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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:41 pm
Thu July 1, 2010

Mo. Senate drafts new auto incentives bill

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Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Senate Leaders are bypassing a committee that's blocking legislation to provide auto incentives during the ongoing special session.

Chuck Purgason (R, Caulfield), chair of the Senate's Fiscal Oversight committee, is blocking a vote on the House bill that contains both incentives for Ford Motor Company and tax breaks for underground data centers. So Senate leaders have crafted a separate bill that excludes the data centers.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:30 pm
Thu July 1, 2010

Mo. Senate passes pensions bill

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Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has passed legislation to restructure the state's pension system.

The bill would raise the retirement age for state workers to 67, require new state workers to pay into their pensions, and create a new investment board for the state's various pension plans.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Kevin Engler (R, Farmington) says the new board would look for the best places to grow money.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:26 pm
Thu July 1, 2010

Illinois Gov. cuts $1.4 billion from state budget

St. Louis, MO – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed off on the state's budget Thursday, making $1.4 billion in cuts.

Quinn said the new budget will help decrease spending and focus the state's energy on important public services.

The cuts will hit health services and higher education the hardest, as well as the state's police, public defenders, and attorneys. Social service advocates are skeptical that the budget will keep vital services intact.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:50 pm
Thu July 1, 2010

Civil Service Commission sends aldermen pay plan for St. Louis City employees

St. Louis – The Civil Service Commission has sent the St. Louis Board of Aldermen they pay plan for 4,500 city employees.

The pay plan is one of the last pieces needed to balance the budget that took effect Thursday. City officials were looking for about $3.3 million in personnel savings to help close the $46 million gap.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:39 pm
Thu July 1, 2010

Metro introduces new downtown "trolley"

Metro has wrapped several of it buses that serve downtown to look like streetcars.
(St. Louis Public Radio photo)

St. Louis, MO – The public transit agency Metro is rolling out a new look for its downtown St. Louis buses today.

Metro and civic boosters are hoping that renaming the buses "trolleys" - and wrapping them to look like old-time streetcars -- will convince more residents and visitors to ride rather than drive between downtown attractions and businesses. Diane Williams is a spokeswoman for Metro.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:11 pm
Thu July 1, 2010

Auto incentives bill blocked in Mo. Senate

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

Jefferson City, Mo. – The auto incentives bill Democratic Governor Jay Nixon wants passed during the special session has been blocked by State Senator Chuck Purgason.

The Caulfield Republican, who's also running for the U.S. Senate, refused to take up the bill for a vote in a committee he chairs. Purgason says the state cannot afford to give Ford Motor Company $150 million in incentives over ten years.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:08 pm
Thu July 1, 2010

Clayton smoking ban goes into effect

Clayton, MO – The city of Clayton becomes the latest municipality with a smoking ban Thursday.

Clayton's city council approved the ban last year, saying that it would benefit public health and boost revenues at restaurants and shops in the St. Louis County town. Mayor Linda Goldstein says going smoke-free has worked in 18 other towns in Missouri.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:42 am
Thu July 1, 2010

Seed donation to Haiti stirs controversy

Haitian peasants march against Monsanto?s seed donation (Hinche, June 4, 2010)
[Photo credit: Lic.Iderle Br?nus]

St. Louis, MO – Agricultural biotech giant Monsanto has had its share of bad press lately.

So when the St. Louis-based company announced in May that it was donating $4 million worth of seeds to hungry, earthquake-ravaged Haiti, it seemed like it was finally due for some good P.R.

But some vocal Haitian peasant groups are saying "no" to the Monsanto seed. Their reaction highlights broader problems with foreign seed donations.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:44 am
Thu July 1, 2010

St. Louis on short list for 2012 Democratic Convention

file photo (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louis – St. Louis is among four cities Democrats are considering to host their 2012 national convention. The others are Cleveland, Minneapolis, and Charlotte, N.C.

One of those cities, Minneapolis, hosted Republicans in 2008.

St. Louis has played host to national party conventions before, but it's been quite awhile. In 1916 Democrats gathered here to nominate Woodrow Wilson for a second term.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:51 pm
Wed June 30, 2010

Nixon won't expand special session

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon at a bill signing ceremony at the Lake of the Ozarks. He told reporters at the event that he remains opposed to expanding the call of the special session.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Governor Jay Nixon remains opposed to expanding the call of the special session underway in Jefferson City.

The Missouri House added tax breaks for underground data storage centers to the auto incentives bill it passed this week. The governor wants lawmakers to focus solely on providing incentives for Ford Motor Company's plant near Kansas City and on revamping state pensions.

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