The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a disaster declaration for farmers in 23 Missouri counties, including several in the St. Louis area, hit by floods and heavy rain since May 1.
Friday's declaration allows farmers in those counties and 26 neighboring counties to seek federal assistance for losses caused by the severe weather. Gov. Jay Nixon had requested the declaration last month.
Missouri insurance officials have postponed a vote to draw down $13 million from Washington that would be used to help set up a health insurance exchange. The exchange is required by the new federal health care law.
On Thursday, Nixon asked Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to designate 101 Missouri counties (full list of counties below) as primary disaster areas. That would allow eligible farmers to get emergency loans and other federal help.
Missouri senators have overwhelmingly passed a bill revising a new law that restricts teachers' online conversations with students.
The legislation would repeal a law barring teachers from using websites that give "exclusive access" to students, such as sending private messages on Facebook. Senators voted 33-0 Wednesday to send the bill to the House.
A smaller version of the wide-ranging tax credit bill received first-round approval Tuesday in the Missouri Senate. GOP Senate leaders realized there was not enough support within their own caucus for passing $360 million in air cargo incentives, not to mention a threatened filibuster.