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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:03 am
Fri January 22, 2010

Senate candidates take opposing views on campaign finance ruling

St. Louis – Missouri's leading Senate candidates are taking opposite positions on a Supreme Court ruling allowing businesses to spend money on federal races.

On Thursday the nation's high court overturned a law barring companies and unions from spending money on campaign ads that support or oppose candidates for president or Congress.

Republican Congressman Roy Blunt said he's pleased the court recognized that the freedom of speech may not be legislated away through campaign finance reform.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:18 pm
Thu January 21, 2010

Nixon's K-12 budget not fully funded

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri's public schools will be getting more money in Governor Jay Nixon's budget for next year, but they will not be fully funded.

While K-12 funding will increase by $18 million through the state's school funding formula, it's still $87 million short of what schools need to be considered fully funded.

State Budget Director Linda Luebbering says given the difficult budget situation, any increase is good.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:52 am
Thu January 21, 2010

Nixon optimistic about Missouri economy, but says more cuts will be needed

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said the state will balance its budget without raising taxes.

Nixon outlined a plan Wednesday to eliminate more than $250 million in spending in the next fiscal year.

Later, the governor acknowledged in his State of the State address the economy remains poor. But he said Missouri has avoided the financial meltdown that has occurred in other states.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:42 am
Thu January 21, 2010

St. Louis Police say crime dropped in 2009

St. Louis – St. Louis police say crime in the city dropped last year.

Chief Dan Isom said in a report to police commissioners Wednesday that overall crime dropped 2.5 percent from 2008 to 2009.

Isom said the city's five-year uptrend of homicides has finally turned. The number of murders fell to 143 last year from 167 in 2008.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:11 pm
Wed January 20, 2010

Nixon to deliver State of the State Address tonight

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon

Jefferson City, Mo. – Governor Jay Nixon tonight will deliver his State of the State Address before the Missouri General Assembly.

The state is facing a revenue shortfall of about $200 million dollars over the next few months. And as a result, the Democratic governor is expected to announce more budget cuts during tonight's address.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Kevin Engler (R, Farmington) says he wants the governor to be more upfront about how he intends to balance the budget.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:14 pm
Wed January 20, 2010

Ethics bills get hearings in Mo. House committee

Members of the Mo. House Special Standing Committee on Govt. Accountability and Ethics Reform conduct a public hearing on an ethics bill.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Two ethics reform bills received hearings today in a Missouri House committee.

The bill that appears to have the better chance of passing is one that would eliminate many of the perks enjoyed by lawmakers, such as free meals during committee meetings provided by lobbyists.

It's sponsored by House Majority Floor Leader Steven Tilley (R, Perryville), who admits to having partaken of free meals up until a few months ago.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:27 pm
Wed January 20, 2010

Is Massachusetts a shot across the bow for Robin Carnahan?

St. Louis, MO – Republicans in Missouri say the feelings of discontent that propelled Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown to victory will also come to bear in Missouri's upcoming mid-term election.

Speaking in St. Louis Republican Senator Kit Bond said Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts is further proof that voters do not support the President's agenda, from bailouts, to cash-for clunkers and most of all the healthcare overhaul.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:17 am
Wed January 20, 2010

Business is booming for big drug negotiators

St. Louis – If your health insurance covers prescriptions, you are probably a customer of a pharmacy benefit management company, such as St. Louis-based Express Scripts. These are third-party administrators for prescription drug programs, and they make up one of the few industries growing during this recession.

These so-called PBMs are poised for even more growth, as baby boomers age and Congress prepares to insure more Americans.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:09 am
Wed January 20, 2010

Ameren customers speak out against rate hike request

St. Louis – Some AmerenUE customers spoke out against a possible rate hike at a special Public Service Commission hearing Tuesday in St. Louis.

The utility wants to raise electric rates 18 percent. That request comes on the heels of another increase last year.

Craig Mershon uses a wheelchair to get around, and he says higher utility bills are a problem because he's not able to work.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:06 am
Wed January 20, 2010

Former Alton band director admits having sex with girl, 16

Alton, Ill. – A former band director at Alton High School has pleaded guilty to charges of having sex with a student.

Matthew Lang, 36, pleaded guilty Tuesday and faces four to 15 years in prison.
Authorities say he had sex repeatedly with a 16-year-old girl.

Lang resigned from Alton High School after he was charged in August. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dropped other charges.

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