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Morning headlines: Tuesday, January 17, 2012

UPI/Bill Greenblatt
Governor Jay Nixon delivers the State of the State speech to the legislature in the House of Representatives chambers as Speaker of the House Steve Tilley (L) and Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R) at the State Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. in January 2011.

Nixon to deliver State of the State Speech tonight

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is expected to stress his job-creation efforts as he delivers his annual State of the State address to lawmakers.

Tonight's speech is to coincide with the release of Nixon's proposed budget for the 2013 fiscal year. Nixon's budget director has said Missouri may face a gap of about $500 million between projected expenses and revenues in the budget year that starts July 1.

The Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders have ruled out a general tax increase. That means more cuts are likely for state programs and agencies.

Nixon also will be proposing more incentives for suppliers in the automotive industry, new enticements for businesses to hire military veterans and additional state personnel dedicated to boosting Missouri's exports.

St. Louis area officials in Indonesia this week pursuing trade opportunities

Government, business and university officials from the St. Louis area are in Indonesia this week pursuing trade opportunities and stronger educational ties. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the delegation arrived over the weekend in the Indonesian capital city of Jakarta. The trade mission was organized by the World Trade Center St. Louis and Kit Bond Strategies, a consulting business created by Bond after he retired last year following four terms in the U.S. Senate. Executives of Boeing Co. and five other businesses are along on the weeklong visit.

World Trade Center St. Louis executive director Tim Nowak says that Indonesia and other southeast Asian countries are likely to be major new trade partners for the U.S. and markets for exports from St. Louis area companies.

Joplin may not end up with debt from Tornado

A new report from the city finance director estimated that costs to the city, including damage to city property, would be about $24 million. But it appears those costs eventually will be paid by insurance and through reimbursements from the state and federal governments.

The Joplin Globe reports that city finance director Leslie Jones is scheduled to present the report to the City Council today. She says the damage estimate could change, but so far it appears the city will be ahead about $130,000 after the reimbursements and insurance pay their costs. Jones also says FEMA paid $94 million for expedited debris removal last summer.



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