Missouri House members have voted to reject a tax plan that would increase property taxes for the best farms.
Property taxes for farms are based on the land's "productive value." Farms are divided into eight groups based on land quality, with the best in Grade 1 and the worst in Grade 8. The Missouri Tax Commission has recommended increasing productive values for the four highest grades.
The property tax changes for 2013 and 2014 take effect unless the Legislature approves a resolution to reject them. House members voted 117-39 on Tuesday to reject the tax proposal.
Gov. Pat Quinn's proposed Illinois budget calls for closing 14 state facilities, including eight run by the Corrections Department.
A person who has seen the budget proposal told The Associated Press on Tuesday it would close four facilities run by the Human Services Department and two run by Juvenile Justice, as well as the eight Corrections Department facilities. The targeted Corrections facilities won't all be prisons.
The person was not authorized to discuss the governor's plans publicly and would speak only on the condition of anonymity.
A Missouri trial judge has struck down a state fund designed to offer state incentives to science or technology companies.
During a special legislative session last fall, lawmakers approved the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, also often referred to as MOSIRA. The measure contained a clause that the law would not take effect without the passage of a separate measure, which was not approved.
Those challenging the science fund included the Missouri Roundtable for Life and Missouri Right to Life.
Updated 1:28 p.m. to reflect that eleven states have already been granted waivers.
The Missouri Board of Education has approved the state's request for a waiver from some provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind law.
Members voted Tuesday to support the waiver's submission to the U.S. Department of Education with minor edits. Last fall, President Barack Obama said states will be allowed to seek a waiver from the law, which requires all students to show proficiency in math and reading by 2014.
Four St. Louis chefs and one restaurant have been named as James Beard Award semifinalists.
In case you're not familiar with the awards, they are described as "the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in North America" on their website - or, as Time magazine put it, "the Oscars of the food world."
So, who are the noted locals? Here's the list, in alphabetical order:
Only minor damage is reported after an earthquake centered in southeast Missouri shook at least nine states.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude 4.0 earthquake was centered near the town of East Prairie, Mo. Geological Survey geophysicist Amy Vaughan says several people in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee reported being awakened by the quake that happened at 3:58 a.m. A few residents of North Carolina, Alabama, Indiana and Georgia also felt it.
The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would require driver’s license exams be given only in English.
Currently, the state of Missouri provides the written driver’s exam in English and eleven other languages. House Member Mark Parkinson (R, St. Charles) says his bill follows the spirit of the state constitution’s mandate that public proceedings be conducted in English.
Legislation that would move the candidate filing period for the August primary back by one month is now moving through the Missouri House.
On Monday it passed the House Elections Committee and it next goes to the Rules Committee. However, House Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka) seems to favor an alternate approach: Having a two-week filing period that would begin sometime in mid-March and end on March 27th as currently scheduled.
Missouri voters could get to decide whether to impose term limits on all executive officeholders under a proposal endorsed by the state Senate.
The proposed constitutional amendment would limit the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and auditor to serving two, four-year terms. A similar limit already is in place for Missouri's governor and treasurer. State lawmakers also are subject to term limits.