Morning headlines: Friday, April 8, 2011
Missouri Republican Senators End Filibuster
Missouri's Senate has embraced a plan to extend federally funded jobless benefits while cutting eligibility for state-funded benefits. Several Republican senators upset about federal spending ended a filibuster Thursday against legislation renewing the federal long-term benefits. That came after the Senate voted to cut state jobless benefits by six weeks, to a maximum of 20 weeks.
As part of the deal, Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer pledged to help the filibustering senators identify $250 million of federal stimulus spending that can be cut from the state's budget. A final vote is needed next week in the Senate. About 10,000 people lost benefits when Missouri's eligibility in the federal program expired Saturday.
Missouri House Approves Incentives to Attract Sporting Events, Science Jobs
The Missouri House has approved a series of economic incentives aimed at attracting sporting events, science-related jobs and data centers to the state. One bill approved Thursday would offer a sales tax break for data storage centers and server farms. It also creates an incentive program to recruit science and technology companies. Also approved Thursday was a bill offering a tax credit, capped at $10 million a year, to help bring collegiate and amateur sporting events to Missouri.
Both measures now move to the state Senate, where several members have expressed concern about creating new tax breaks because of the lost revenue.
Lewis Reed Asking Chapelle-Nadal to Resign
The president of the St. Louis Board of Alderman is asking a controversial state Senator to step down, saying remarks she made about black politicians who support local control of the St. Louis Police Department make her “unfit to lead.”
In a radio appearance, Democrat Maria Chapelle-Nadal called those politicians “house slaves” answering to a white wealthy master. The local control effort is backed by libertarian billionaire Rex Sinquefield.
In a statement released yesterday, Board President Lewis Reed, a local control supporter, called Chapelle-Nadal’s remarks “deplorable.” Though Reed himself cannot launch a recall effort, since he does not live in the district, he says he would support one launched by Chapelle-Nadal’s constituents.