspect was "cussing and very angry" during an encounter Tuesday night. In a second case that night, a teenage couple asked a friend to get his shotgun because someone was tailgating them and flashing his lights.
The two victims arrived at the friend's location and say the suspect got out of his vehicle holding a handgun and ordered the teen with the shotgun to drop it.
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) - A Missouri senator blocked a vote on a bill that would base some state funding for Missouri public universities on performance standards and career placement.
Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer, of Columbia, blocked the Senate vote Thursday. He says the Legislature should spend more time studying the effects of the proposed higher education funding formula before voting. Lawmakers have until fiscal year 2015 to put the formula in place.
Under the legislation, 10 percent of state funding to universities would be tied to whether a school meets performance and career placement goals.
Currently, the state allots money to higher education institutions based largely upon how much colleges and universities received in the past and how much Missouri has available for the future.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Some favorite leisure time activities in Missouri could become high school sports.
The Missouri State High School Activities Association announced Thursday that member schools voted to allow schools to sponsor teams in bass fishing, chess, bowling and target shooting, beginning next year.
The association says it could eventually hold state championships in the events. First, at least 50 schools in at least three of the state's eight districts would have to have teams in the sports. Then member schools would decide whether to add the state championships
The Springfield News-Leader reports if the championships are approved, they would be added to the next two-year cycle.
Schools also voted to allow softball championships in the fall or spring. And track and field will add a fifth class next spring.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has endorsed a bill that would allow motorcyclists to forgo wearing helmets on the road.
The measure given first-round approval Tuesday would allow riders over the age of 21 to not wear a helmet when travelling.
Current law requires motorists to wear helmets or face a fine of up to $300 on the first offense. Future violations carried steeper fines and the possibility of prison sentences.
The bill needs one more House vote before moving to the Senate. Lawmakers adjourn May 17.
Motorcycle Helmets is HB555 Online: Legislature: http://www.moga.mo.gov
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has given preliminary approval to the first overhaul of the state's criminal code since 1979.
The measure endorsed on Monday would create new classes of felonies and misdemeanors and give judges more flexibility in sentencing.
Sponsoring Republican Rep. Stanley Cox, of Sedalia, said the measure would provide more clarity in sentencing.
Democratic Rep. Rory Ellinger, of St. Louis, said the bill could have done more and reduced sentences for some crimes, But he said it was important to keep the measure non-controversial so it could pass.
The overhaul would also increase fines to reflect inflation. It needs one more vote before moving to the Senate.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri senator says a subpoena has been issued to a federal investigator who sought a list of Missouri concealed gun permit holders.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer said the Senate issued a subpoena Friday to Special Agent Keith Schilb of the Office of Inspector General in the federal Social Security Administration. Schaefer scheduled a committee meeting next Wednesday to hear from Schilb.
An official at the Social Security Administration did not immediately respond Friday to a question from The Association Press about whether Schilb had received the subpoena and planned to testify.
Republican lawmakers have raised concerns that a list of concealed gun permit holders was twice provided to Social Security fraud investigators. The agency says a computer disk never was read and was destroyed.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld a Missouri law banning protests within 300 feet of funerals but has struck down a broader law that could have kept protesters even further away.
The decision Friday by a panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stems from a challenge to a pair of 2006 Missouri laws enacted after protests of military members' funerals by a Kansas-based church that denounces homosexuality.
The appeals court said a Missouri law barring protests "in front of or about any location at which a funeral is held" violates First Amendment free speech rights because it creates a buffer zone of an undetermined size. It upheld a separate law setting the 300-foot buffer around funerals but said it cannot apply to funeral processions.