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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:39 pm
Wed April 7, 2010

Purgason to push for consumption tax

State Senator Chuck Purgason (R, Caulfield)
Mo. Senate

Jefferson City, Mo. – Supporters of scrapping Missouri's income tax and replacing it with an expanded sales tax are renewing their push for the measure in the Missouri Senate.

The sponsor, Chuck Purgason (R, Caulfield), told fellow senators Wednesday that he wants them to study the issue in preparation for floor debate next week. He says switching to a consumption tax would give Missouri's economy a much-needed boost.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:50 pm
Wed April 7, 2010

Lambert to close firehouse

St. Louis, MO. – Lambert Airport will close one of three fire houses and lay off 17 firefighters.

The Lambert Commission approved the plan Wednesday.

Opponents, including members Firefighter's Local 73, say the move will delay response times to the terminal

The union's president, Chris Molitor, says the firehouse was the closest to the terminal and closing it will mean longer response times.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:44 pm
Wed April 7, 2010

Five design teams left in Arch grounds competition

St. Louis, MO. – There are just five design teams left in the St. Louis Arch international competition to rework the grounds.

A jury whittled the group down from nine.

The teams will present their plans to the public August 17 and a final decision will be announced September 24.

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial superintendant Tom Bradley says the winning design must meet a lot of goals, including bringing together the downtown and Arch.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:23 pm
Wed April 7, 2010

Toyota sales booming despite recall

L-R, Lou Fusz Jr. Don Esmond, Tom Pappas
Adam Allington, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – The top U.S. official for Japanese automaker Toyota says March sales are way up despite an ongoing recall for sticky accelerator pedals.

Don Esmond, Toyota's Sr. Vice President of Sales, was in St. Louis meeting with dealers on Wednesday.

Lou Fusz Jr. owns 15 car dealerships in the St. Louis area. Despite having to halt sales for a short time in January, Fusz says February and March sales are better than last year.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:19 pm
Wed April 7, 2010

Mo. House endorses sovereignty resolution

Jefferson City, Mo. – A proposed constitutional amendment asserting state sovereignty received first-round approval today from the Missouri House.

The resolution would bar the state from enforcing or recognizing certain federal policies, most notably requirements mandated by the health care law signed recently by President Obama. It would also cover issues such as cap and trade, abortion laws, gun control and same-sex marriage.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:01 pm
Wed April 7, 2010

City looks at privitizing ambulance services

St. Louis – The city of St. Louis is considering turning its emergency medical services over to private companies in an effort to close a $45 million budget deficit.

It costs the city about $13 million to operate the ambulances, but collections total around $8 million.

The city is looking for billing companies that could guarantee a certain level of revenue a year. But officials are also considering turning ambulance service in the city over to private companies.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:11 am
Wed April 7, 2010

Third time is the charm for Metro sales tax

Supporters of Proposition A toast its passage Tuesday night at Washington University. From left to right; Tom Shrout, Washington University chancellor Mark Wrighton, mayor John Nations, Metro CEO Bob Baer
(photo by Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis – The third time has proven to be the charm for supporters of a half-cent sales tax increase for the region's public transit agency, Metro.

Unofficial results show the measure, Proposition A, passing with about 62 percent of the vote, likely helped by a massive advertising campaign. Supporters raised more than $700,000. It's the third time county residents have voted on the increase, which will trigger a quarter-cent sales tax increase city voters approved in the 90s.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:38 pm
Tue April 6, 2010

Nixon's tuition deal in jeopardy

file photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Jefferson City, Mo. – Budget writers in the Missouri Senate want to reverse a deal Governor Jay Nixon made to freeze tuition at state-run colleges and universities.

Nixon's deal freezes tuition rates in exchange for limiting cuts to colleges and universities to $50 million next year. But the Senate Appropriations Committee is proposing a $65 million cut.

State Senator Jim Lembke (R, St. Louis County) sits on the committee.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:26 pm
Tue April 6, 2010

Tax credit plan gets Mo. House hearing

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – A Missouri House committee heard testimony Tuesday on Governor Jay Nixon's proposal to restructure the state's system of tax credits.

David Kerr, the governor's Economic Development chief, told the House Committee on Job Creation and Economic Development that the amount of tax credits awarded each year needs to be capped at no more than $314 million.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:57 pm
Tue April 6, 2010

Nixon plans to cut 1,000 state employees

Kansas City, MO. – Another 1,000 Missouri state employees will lose their jobs.

Governor Jay Nixon talked about the latest plan to reduce government spending Tuesday while speaking at the University of Missouri Kansas City.

Eighteen hundred state employees have been trimmed since the Democrat took office.

The state is facing $500 million shortfall in the budget for next fiscal year.

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