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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.