Morning headlines: Friday, November 11, 2011
Occupy St. Louis protestors say they won't leave
The 100 or so Occupy St. Louis campers who have been staying at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis have been told to move out, but many have no plans to leave.
City staff members told the protesters on Thursday they had until 3 p.m. Friday to remove the 52 tents and end the encampment where they've been staying for several weeks as part of the Occupy movement. But Sasha Patino, one of the facilitators for Occupy St. Louis, says he doesn't plan to leave, and several others are also planning to stay. Patino says the protesters are peaceful and he doubts there will be any violence.
Ill. lawmakers vote to pay regional superintendents
Illinois lawmakers are sending Gov. Pat Quinn a plan to pay the state's regional school superintendents who have been working without compensation since July.
The Senate approved a plan 38-16 Thursday to use local property taxes to fund about $12 million to pay schools chiefs and their assistants in 44 regional education offices. Quinn supports the legislation. The elected superintendents provide services such as certifying teachers and bus drivers, inspecting schools and offering alternative education programs for truant and troubled youths.
Quinn said in July there wasn't money in the budget to pay them and canceled their pay. The measure would also form a committee to study the superintendents' duties and how best to deliver the services.
Sen. Blunt co-sponsors online sales tax legislation
Missouri Republican Roy Blunt says he is one of several U.S. senators sponsoring legislation that he hopes will help level the taxes paid by traditional stores and online retailers. Blunt says the legislation will give states the option to collect sales taxes from online retailers and out-of-state businesses through a new, simplified system. He said under current laws, online retailers are not collecting the sales taxes, but consumers are supposed to calculate and pay them. Many do not. Blunt said the legislation would dovetail with the streamlined sales tax initiative that has been adopted in some states but has not yet been approved by the Missouri Legislature.