Morning headlines: Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Some Republicans at odds with Nixon over state's job-creation tax breaks
Some Republican lawmakers are at odds with members of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration over whether Missouri's job-creation tax breaks have been a success or failure. During a House committee hearing Monday, figures showed a wide gap between the number of jobs anticipated and those actually created by businesses approved for aid under the Missouri Quality Jobs program.
Committee Chairman Rep. Jay Barnes and Rep. Mark Parkinson pressed officials from the Department of Economic Development to acknowledge projects that have not created any jobs are failures. But Economic Development officials refused to characterize it that way. They stressed that businesses have several years to follow through on their job-creation targets, and said some companies that have hired no one could still do so.
ACLU challenges proposed local control ballot measure
The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri is challenging the language of a proposed ballot measure that would end state control of the St. Louis Police Department. The ACLU says the language is inadequate because fails to mention that the measure could exempt St. Louis police from certain open records requirements.
The ACLU's lawsuit was filed in Cole County.
A group called A Safer Missouri is working to get the question on a statewide ballot. The group says in court documents that the language is fair, sufficient and won't mislead or deceive voters.
Summaries for ballot initiatives are prepared by the secretary of state's office.
Some Ill. legislators will not participate in General Assembly's scholarship program
More Illinois legislators have come out saying they will not participate in a program that allows them to give tuition waivers for state universities to students in their districts.
Republican Representative Jason Barickman from Onarga says he's concerned about three ongoing federal investigations related to the General Assembly scholarship program. There's a history of legislators awarding them to relatives and campaign contributors' children. Barickman says he’s also concerned about the state's budget.
“When you consider that the public has little trust in their government and those who serve them- to me doing away with this program, saving our state some money, and helping to restore some of that public trust is an important objective," said Barickman.
Though giving out the tuition waivers is free for legislators, it comes at the expense of the state university the student attends.
According to a list provided by the state board of education, 68 of the General Assembly's 177 members don't participate in giving out scholarships.
Other legislators continue to back the program. They say it gives less fortunate students an opportunity they would not have otherwise.