Morning headlines: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jul 6, 2011

Mo. auditor's office to release review of Kinder expenses

The Missouri auditor's office is releasing its review of Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder's travel expenses .

Kinder wrote the state a $52,000 check in April that he said was intended to cover any potentially questionable expense reimbursements he had received from the state. That came after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Kinder had charged taxpayers $35,000 for at least 329 nights at hotels in the St. Louis area over the past several years.

The auditor's office has been reviewing whether the Republican lieutenant governor properly calculated his payment to the state. It plans to release its findings today.

The review was led by Deputy Auditor Harry Otto. Auditor Tom Schweich recused himself from the review, because Kinder was a large financial contributor to his campaign.

Legislation makes it easier for adopted adults to get information about biological parents

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation that makes it easier for adopted adults to get information about biological parents who died without agreeing to be identified.

Nixon signed the measure yesterday. It takes effect Aug. 28.

The new law provides adopted adults access to information about a deceased biological parent if the other biological parent consents, is unknown, has died or cannot be notified. Under existing law, information about a deceased biological parent who didn't consent to its release can be obtained only if a judge determines it's necessary for health reasons. The new law also allows the release of information about biological parents to the descendants of someone who was adopted and has died.

Trial on Mo. flag desecration law postponed

The trial date in a lawsuit challenging Missouri's flag desecration law has been delayed after the state's attorney general joined in the federal case.

Cape Girardeau resident Frank Snider filed the suit a year ago, claiming the law is unconstitutional. A trial date had been set for Aug. 1. The Southeast Missourian reports that Attorney General Chris Koster's motion to intervene, filed in late April, postponed the trial. A new date has not been set.

Snider filed the suit on July 6, 2010, nine months after being arrested for shredding an American flag. Cape Girardeau County prosecutor Morley Swingle charged him with a misdemeanor that was eventually dropped after Swingle's review of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared flag burning as protected speech.

Quinn ready to go to court over canceled state raises

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he's ready to go to court over canceling pay raises for nearly 30,000 state workers.

Quinn defended his decision to deny the raises by blaming the General Assembly for not appropriating the necessary money. He said Tuesday the state can't provide the increase unless lawmakers set aside enough money.

The raises are required under state government's union contracts.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says it is considering legal action to get the raises. The union rejects the claim that the tight budget approved by legislators allows Quinn to skip the raises.