The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would expand the texting-while-driving ban to all motorists, not just those ages 21 or younger.
Although the bill passed, some senators opposed to the ban attached two amendments that have nothing to do with texting-while-driving, in an effort to kill the bill. But both were vehicle-related, so supporters changed the bill's title to include various topics related to motor vehicles.
A state representative has announced plans to introduce a bill to increase penalties for human trafficking convictions in Missouri.
Democratic Rep. Jason Kander said the measure he plans to introduce this week would boost Missouri penalties for human trafficking to the same level as federal statutes. He said federal penalties for human trafficking range from fines to five years and up to life in prison. Most Missouri human trafficking penalties go up to 15 years in prison.
New Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich plans to rate the entities he audits on a scale of excellent to poor.
Schweich said Friday his grading scale is intended to provide an evaluation that's easy to understand both for the general public and the agency being audited. He hopes the new system will provide some context about the severity of problems that get pointed out in audits.
The best rating will be excellent, followed by good, fair and poor.
He plans to start using the rating scale for audits released in February.