Morning headlines: Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Nixon expands special session
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has expanded a special legislative session to include disaster aid for businesses and the repeal of a law limiting teacher-student interaction over the Internet. Nixon widened the agenda shortly after lawmakers convened in special session Tuesday to consider overhauling Missouri's business incentives.
The session started slowly. Republican Sen. Jason Crowell, of Cape Girardeau, stalled action because of objections to various provisions in the business legislation. A key part of the plan would create incentives for international cargo shippers at the St. Louis airport.
On Tuesday, Nixon also asked lawmakers to pro-rate the property taxes of businesses destroyed by the Joplin tornado or other disasters. He also asked them to repeal a new law restricting teachers' conversations with students on Facebook and other Internet sites.
Dooley won't seek property tax increase
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley won't seek a property tax increase after all. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Dooley has withdrawn his request and blamed himself for negative reaction. He also backed away from earlier threats to lay off county employees if the tax hike proposal failed.
Dooley said last month that his proposed property tax increase would offset a drop in revenue while providing a raise for employees.
County Council Chairman Steve Stenger, who like Dooley is a Democrat, had been critical of Dooley's proposal. He commended Dooley's turnabout.
New Troy law requires prescription for cold pills
The northeastern Missouri town of Troy is the most recent to require a prescription to purchase cold and allergy pills containing pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used to make methamphetamine. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Troy's law goes into effect Oct. 1.
Aldermen approved the measure on Aug. 30 and Mayor Mark Cross signed it into law last week. Cross says four of Lincoln County's five pharmacies are in Troy. The other is in Elsberry.
Some four dozen Missouri towns and four counties require a prescription to buy pseudoephedrine products. Missouri has been among the nation's leaders in meth lab seizures for more than a decade. Troy is located about 45 miles northwest of St. Louis.