Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri General Assembly opened a special session on Monday, and three proposals were offered to increase revenue to the state's treasury.
Democrat Wayne Goode of St. Louis County introduced legislation that would ask state voters to approve a tax hike to raise up to about $700 million, mostly from higher taxes on cigarettes and gambling.
He would hike the tax on a pack of cigarettes to $0.72, from the current $0.17.
Jefferson City, MO – As lawmakers returned to Jefferson City Monday for a special session to reconsider the state budget, they received news that the state was still taking in less money than predicted.
Budget Director Linda Luebbering called April's collections "miserable," and she's recommended Gov. Bob Holden cut $17 million more from the current budget, ends June 30th.
No new figures have been released on last month's tax collections. The governor has already withheld $362 million from current budget year appropriations.
Jefferson City, MO – House Republicans released a budget plan Tuesday that would pump more money into education. It also would lay off hundreds of state employees to increase spending on the human services they oversee.
The latest budget proposal came during the second day of a special session called by Democratic Gov. Bob Holden. He wants lawmakers to reverse previously approved spending cuts and ask voters for higher taxes.
St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Election Board says it needs $600,000 to buy laptop computers, but Mayor Francis Slay's office isn't sure the board should get the money.
The Board told the Justice department it would provide computers for election judges as part of a settlement last year.
That agreement was reached after the 2000 presidential election. One issue in St. Louis was that hundreds of voters were turned away from the polls, when election officials couldn't tell if they were eligible to vote.
St. Louis, Mo. – Illinois Congressman John Shimkus says the threat of international terrorism was a major discussion item at last week's meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Prague.
Shimkus, who serves as a delegate from the US to the Assembly, presented a report on the war on terrorism to the Defense and Security Committee. He says terrorism is still the number one threat to the world's residents.
St. Louis, MO – A Washington University physician says the adverse health effects of cigarettes could be greatly reduced if smokers could instead simply inhale only nicotine.
Dr. Walton Sumner says despite centuries of anti-smoking programs, he believes some level of tobacco use in society is always going to be inevitable. Sumner is studying how smokers could make their habit safer by inhaling so-called "clean" nicotine.