Missouri’s special legislative session begins today and is focused primarily on an overhaul of Missouri’s tax credits. The plan would eliminate existing tax breaks for low-income seniors and disabled residents who live in rented homes. New incentives would be created for international cargo shippers at the St. Louis airport, computerized data centers, science and technology companies and the organizers of major amateur sporting events.
Soon after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, letters laced with anthrax started appearing in the U.S. mail, killing five people and sickening 17 others.
The incidents triggered a surge in research dedicated to preventing future bioterrorism attacks.
St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra spoke with Washington University virologist David Wang about his research on emerging infectious diseases, and how his work is helping to combat bioterrorism.
Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford used in this report.
About a dozen Illinois state lawmakers are headed to Cuba this week for what's being called a trade mission.
Representative Jack Franks says the visit could boost state exports to Cuba. The Democrat from Woodstock will be leading the week-long trip. It's been 12 years since former Governor George Ryan traveled to Cuba in a high profile effort to build a new market for Illinois' farm economy. Franks says trade with Cuba has fallen off since then.
A Missouri tax break benefiting poor disabled and elderly people who live in rental housing could be on the chopping block when lawmakers convene Tuesday in a special session. The elimination of the tax break for renters is projected to save the state $855 million over the next 15 years.
Some lawmakers hope to redirect that money for new tax breaks intended to lure Chinese cargo planes to the St. Louis airport and more businesses to Missouri.
Both Democratic Governor Jay Nixon and Republican legislative leaders estimate it’ll take no more than two weeks to debate and pass bills dealing with a dozen issues, including air cargo tax credits, social media communications between teachers and students, and local control of the St. Louis Police Department.
Strong sales tax collections in August helped Missouri's revenues rise more than 4 percent during the first two months of the state's budget year.
Figures released Friday by the state Office of Administration show August sales tax revenues were up 9.6 percent over the same month a year ago. Corporate tax collections also rose while tax refunds fell. That helped offset a slight decline in individual income tax collections and produced a net revenue increase of 6.9 percent for August.
Gov. Pat Quinn has granted 74 clemencies and denied 99 petitions, chipping away at a backlog of more than 2,500 cases in Illinois.
Quinn's office says that the 173 cases he addressed on Friday come from dockets ranging from 2004 to 2007. More than 2,500 clemency cases built up under Quinn's predecessor, ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Quinn has acted on 1,529 clemency petitions since taking office. He has granted 591 and denied 938.