- It appears that first basemen Albert Pujols will enter spring training on Wednesday with no deal in place with the St. Louis Cardinals. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a source familiar with negotiations confirmed Pujols recently rejected the team's contract extension offer. If so, talks presumably would halt Feb. 15 because of a deadline put in place by Pujols' agent. And the likelihood of the three-time National League Most Valuable Player reaching free agency after the upcoming season would increase. There was no comment from the Cardinals on Sunday night. According to reports, Pujols wants a 10-year deal.
- Missouri lawmakers are calling for efforts to combat school bullying. Legislators are expected to hold a new conference today in the state Capitol building to discuss legislation. One proposal would develop definitions for "cyber-bullying" and instruct schools to develop policies to combat online bullying. The efforts are backed by the Safe Schools Coalition, which represents 40 organizations across Missouri.
- Illinois Republicans are criticizing Governor Pat Quinn ahead of his budget address. Quinn is scheduled to lay out his proposed state spending plan for the next year on Wednesday. Last month, Quinn signed a bill raising income and corporate taxes to help balance the state's multi-billion dollar deficit. Republican State Senator Matt Murphy says he wants Quinn to repeal the tax increases and make more spending cuts. Murphy says given the state's budget problems, he would be open to cutting education funding. Meantime, Quinn says he's made $3 billion in budget cuts since taking office.
Morning headlines: Pujols reportedy rejects contract offer, Mo lawmakers to discuss "school bullying" legislation, Quinn to deliver budget address this week
By Julie Bierach • Feb 14, 2011