Morning headlines: STL Public Schools $150 million renovations begin in May, number of state workers on Medicaid declines, Enterprise Rent-A-Car announces sustainability effort
- St. Louis Public Schools officials say a $150 million renovation project for the district's schools will start in May. The project was made possible after voters approved Proposition S. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the money will pay for such things as fixing roofs, building science labs, improving playgrounds and removing lead paint. The $150 million is expected to pay for about one-third of all the repairs needed in the district's 74 schools. Roger CayCe, the district's executive director of operations, says the first phase of the work is scheduled to be finished by the fall. The next two phases, which include upgrading restrooms, electrical systems and libraries, is scheduled to be done by October 2013.
- The number of state workers enrolled in Missouri's Medicaid health care program has declined sharply since the state tightened eligibility more than five years ago. Figures provided to The Associated Press show there were 476 state employees on Medicaid last November, the most recent month for which the Department of Social Services had statistics. That was down more than 60 percent from a Medicaid enrollment of 1,221 state employees in February 2005. A law that took effect later that year lowered the amount of money adults can earn and still qualify for Medicaid. Missouri's total Medicaid rolls fell from a high of nearly one million in 2005 to about 800,000 a couple years after the cuts. That has since risen to nearly 900,000 as the economy has worsened.
- Enterprise Rent-a-Car says it's going green. It will spend $150 million over five years to make its locations environmentally friendly. The St. Louis-based company announced its Enterprise Sustainable Construction Protocol yesterday. It says all newly constructed and retrofitted locations will be designed, built and managed with sustainability in mind. Enterprise says its efforts will focus on seven areas, including use of sustainable materials, energy efficiency, recycling and process innovation.