Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would combine the two departments that oversee education into one state agency.
The resolution would merge the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), which oversees K-12 schools, and Higher Education, which oversees universities and community colleges, into a new agency to be called the Department of Education.
St. Louis – The head of St. Louis' mass transit agency says the state budget cuts announced Thursday will not slow down service restoration.
Slumping revenue forced Governor Jay Nixon to make another $45 million in cuts, which included eliminating the last $4 million of the $12 million in emergency state aid that helped Metro avoid drastic service reductions when a half-cent sales tax increase failed in 2008.
St. Louis – The executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission has resigned.
Gene McNary, a former Republican St. Louis County executive, and the commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service during the presidency of George H.W. Bush, will leave office on July 1. He's served since July 2006.
McNary's resignation comes a day after Governor Jay Nixon appointed two new members to the Commission, and as the state is beginning the process of re-awarding the license currently held by the President Casino.
Jefferson City, Mo. – A war of words erupted today between Democratic Governor Jay Nixon and the Republican-controlled Missouri House over the use of tax credits.
Surrounded by a crowd of educators from K-12 schools, community colleges and universities, Governor Nixon called on lawmakers to support his plan to reduce the number of tax breaks handed out each year.
St. Louis – Civilian employees will be furloughed for up to 10 days and officers will not get raises unless they are promoted under a budget approved Wednesday by the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners.
Police chief Dan Isom told a packed board room that the cuts enable the department to close a $5 million deficit without taking officers off the streets. Employees will also pay higher deductibles on their health insurance, and tuition assistance will be limited only to those officers looking to get bachelor's degrees.
Jefferson City, Mo. – Legislation that would equalize the amount of money awarded to college students through Access Missouri scholarships received first-round approval today from the State House.
Currently, the needs-based scholarship program provides up to $4,600 per student per year at four-year private institutions, while those enrolled at state-run schools can only receive up to $2,150 per year.