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MO lawmakers boost booster seat law, ban Wal-Mart banks

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By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri lawmakers have sent Governor Matt Blunt legislation that would make parents put some children as old as eight in booster seats.

Kids under four already have to ride in safety seats in Missouri. The legislation would up that to eight years old if the child weighs less than 80 pounds or is shorter than four-foot-nine.

Safety advocates say car seat belts don't fully protect small children. But critics argued the booster-seat mandate creates an inconvenience for parents and represents government intrusion into private lives.

In other business Wednesday, lawmakers also sent the governor a measure that would ban Wal-Mart from opening branch banks in Missouri.

Wal-Mart has applied to operate a so-called 'industrial bank' in Utah. Non-financial companies set up the special banks for some kinds of transactions. They're not regulated like traditional banks, and only some states allow them.

Wal-Mart wants to save banking fees by having its own industrial bank handle the millions of payments it processes each year.

The company has repeatedly said it doesn't plan to open branches or get involved in consumer lending. But both the House and Senate passed such a ban this week without dissent.

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