Morning round-up
9:19 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Morning headlines: Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sen. Blunt: Obama's plan failed because it doesn't make economic sense

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., says the Senate killed President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan because it "doesn’t make economic sense to raise taxes on job creators while Americans are looking for work and our nation is facing record debt."

Obama's plan died at the hands of Senate Republicans yesterday despite weeks of cross-country campaigning by the president. Now, the White House and leaders in Congress are moving on to alternative ways to address the nation's painful 9.1 percent unemployment, including breaking the legislation into smaller, more digestible pieces.

In a statement, Blunt says Obama’s push for what he calls "a costly second stimulus was more about 2012 politics than 2011 legislating."

Mo. presidential primary could be abolished

Mo. Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer says his chamber will convene next Monday to consider legislation canceling Missouri's 2012 presidential primary. The presidential vote currently is scheduled to occur in February, which is earlier than called for under national Republican Party guidelines.

To avoid being penalized with the loss of half its delegates, the Missouri Republican Party recently decided to use a caucus process that starts in March to pick presidential delegates to the national convention. But the February primary remains in Missouri law. Mayer says repealing that law could save the state from spending millions of dollars on a purely symbolic election.

Highland, Ill. teachers working under expired contract

Contract talks between teachers in Highland, Ill., and the school district have stalled without a resolution. Since the beginning of this school year, 180 teachers have been working under the terms of an expired contract.

The district has proposed a "hard freeze" for the coming year which means that teachers remain at last year's salary without credit for last year's teaching experience.  The union has proposed a 1 percent increase with so-called "step credit".

Highland Education Association local president ShiAnne Shively says the district can afford the union's salary proposal by using savings resulting from last year's retired teachers. When asked for comment, Superintendent Michael Sutton declined. Members of the teachers union will meet later this week to discuss options available to them.

No future mediation session is scheduled at this time.