The owners of more than three dozen restaurants and bars in St. Louis County filed into the County Council chambers in Clayton today with one request - please let us continue to allow smoking.
The owners were there at the request of Councilman Mike O'Mara, who's introduced a bill eliminating nearly all the exemptions in the county's smoking ban. Currently, bars that make less than 25 percent of their revenue from food may receive an exemption. Bowling alleys and casino gaming floors are also exempt.
A mistake by the St. Louis County Department of Revenue will cost the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District about $2 million in expected tax revenue.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that employees at the department failed to add a surcharge to about 200,000 property tax bills. The revenue generated by the additional tax helps MSD control storm water runoff inside Interstate 270.
Tuesday night the St. Louis County Council passed a new ordinance that in part requires contractors have a U.S. Department of Labor approved apprentice program.
That provision drew criticism from some civil rights groups who said it was unfairly pro-union.
“You know there are any number of minority owned contractors who are not union contractors,” said Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis branch of the NAACP. “We’ve fought this fight a hundred times about this language and how it excludes them simply because they’re not tied to the union.”
Supporters of a closer relationship between St. Louis city and county can take heart from a new survey.
The Missouri Council for a Better Economy, a group linked to libertarian billionaire Rex Sinquefield, conducted the survey of 700 voters at the beginning of September. It found that a strong majority of those polled thought some form of unification was worth exploring.