Morning round-up
9:22 am
Fri July 8, 2011

Morning headlines: Friday, July 8, 2011

Staff cuts possible at St. Louis Science Center

Staff cuts are possible at one of St. Louis' most popular attractions. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a 10-member commission that oversees the St. Louis Science Center could vote as early as August on a restructuring plan. That is according to Ted Hellman, chairman of the commission.

The Post-Dispatch reported last month that a total of $264,000 in bonuses were paid to 11 current and former executives of the Science Center, most of whom were already earning at least $185,000 in total compensation.

Organization wants Mo. voters to legalize pot

An organization called Show-Me Cannabis wants Missouri voters to decide if pot should be legalized.

Under the proposal, pot use, possession, and small-scale growing would be decriminalized for Missourians who are 21 or older. The state would also be required to issue retail licenses to sell the drug and oversee a medical marijuana program.  

Campaign Director Amber Langston says it's important to at least have the discussion about marijuana's benefits…

 "We need to do something different and we need to do something that not only is cost-effective, but actually stops dehumanizing people that are walking around every day in our midst and they're afraid to talk about it," said Langston.

If the Secretary of State's office approves the proposed amendment, supporters will then need to collect enough signatures from voters by next May in order to get it on the November ballot.

Group declares Ill. civil union law a success

Equality Illinois reports that 1,618 civil union licenses were issued across the state in June - the first month civil unions became available to Illinois couples.

Civil unions give couples many of the rights that accompany traditional marriage. That includes the right to inherit a partner's property.

Hundreds of couples around Illinois were in line at county offices in the early morning on the first day the law went into effect - June 1.

Equality Illinois says 83 of the state's 102 counties reported issuing at least one or more licenses. Its numbers are not official. But the group said it contacted clerks in each county to compile the figures.