Legislative Scholarships
11:42 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Ill. Senate votes to end legislative scholarships

The interior of the dome at the Illinois State Capitol.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

The Illinois Senate has agreed to end the practice of letting lawmakers hand out free college educations to their constituents.

For years, the Senate had been the last roadblock in efforts to end the program. Thursday's Senate vote makes it likely the Illinois House and governor will quickly take the final steps in getting rid of the tuition waivers.

The measure passed 43-5, with five senators voting "present."

Missouri Budget
10:22 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Mo. budget talks on hold over veterans' home money

Mo. Capitol
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Negotiators working on a final version of Missouri's budget are taking a wait-and-see approach dependent on a new funding plan for veterans' nursing homes.

A conference committee of House and Senate members convened briefly Thursday, but only to say they are not going to meet further until the Senate takes action on the veterans' legislation.

The House passed a bill Wednesday that would provide a dedicated funding stream for Missouri's financially strapped veterans' homes.

Read more
Morning round-up
8:53 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Morning headlines - Thursday, May 3, 2012

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Mo. General Assembly sends probation and parole reforms to Gov. Nixon

The Missouri General Assembly has sent Gov. Jay Nixon a measure that could reduce the amount of time some non-violent felons in the state spend on probation and parole.

The state Senate approved the measure yesterday 24-3, shortly after the state House did the same thing without opposition.

Read more
Ameren - Coal Ash
5:16 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Groundwater testing results from near Ameren's Labadie power plant posted online

This diagram is an excerpt of “figure 1” from Ameren’s “Detailed Site Investigation,” showing the location of the company’s proposed coal ash landfill near Labadie, Missouri.
(via Ameren Missouri website)

Last week, we reported that Ameren was conducting limited groundwater testing near its coal-fired power plant in Labadie.

The results of that testing are now posted in a report on the company’s website. According to that report, levels of boron, arsenic, and other contaminants from three sampling wells were all below regulatory health limits.

Read more
Zachary Wyatt / Sexual Orientation
4:00 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Rep. Zachary Wyatt: on coming out, and speaking against 'don't say gay'

Republican Missouri State Representative Zachary Wyatt, from Kirksville.
(via Office of Rep. Wyatt)

A Republican member of the Missouri House announced today that he is gay during a press conference on a bill that would limit public schools from discussing sexual orientation in the classroom.  Zachary Wyatt of Kirksville told reporters he has deep regrets for not taking stands earlier against school bullying, and called for lawmakers to shelve the so-called “don’t say gay” bill.

With his disclosure today, Wyatt becomes the only current openly gay Republican state legislator in the nation.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin talked with Wyatt about the bill and his decision to come out.

Read more
Medications - Heart Failure
4:00 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Study: aspirin may be as good as warfarin for most heart failure patients

For patients with heart failure, but normal heart rhythm, aspirin may be just as good as a heavy duty blood-thinner.

That’s the finding of a new study published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Washington University chief of cardiology Douglas Mann was on the study’s steering committee.

Read more
Illinois Legislature / Health Care
2:03 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Illinois House panel targets retiree health care

(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

An Illinois House committee wants to take away a perk for government retirees who get a big break on health insurance.

State employees who work for 20 years pay no insurance premium in retirement. A measure to end that benefit cleared the  House Executive Committee, which is controlled by Democrats, without opposition Wednesday.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees opposes the legislation.

Read more
Dome Upgrades
1:20 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

CVC seeks legal justification for keeping Dome proposal secret

(via Flickr/Kevin Ward)

Updated at 6 am with counterclaim and statement from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission is asking a judge to keep private a counterproposal from the St. Louis Rams on upgrades to the Edward Jones Dome.

Read more
Zachary Wyatt / Sexual Orientation
11:28 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Mo. lawmaker Wyatt says he is gay, denounces school bill

Republican Mo. state Representative Zach Wyatt speaking this morning.
(screen capture via Progress Missouri video)

Will be updated.

Updated at 11:59 a.m. with information that Wyatt is the only current openly gay Republican state legislator in the nation.

A Republican Missouri House member has announced publicly that he is gay and called upon GOP leaders to end legislation that would limit discussion of sexual orientation in public schools.

Read more
Missouri revenues
10:24 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Mo. tax revenue performance improves

(via Flickr/401K)

For the first time this fiscal year, Missouri's state revenues are growing above the rate needed to balance the budget.

The state Office of Administration released figures on Wednesday that show Missouri's net revenues were up 3.1 percent through April - or the first 10 months of the fiscal year. The 2012 budget is based on 2.7 percent growth.

Pages