MO Statehouse
2:34 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Mo. House OKs adding cellphones to No Call List

(via Flickr/denharsh)

Legislation allowing Missourians to place their cellphone numbers on the state's telemarketing No Call List is moving forward.

The House voted 147-0 Thursday for the bill allowing the addition of cellphones to the list, which would put them off-limits to most solicitations by phone call or text message. Sponsoring House member Todd Richardson, a Republican form Poplar Bluff, says expanding the registry would protect the privacy of Missourians.

The legislation moves to the Senate, which has already endorsed a similar bill.

Cocaine
1:41 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Mo. House OKs trimming disparity in cocaine sentences

A pile of crack cocaine ‘rocks.'
(via Wikimedia Commons/Drug Enforcement Administration)

Missouri House members have endorsed legislation that would reduce the disparity in prison sentences between people charged with crack and powder cocaine crimes.

Under current state laws, someone found with 2 grams of crack faces the same prison sentence as a person who has 150 grams of cocaine.

The proposed legislation would raise the minimum amount of crack to 28 grams.

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Missouri State Budget
12:30 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Mo. Senate panel endorses roughly $24B budget plan

An interior view of the dome at the Missouri Capitol.
(via Flickr/jennlynndesign)

Budget writers in the Missouri Senate have passed that chamber’s version of the state budget for next year.

The Senate plan is about $86 million smaller than the version passed by the House last month.  Cuts include $13 million from child care provider grants, $7 million from other childcare services, and $1 million from meals at state prisons.  Budget Chairman Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) acknowledges that many of the cuts target Medicaid.

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Coldwater Creek
9:15 am
Thu April 12, 2012

North County residents seek answers on Coldwater Creek contamination

A map of the Coldwater Creek area.
(via Napoli, Bern, Ripka, Shkolnik & Associates LLP Attorneys at Law and Byron, Carlson, Petri & Kalb, LLC Attorneys at Law)

Updated at 12:15 p.m. to revise the caption of the Hazelwood/Florissant health map.

Concerned North County residents got an opportunity last night to meet with attorneys who are involved in two lawsuits relating to radioactive contamination in Coldwater Creek.

The lawsuits allege that North County residents have developed cancers and other illnesses from exposure to radioactive waste produced by the Mallinckrodt chemical company.

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Morning roundup
8:53 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Morning headlines: Thursday, April 12, 2012

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Study: Corps made the right choice in breaching Birds Point

A new study says the Army Corps of Engineers made the right choice when it blew up a southeast Missouri levee last year.

Study co-author Ken Olson, a professor of soil sciences at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urban,a says river levels continued to rise even after the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway was breached by explosives to relieve flooding pressure on Cairo, Ill.

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Child Care
5:24 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Mo. child-care cut may hit thousands

(via Flickr/katerha)

Thousands of Missouri children could be dropped from state-subsidized child care under a budget plan embraced by a Senate committee.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has backed a cut of about $7 million in federal and state funds that help subsidize child care for low-income working parents. The committee also rejected a $5 million state funding increase that the Department of Social Services deems necessary to maintain the current level of child-care subsidies.

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worker's compensation/2nd injury fund
4:29 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Mo. House passes workers' comp, 2nd Injury Fund fix

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

The Missouri House has passed its version of a workers’ compensation bill that also proposes to fix the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund.

The vote again fell mostly along party lines, passing 92 to 56, with one lawmaker voting "present."  The measure would place occupational disease claims back within the workers’ comp system and would bar employees from suing each other over workplace injuries and illnesses.  Democrats, including Kevin McManus of Kansas City, objects to moving claims out of the courts and back to workers' comp.

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Education / Charter Schools
2:46 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Mo. Senate supports charter school expansion bill

(via Flickr/evmaiden)

The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation that could allow charter schools to be formed outside of Kansas City and St. Louis.

In a voice vote Wednesday, the Senate backed a measure that would allow charter schools to be set up in districts that have been declared unaccredited. It would also allow charter schools in some districts that would have been provisionally accredited for three straight years, starting with next school year.

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Teen Pregnancy
1:25 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Health Department: Teen birth rate down in St. Louis, follows national trend

(via Flickr/Daquella manera)

A new release out from the St. Louis Department of Health today says teen birth rates are down in the city of St. Louis. Here are a few by-the-numbers details for you from the Department:

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Election 2012
12:22 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Mo. Atty. Gen. Koster reports raising more than $890K since January

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has raised more than $890,000 for his reelection campaign since January.
(Official Portrait/Missouri Attorney General's Office)

Missouri attorney general Chris Koster, a Democrat, reports that he has raised more than $890,000 for his reelection campaign since January.

Koster's campaign reported Wednesday that it now has $2 million raised for Koster's campaign. Campaigns must report their fundraising activities over the last three months by Monday.

Koster's campaign officials say the strong fundraising shows he has momentum going into the final campaign.

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