Dozens of environmentalists and land owners are meeting with lawmakers in Springfield hoping to persuade them to temporarily ban high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois.
Opponents of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," held a rally and lobbied Illinois legislators yesterday. They're hoping to win support for a two-year moratorium on the practice instead of regulations that would allow it.
Fracking opponents say they were ignored during negotiations over a regulatory bill, which proponents say would give Illinois the nation's toughest regulations.
Some concerns have been raised in the Missouri Senate over a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a temporary one-cent sales tax to fund transportation needs.
The one-penny sales tax is expected to raise nearly $8 billion over ten years. All money raised would go directly to the Missouri Dept. of Transportation (MoDOT), and that provision is not sitting well with some Senators. Republican Kurt Schaefer of Columbia says lawmakers should have at least some say into how that money would be spent.
Another Missouri town has adopted an ordinance placing limits on funeral protests.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that aldermen in Ballwin on Monday approved a law prohibiting picketing or engaging in other protest activities within 300 feet of a funeral or burial service. Manchester, Clayton and several other cities have adopted similar ordinances in recent months.
The laws are in response to groups like Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., which often protests at the funerals of soldiers.
The Missouri Senate has given first round approval to a scaled-backed version of the so-called Paycheck Protection bill.
The original bill would have barred unions from automatically withholding dues from the paychecks of public employees, but Senate Democrats spent nearly ten hours Monday night and Tuesday morning blocking the bill. The filibuster ended when the bill was changed to allow annual consent for withholding union dues from paychecks.
The head of the Missouri Department of Revenue says his agency is not forwarding electronic copies of documents from Missouri citizens to the federal government.
Director Brian Long told the House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability that once he heard the allegations, he questioned other officials and employees within the Department of Revenue about it.
“I was repeatedly and independently assured that these scanned source documents, as part of the license process, are not, nor is there any plans, to share them, again, with the federal government or any third-party vendor," Long said.
A U.S. Senate committee led by Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill is looking into grants made by the federal Department of Energy. McCaskill says she has concerns about the agency's ability to oversee grants after recent reports that a grant intended for the manufacture of electric car batteries was used by a Michigan company to pay idle workers.