The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently accepting claims from female and Hispanic farmers who believe the agency discriminated against them in farm loan or loan servicing programs. The claims process is complex—but the payouts could be large.
After the courts rejected a class action lawsuit from the farmers, USDA agreed to a voluntary settlement process with women and Latinos.
Claimants must submit a 16-page claims package plus additional evidence, and then a third-party will review and determine eligibility.
Missouri lawmakers have convened their 2013 session with Republican supermajorities controlling both the House and Senate.
Republicans have made tax cuts one of their top priorities for the 97th General Assembly, which runs until May 17.
They also plan to pursue business-friendly changes to the state's legal system, a bonding proposal for colleges, job-protection changes for public teachers and potentially a new transportation funding plan.
Legal wrangling from last November's election has not prevented a southeastern Missouri Republican lawmaker from being sworn in to office.
Kent Hampton narrowly defeated Democrat Tom Todd in the 150th House District. Todd is challenging the election's outcome in court because some voters who live in a neighboring district were given the wrong ballots and vice versa.
Hampton, of Malden, participated when the newly elected legislators were sworn-in Wednesday for the start of the 2013 legislative session.
Missouri's finances could take a $60 million annual hit because of a recent 2 percentage point increase in federal Social Security payroll taxes.
State budget director Linda Luebbering says the lost revenues resulting from the federal Social Security tax already had been taken into consideration for budget projections. She says the reduced revenue should not come as a surprise to state officials.
The Social Security tax reverted to 6.2 percent this month after the expiration of a 2 percentage point cut that had been in place for a couple of years.
The Supreme Court is considering whether police must get a warrant before ordering a blood test on an unwilling drunken-driving suspect.
The justices heard arguments Wednesday in a case involving a disputed blood test from Missouri. Police stopped a speeding, swerving car and the driver, who had two previous drunken-driving convictions, refused to submit to a breath test to measure the alcohol level in his body.
It was winter break of her senior year at Harrisburg High School when Shirley LeBlanc, then 18, found out she was pregnant. She was shocked by the news. Her family, particularly her mother was there to comfort her. Shirley’s son Grayson was born in July 2011. LeBlanc, now 19, struggles with the loneliness and challenges of single teenage parenthood. However, her faith is the thing that keeps her together. Producer Kevin Cook brings us this story, as part of KBIA and the Columbia Missourian’s My Life, My Town project.
Taxes and health care figure to play prominently in Missouri's new legislative session.
The 2013 session kicks off at noon Wednesday and runs through May 17. Republicans will hold overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate, but the governor's office will still be held by Democrat Jay Nixon.
Republican legislative leaders plan to pursue changes to the state's tax credit programs, as well as income tax cuts for individuals or businesses.
As Missouri lawmakers begin a new session at noon on Wednesday, one issue facing them is how to fund Missouri’s roads and highways. A “Blue-Ribbon” citizen’s committee created by the Missouri House to examine the state’s transportation needs released its report on how to fix the funding crisis on Tuesday. The report lays out several options, including: raising either the state’s fuel tax or creating a sales tax dedicated to transportation needs. House Speaker Tim Jones says he prefers exploring options that are "revenue neutral."