Some Republicans in the Missouri Senate are blocking legislation to draw down $81 million in federal unemployment benefits.
The funding would go to Missouri residents who've been out of work for more than 79 weeks, and a State House bill authorizing the draw down must be passed by Thursday or else the money will go to other states.
Missouri House members have endorsed legislation to offer amnesty to delinquent taxpayers.
The measure would waive interest and penalties for those who pay their tax bills between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31. Supporters estimate the measure could bring in as much as $74 million to the state. Plus, they say it would give individuals and companies an opportunity to wipe their slate clean.
The legislation gained first-round approval Wednesday and needs another vote before moving to the Senate.
Some Missouri lawmakers say the state should do away with its tenure system for teachers and make students' academic performance a big part of their evaluations.
A House panel heard testimony Wednesday on legislation that would require 50 percent of a teacher's evaluation to be based on students' scores on state tests. Teachers would not be guaranteed salary increases based on their classroom experience. The changes would take effect in July 2012.