Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has passed a scaled-down version of the ethics bill passed last week by the House.
It no longer contains several items unrelated to this year's ethics debate, which included requiring voters to show a photo I.D. at the polls.
While House Speaker Pro-tem Bryan Pratt (R, Blue Springs) called the ethics bill they passed last week the most sweeping "in the universe," Senate President Pro-tem Charlie Shields (R, St. Joseph) jokingly called it a "black hole."
Jefferson City, Mo. – A bill designed to get drunk drivers off the road passed the Missouri House Thursday.
It mandates that anyone with a .15 blood alcohol level spend at least 48 hours in jail, and those with a .20 will be locked up for five days. But it also gives persistent DWI offenders the option of treatment over jail time.
The bill was sponsored by State Representative Bryan Stevenson (R, Webb City).
St. Louis, MO – Illinois health officials report that a bird in the Metro-East has tested positive for West Nile virus.
State Public Health Director Dr. Damon Arnold says two birds have tested positive in Illinois so far this year: one in St. Clair County in the Metro-East, and another in the northwest part of the state.
St. Louis – Bone fragments from Saints Peter and Paul, a chalice used by Pope John Paul II and a series of papal portraits are among the objects in the newest special exhibit at the Missouri History Museum.
Some of the artifacts in "Vatican Splendors," which opens Saturday, have never been seen outside the Vatican's museum complex. St. Louis is the first of three American stops for the show this year, and the only one in the Midwest.
Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri House and Senate both gave final approval today to legislation mandating insurance coverage for autism therapy.
The bill requires health insurance companies to pay up to $40,000 per year for Applied Behavioral Analysis. It's a form of autism therapy that has a successful track, but can also cost tens of thousands of dollars.
State Senator Eric Schmitt (R, Glendale) has a son with autism.
St. Louis, MO – The National Institutes of Health has awarded close to two million dollars to the University of Missouri-St. Louis to study potential drugs to treat the virus that causes cervical cancer.
Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is the most common sexually-transmitted disease in the United States. Health officials estimate that at least half of all sexually active people will become infected with HPV at some time in their lives.