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Morning headlines: Tuesday, August 9, 2011

(via Flickr/jimbowen0306)
A special commission met in Jefferson City on Monday in an attempt to come to an agreement on redrawing State Senate distric boundaries. They adjourned without reaching a deal. The commission has until Aug. 18 to propose a tentative map.

Commission struggles to reach agreement on Senate districts boundaries

A panel of five Democrats and five Republicans met Monday and adjourned without reaching a deal on a new Missouri state Senate district map for the 34-member Senate. Commission leaders said the St. Louis area seems to be the biggest sticking point in adjusting the outlines of the state and Senate districts.

If the panel doesn’t reach an agreement by Aug. 18, the responsibility will fall to a panel of judges. Maps of political districts are redrawn every 10 years to reflect population changes shown by the Census.

McCaskill calls for improved enforcement of trade agreements

Mo. Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill says that smaller Missouri manufacturers will be unable to compete unless the U.S. improves enforcement of trade agreements.

McCaskill alleges Chinese manufacturers illegally route products through Taiwan, re-label them, and then sell these cheap products in the U.S. market. She says U.S. Immigration and Customs should monitor this illegal activity, but their attentions have shifted elsewhere.

Officials call for a cease in funding to MidAmerica airport

Several officials in the Metro East are calling for St. Clair County to cease funding for the little-used MidAmerica airport, which was built as a reliever site for St. Louis’ Lambert Airport and nearby Scott Air Force Base. As departures at Lambert dropped off, MidAmerica began operating at a loss.

Recently, MidAmerica has tried to give itself a boost by becoming a freight hub for Chinese goods, but St. Clair County board member Ed Cockrell says that plan is destined to fail. In contrast, St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern told the Wall Street Journal that the airport is not in danger of closing.

McCaskill doubts that Congress will back specific legislation on job creation

Mo. Sen. Claire McCaskill says it’s doubtful Congress will take up new legislation specifically designed to create jobs. It is more likely, she says, to tackle patent reform, trade agreements and regulations.

McCaskill visited the Proctor & Gamble plant near Jackson on Monday, and she added that American workers have been cursed by technology because it has allowed for more productivity, while not employing more people.

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