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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation allowing parents more time to give up newborns, requiring screening for a heart defect and dealing with mandatory reporters of child abuse.

Nixon held a bill signing ceremony Tuesday at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

The legislation will permit parents up to 45 days instead of the current five days to give up their babies. And starting in 2014, screening for critical congenital heart disease will be required for infants.

Another newly signed bill seeks to close a loophole for child abuse reporting. Mandatory reporters suspecting child abuse or neglect currently must "immediately report" or "cause a report to be made." That means reporters can pass the information to another person in their organization. Information will now go directly to state officials.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation that prohibits welfare recipients from using such funds at liquor stores, casinos or strip clubs.

The legislation also bars recipients from using cash benefits to buy anything marketed for adults while increasing penalties for people who are convicted of spending benefits improperly. The newly signed law brings Missouri into compliance with federal restrictions on purchases using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families electronic cash benefit cards.

Nixon said Monday the legislation ensures assistance for those in need is provided in a proper manner.

Supporters said the measure would help to prevent fraud and abuse in the welfare system. Critics had said it would create unnecessary restrictions on where people can buy food.

Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's ready for a "showdown" in Springfield over concealed carry legislation.

The Chicago Democrat has spent days making appearances talking up his sweeping changes to a bill that'd make Illinois the last state to allow concealed weapons.

But lawmakers are expected to override Quinn's changes when they meet Tuesday in Springfield. The bill's sponsor, among others, says the original measure came out of months of negotiations.

Quinn wouldn't say if he has the votes, but says he's working on it. He says the bill was influenced heavily by the National Rifle Association.

He spoke to reporters Monday in Chicago after signing legislation dealing with gang crimes.

Illinois has until Tuesday to legalize concealed carry after a federal appeals court ruled the state's ban unconstitutional.

 

Published in Local News

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's Republican-led Legislature put a priority on cutting taxes this year. But the same lawmakers who passed a $700 million income tax cut also approved numerous little-known fee increases.

   One of those measures could increase fees on driver's licenses and vehicle registrations, costing Missourians almost $22 million annually.

   Another bill would impose fees on mailed-in speeding traffic tickets, affecting an estimated 170,000 cases annually.

   Missourians could pay more to get copies of their own medical records or court transcripts. Businesses could get charged more for certain Agriculture Department services. And court fees could rise in some places.

   Although fees and taxes both take money from people, many Republican lawmakers have drawn a philosophical distinction. They say taxes are applied generally, and fees are charged only for specific services.

 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - State employees could keep firearms in their vehicles on state property under a bill heard by a Missouri Senate committee.

The measure considered Tuesday by the Senate General Laws Committee would allow those employees to have a firearm in their car if it is locked and the gun is not visible.

The legislation would also increase penalties for convicted felons who use an illegal firearm while committing another crime. But the committee's chairman, Republican Sen. Brian Nieves, said he wants to take that provision out of the bill.

The House has already passed the measure, and Nieves said he wanted the Senate committee vote on it Wednesday.

Published in Local News
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