Roy Blunt

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Jobless rate drops below 8 percent in St. Louis

The jobless rate in metropolitan St. Louis is going down, and has dipped below 8 percent for the first time in more than three years.

(via Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt is applauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s move to designate all of Missouri’s 114 counties a disaster area.

Speaking to reporters today, Blunt said the state’s ongoing drought highlights the need for good farm policy and he would like the House to pass a final farm bill by the end of September.

Malory Ensor/KOMU News - via Flickr

Both of Missouri’s Senators have signed a letter asking agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack to declare almost all of the state a disaster area due to drought conditions.

The federal Farm Service Agency recently found that every county except St. Louis city met the requirements for that declaration. It would open up emergency loans and expand the places where ranchers can graze their cattle.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Missouri's no-call list set to expand

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will be in St. Louis today to sign legislation that allows people to add cellphones to the state’s Do Not Call list.

Nixon created the list when he was attorney general. Cellphone numbers added to the list would be off limits to most solicitations, including text messages.

Attorney General Chris Koster, whose office maintains the list, is expected to join Nixon. Koster says his office gets nearly 200 complaints a week from cellphone users about unwanted telemarketing calls.

(Combined photos - both by UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Paycheck Fairness Act, which proponents say would strengthen women's ability to get equal pay in the workplace, failed a procedural vote in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday. Just like yesterday's vote, Missouri's senators are sharply split along party lines.

Missouri's Republican senator Roy Bunt says the bill doesn't have much to do with "fair pay" and a whole lot to do with litigation.

(via Flickr/Senator Roy Blunt)

Missouri’s Republican Senator says he’ll continue his opposition to a plan put forth by Democrats to extend federal subsidies for student loans for another year.

Roy Blunt says an alternative plan would accomplish the same goal, without raising the deficit.  Blunt says he supports freezing student loan interest rates where they are now, at 3.4 percent, but says he would pay for the subsidy by taking the money from part of the President’s 2010 healthcare overhaul— which he claims is partially funded by interest payments from student loans.

(via Flickr/Senator Roy Blunt)

Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R) briefly addressed the Missouri House today.

Blunt spent most of his nine-minute speech criticizing government growth and overregulation.  He was especially critical of the federal government’s attempts to regulate family farms.

"We don’t need people in Washington DC deciding what farm kids can do on family farms," Blunt said to applause.  "We don’t need the EPA trying to spend all this time figuring out how you can farm without dust.”

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Court approves $1.5 million settlement with former US Fidelis employees

More than 550 former employees of the auto services contract giant US  Fidelis will share in a nearly one point five million dollar settlement reached in bankruptcycourt.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Wednesday’s deal settles claims by the workers that they were not properly warned before being laid off.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt says he expects most of his fellow Republican congressman will be lining up behind GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney by the end of the month. 

Senator Blunt was handpicked by Romney to garner endorsements for the former Massachusetts governor from his fellow Republican congressmen. He says his task is coming to a close.

With Romney’s primary sweep in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, DC this week, Blunt said he expects most GOP lawmakers to make up their minds in the next 30 days.  

(via Flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Army Corps. seeks dismissal of lawsuit filed on behalf of southeast Mo. farmers

More than 140 southeast Missouri farmers are seeking damage caused by last year's intentional breach of the Birds Point levee at the height of spring flooding.

The Southeast Missourian reports that government attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Oral arguments in the suit are scheduled to begin April 10 in Washington.