Morning headlines: Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Local Control Hits Another Roadblock
Just when it appeared the local control issue was moving forward in the Missouri Senate, the bill has been delayed again. This time, some Senate Republicans are holding off on advancing the bill in order to force the House to pass the Senate’s tax credit overhaul measure.
While no one’s openly saying that the local control bill is being held up, Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer indicates they’re willing to delay bills from the House if their leaders continue to sit on Senate bills.
“And one of those had tax credit reform and several economic development measures, my caucus has spoken clearly to me that that is a top priority and they would like to see that bill become law," Mayer.
The tax credit overhaul also contains the $360 million Aerotropolis proposal. But House Speaker Steven Tilley opposes placing caps and sunsets on tax credits, which the Senate bill would do. So far, he’s unwilling to accept the Senate version, even if it means the local control bill doesn’t pass this year.
Mo. Legislation Allowing Drug Testing of Welfare Recipients Sent to Nixon
Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to a bill allowing drug testing of welfare recipients if the state suspects they're using illegal drugs. The House sent the bill to Gov. Jay Nixon by a 113-34 vote Tuesday. It already passed the Senate.
Under the bill, welfare recipients would lose their benefits for three years if they fail a urine test that screens for narcotics. But the measure would allow them to receive benefits if they complete a drug treatment program and do not test positive again. It would also require that electronic benefit cards include a photo of the recipient and be renewed every three years.
Devlin Stabbed in Prison
Prison officials say the man who kidnapped two Missouri boys and kept one of them captive for four years was stabbed by another inmate. Michael Devlin suffered superficial wounds when he was attacked while eating breakfast April 9 at Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Devlin was briefly at a hospital and is back at the prison. He is serving 74 life sentences for kidnapping and assaulting the two boys, Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby. The boys were found at Devlin's apartment in Kirkwood on January 2007, four years after Hornbeck was kidnapped.
An inmate, Troy L. Fenton, told the Post-Dispatch he stabbed Devlin out of anger for his crimes. He sent the paper a copy of the prison department's incident report.