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Morning headlines: Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jane Cunningham official website
State Senator Jane Cunningham

St. Louis County Senator will not seek re-election

Jane Cunningham had initially filed to run for the 7th District seat, even though the new Senate map places that district in the Kansas City area.

The Republican from Chesterfield had hoped that the new map would be overturned and that the district she represents would not be moved to the other side of the state.  But that didn’t happen.  Cunningham says she most likely won’t run for a different office, but admits she hasn’t made up her mind yet:

“There are a lot of ‘if’s’ out there, but if somebody could come to me and ‘this would work for you’ and ‘here are the resources to do it,’ would I consider that? Yes, but I don’t see that happening," said Cunningham.

Cunningham has until 5 p.m. today to decide for sure – that’s when filing for the August party primaries close.  She’s also expressed interest in the private sector and in working for the state GOP. 

Thousands expected at Mo. capitol for rallies about federal health care and state legislation

Inside the Capitol today, religious and anti-abortion groups plan to protest President Barack Obama's policy requiring insurance companies to offset the cost of free birth control for women working at church-affiliated institutions.

Outside the Capitol about the same time, unions plan to rally against efforts by the Republican-led state Legislature to enact what they describe as anti-worker polices. Speakers are to include Gov. Jay Nixon, who has vetoed bills limiting lawsuits on workplace discrimination and injuries.

At a hotel near the Capitol, others will be rallying against Obama's health care overhaul in conjunction with U.S. Supreme Court arguments on the law.

Mo. House approves legislation allowing auditor to compare government agencies

The Missouri House has approved legislation allowing the state auditor to compare the operations of the state's biggest government agencies.

The so-called comparative audit would be intended to identify the best practices and efficiencies among state agencies.

Republicans who backed the measure say such an audit would help find ways to save money. But Democrats say that Republican Auditor Tom Schweich is already allowed to perform comparative audits. They say Schweich only requested the legislation to get money to expand his staff.

An estimate included with the legislation says a comparative audit could cost up to $300,000.

The House passed the bill Monday on a voice vote. It now goes to the Senate, where similar legislation died last year.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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