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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:32 am
Mon February 15, 2010

Court officials urge lawmakers to act quickly to fix vehicle infractions law

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri court officials are warning that thousands of infraction cases may have to be scrapped unless lawmakers take action by the end of this month.

The problem stems from a bill passed last year that lowered some vehicle offenses from misdemeanors to infractions. The bill also stated that infractions should be handled as a "civil action."

That caused uncertainty among some police, prosecutors and judges about how to pursue infractions in court.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:02 pm
Fri February 12, 2010

Proposal would shorten legislative sessions in Mo.

Jefferson City, Mo. – There's a proposal in the Missouri Senate to shorten the length of legislative sessions from nearly five months to just under three.

The resolution would require the General Assembly to end regular sessions in late March, instead of mid-May. It's sponsored by State Senator Luann Ridgeway (R, Smithville).

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:05 pm
Fri February 12, 2010

Metro board approves long range plan

St. Louis – St. Louis's mass transit agency has laid out a "wish list" for the Metro system.

Metro's board voted Friday to approve a long-range plan that includes possible expansions of MetroLink, and the development of bus rapid transit corridors and regional commuter rail.

The MetroLink expansion to south St. Louis County drew heavy criticism for cost overruns and a failed lawsuit to recover the money.

Metro CEO Bob Baer says the agency has learned its lesson.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:34 am
Fri February 12, 2010

Missouri Senate approves new strip club restrictions

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has passed new restrictions on sexually oriented
businesses.

Among other things, the measure would ban nudity at strip clubs and force partly nude employees to stay 6 feet away from customers.

The bill from Republican Sen. Matt Bartle received initial approval last week shortly after Bartle testified before a federal grand jury.

The FBI is investigating a $35,000 donation by the adult entertainment industry to a campaign committee in 2005.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:20 am
Fri February 12, 2010

Zoo, art museum could charge admission under measure in Missouri Legislature

Jefferson City, Mo. – Admission to the St. Louis Zoo and other Forest Park attractions is free, but that could change under a proposal Missouri lawmakers are considering.

On Wednesday the state senate passed a measure from Democrat Joan Bray that would allow cultural attractions in the park to charge some visitors admission fees.

Besides the Zoo, the measure would apply to Art Museum, History Museum and the St. Louis Science Center

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:57 pm
Thu February 11, 2010

Emerson gives STL public library $4 million

An artist's rendering of the new Locust Street Atrium in the Central Library downtown.
(courtesy of St. Louis Public Library)

St. Louis, MO – Emerson has announced a $4 million lead gift to the St. Louis Public Library. The money will be used for a new atrium at the Central Library branch downtown.

It's part of a $20 million capital campaign to revitalize the nearly century-old library.

Executive Director Waller McGuire says the Emerson gift will open up a room on the Locust Street side of the building that's always been closed to the public.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:46 am
Thu February 11, 2010

Citizens protest suggested cuts to St. Louis city budget

Thomas Duda (right) addresses the Ways and Means Committee at a hearing Wednesday night
(photo by Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis – The aldermen in charge of the St. Louis City budget got an earful Wednesday night on a list of proposals to tackle what will be at least a 45 million dollar deficit next fiscal year.

The meeting was one of the few times the Ways and Means Committee has debated the budget in such a public session, and the aldermanic Black Caucus had pushed hard for the setting.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:24 am
Thu February 11, 2010

Mo. House passes bill to require drug testing for welfare recipients

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri House has passed a bill that would require drug testing for people on public assistance.

The bill's backers argue that anyone who doesn't use drugs has nothing to fear. But the sponsor, State Representative Ellen Brandom (R, Sikeston), says Missouri's taxpayers should not have to subsidize drug abuse.

"My constituents, 91 percent that answered the survey on this question, answered they want this bill passed," Brandom said during House floor debate.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:57 am
Thu February 11, 2010

Illinois businessman to buy Rams

file photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

St. Louis – The Rams are getting a new owner who plans to keep the football team in St. Louis.

Sources at the NFL tell the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Illinois businessman Shahid Khan has signed an agreement with owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:31 pm
Wed February 10, 2010

Debate on ethics bill stalls in Mo. Senate

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers have been touting ethics reform as one of their top priorities for this year's legislative session.

But passing an ethics bill is proving not to be so easy, as a major ethics reform bill stalled today in the State Senate.

The first round of debate began with President Pro-tem Charlie Shields (R, St. Joseph) announcing that his ethics bill had undergone some changes. It now includes a ban on most committee-to-committee money transfers.

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