Morning round-up
7:53 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Morning headlines: Friday, December 30, 2011

Mo. lawmakers to consider changes to school funding formula

Legislative leaders say addressing Missouri's school funding formula is one of their top priorities for the annual session that starts Wednesday.

Because of tight budgets there has not been enough money in recent years to fully fund the education formula. That has prompted concern that the distribution of the money could benefit certain districts at the expense of others.

Part of the issue is that Missouri's formula does not contemplate state funding falling below what is demanded by the formula. Some proposals before the Legislature would develop a method of pro-rating the state payments to local schools when there is not enough money to fully fund the formula. 

New law will require seatbelts for all passengers in Ill. cars

Starting Jan. 1st, all passengers in a car in Ill. must wear their seat belts. Previously, the law only applied to front-seat passengers and riders under 19 in the back.

State Representative Michael Tryon says it was a personal concern from one of his constituents.

"Her husband was in an accident, and it was a fatal accident," said Tryon. "And there was a question about the backseat passengers not being belted in."

Tryon says it’ll be the driver's responsibility to make sure all passengers are buckled up. Police could not pull over a driver because passengers are not wearing seatbelts, but could mean an additional $25 fine for the driver. Passengers in taxi cabs and emergency vehicles are exempt.

NWS: St. Louis area won't get very much snow this winter

The National Weather Service outlook is calling for above-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation for January through March.

"We're still going to get a couple of cold spells, we still could get a big snowstorm or ice storm," said weather service meteorologist Jim Kramper. "But the trend is, by the time winter's all done, we're kind of looking for it to be a little bit above normal in terms of temperature, at least."

Last winter was one of the snowiest in St. Louis in decades, when more than 36 inches of snow fell between December and March.