Morning round-up
6:26 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Morning headlines - Monday, June 25, 2012

Mo. Supreme Court to decide fate of November ballot initiatives

The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments this morning to determine the fate of several ballot initiatives.

Election officials still have yet to determine if supporters of increasing the minimum wage and tobacco tax, and capping the rate of payday loans, have gathered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

But that could be a moot point. The court is trying to sort out conflicting rulings on whether the state auditor has the legal authority to prepare financial estimates for ballot initiatives.

If that power is struck down, all signatures collected on petitions that included a financial estimate could be declared void.

Elections officials have until Aug. 7 to determine the validity of signatures.

St. Louis native named top adviser to the Vatican

A south St. Louis native has been selected as the top communications adviser for the Vatican.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Gregory Burke will be in charge of better projecting the image of the Catholic Church to the rest of the world.

Burke grew up at St. Gabriel the Archangel parish near Francis Park, and has served as a reporter in Rome for various publications, including Time magazine and Fox News.

Enyart named the Democratic nominee for Costello's seat

A military veteran and lawyer is the Democratic nominee for the 12th Congressional District in Illinois.

Democratic party leaders from the district selected William Enyart over the weekend to challenge Republican Jason Plummer. Enyart was the adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard until he resigned earlier this month to put his name into consideration for the seat. He was reportedly the unanimous choice of the search committee.

Enyart will take the ballot spot of Brad Harriman, who dropped out of the race in late May, citing health concerns.

Enyart and Plummer are competing to replace Democrat Jerry Costello, who is retiring.

Durbin: health care reform needed no matter the decision of the Supreme Court

Sean Crawford contributed reporting from Springfield, Ill.

Supporters of the Affordable Health Care and Patient Protection Act say no matter how the U.S. Supreme Court rules, the debate over health care reform isn't over.

"I think at the end of the day, most Americans understand that we must do something about the rising cost of health care, and the availability of good health insurance," Ill. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said. "I think this bill was a positive step forward. But I've said it before about this bill and many others - they aren't perfect. If there are things to need to do to make them better, let's roll up our sleeves and do them."

Durbin also says he favors the individual mandate, as that ensures health care is paid for.

The high court could rule as early as today on the measure - either by striking down the entire law, or just a portion of it. Durbin says he has no idea how the decision will go.

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