A three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals has dismissed two lawsuits filed by Attorney General Chris Koster that argued debt collection companies were violating the state's Merchandising Practices Act.
The rulings appear to be the first time a state court has considered whether the MPA applies to third-party actors like debt collectors.
Missouri officials say freight has started moving again on the Missouri River – even before the official start of the shipping season. The Missouri Department of Transportation says that cement, fertilizer and other freight was being transported on the river this week. The U.S. Coast Guard is to place navigational buoys on the waterway April 1. State transportation officials say their goal is to boost the amount of products moved by barge on the Missouri River. About 334,000 tons of freight was transported on the river last year, up about 24 percent from 2009.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the federal health care law's legal fate is still uncertain. Koster's statement comes in response to three Republican officials who asked him whether he thought the law could be enforced in Missouri. Two federal judges upheld the health care overhaul. A third struck down the insurance requirement, and a fourth ruled the entire law is unconstitutional. Appeals courts will consider those rulings. Koster says Missouri risks possible sanctions by not complying with the law while waiting for a definitive ruling. Koster says lawmakers and the governor will have to weigh the risks of possible sanctions against costs for complying with the law. The GOP officials who requested the legal analysis criticized Koster's response for not being sufficiently specific.
Trustees at the University of Illinois are scheduled to vote on a plan to increase tuition by 6.9 percent for students who start this fall. That means new students at the university's Urbana-Champaign campus would pay $11,104 a year in tuition. Students at the Chicago campus would pay $9,764, while students in Springfield would pay $8,670. Those figures don't include fees, room and board. Last year, trustees raised tuition by 9.5 percent. University spokesman Thomas Hardy calls the increase trustees are scheduled to consider today "a conservative proposal." Hardy says it keeps in mind the concerns of families and the financial needs of the university.
South County Republican state Senator Jim Lembke says the opinion issued last week by attorney general Chris Koster still doesn't convince him that some municipal ordinances authorizing red light cameras are legal.
Parts of Missouri are cleaning up after strong storms swept across the state overnight. The storms may have resulted in a few tornadoes late last night and early this morning. High winds knocked down power lines and trees in parts of the St. Louis area. There were no reports of injuries. Wind gusts of up to 70 mph were common in the St. Louis area.
Crews with Ameren Missouri are working to restore power to thousands of customers throughout Missouri.
The state of Missouri has carried out its first execution in nearly two years. Early this morning, 47-year-old Martin Link was put to death for the 1991 kidnapping, rape and murder of 11-year-old Elissa Self-Braun. Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Cline says Link died by lethal injection shortly after midnight at the state prison in Bonne Terre. On Monday, Gov.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has unveiled the legislative changes he says will strengthen the state's domestic violence laws.
The 12 recommendations are the result of a task force Koster convened last year, and seven of them will require action by the General Assembly.
Most of the legislative proposals focus on strengthening orders of protection, which Koster calls the main tools to help domestic violence victims. He says current law doesn't allow juveniles to request those orders.
A winter weather advisory is in effect for the St. Louis region until 6 p.m. Thursday evening. Heavy snow fell overnight in St. Charles County, Northern St. Louis County, St. Louis City and Madison County, Il. The National Weather Service says more snow is expected throughout the day. Some places in the St. Louis region might see 12 inches of snow by the time the snow stops.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon proposed flat funding for public schools and cuts to colleges in his annual State of the State speech. In his address last night, the Democratic governor acknowledged that "times are tough" and he said that even modest job gains are cause for celebration. Nixon put forth a plan to slightly shrink the state's spending, shedding several hundred state workers and privatizing some of their functions. He proposed a $23.1 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Missouri lawmakers are urging Attorney General Chris Koster to challenge the federal health care law. The Republican-led Senate passed a resolution Wednesday asking the Democratic attorney general to either file his own lawsuit, join a suit by other attorneys general or join a suit filed by Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. A similar resolution was passed last week by Missouri's Republican-led House of Representatives. Koster's spokeswoman has said only that the office is monitoring the situation. The Missouri legislative action comes as Republicans in charge of the U.S. House are attempting to repeal the federal health care law enacted last year by President Barack Obama. That effort is not expected to receive support in the U.S. Senate, which is still controlled by Democrats.
Missouri lawmakers are urging Attorney General Chris Koster to challenge the federal health care law.
The Republican-led Senate passed a resolution Wednesday asking the Democratic attorney general to either file his own lawsuit, join a suit by other attorneys general or join a suit filed by Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.