The Associated Press

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  Missouri voters will decide whether state lottery officials should create a separate ticket to fund veterans' programs.

The Senate voted 27-4 on Thursday to send the proposal to the November general election ballot. It passed the House earlier this year.

Supporters say revenue from sales of the lottery ticket would provide a dedicated funding source for cash-strapped veterans' homes. Opponents question whether the new ticket will siphon revenue from education, which currently is the sole beneficiary of Missouri lottery proceeds.

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  Missouri legislative budget leaders have embraced a financing plan for a new facility on the Fulton State Hospital campus.

The proposal calls for issuing bonds through the Missouri Development Finance Board and paying them off over 25 years. The upcoming year's budget would include $14.2 million for payment on bonds. House and Senate negotiators are working today on a final version of next year's state budget.

The financing proposal approved today by the lawmakers follows Governor Jay Nixon's plan for the project.

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  Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that could make it harder for people to collect unemployment benefits after being fired for repeated absences or other alleged misconduct.

The House passed the bill Tuesday by a 107-45 vote. Because it already had cleared the Senate, the measure now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon.

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  Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would let retailers sell beer by the bottle.

Stores currently must sell beer in packages containing at least three bottles. The newly passed legislation would allow sales of single bottles, cans or pouches of beer.

The change would take effect in 2015.

The state Senate approved the bill on a vote of 31-1 last month. The House passed it Tuesday on a vote of 143-1, sending it to Gov. Jay Nixon.

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  Missouri House members have endorsed a proposal for funding a new facility on the Fulton State Hospital campus.

The hospital is Missouri's only maximum-security psychiatric facility and the oldest public mental health facility west of the Mississippi River. Patients include those committed by the courts for evaluation and treatment, and people found not guilty or unable to stand trial because of mental disease.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

  Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is raising new concerns that an income tax cut passed by the Legislature could have "cataclysmic" consequences for state revenues.

The Democratic governor said Tuesday that the bill could eliminate taxes on all income over $9,000, punching a $4.8 billion hole in the state budget.

Republican legislative leaders called Nixon's assertion "ridiculous," ''absurd" and "laughable."

Nixon did not veto the bill Tuesday but has indicated he will do so.

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  Missouri House members have endorsed legislation that could offer additional financial assistance to persuade more top students to stay in the state after graduation day.

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  Damage to railroad tracks caused by last week's flash flooding in west-central Missouri is forcing changes in Amtrak passenger service.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says that some passengers on Amtrak's Missouri River Runner between Kansas City and St. Louis will travel by bus instead of train this week.

Heavy rain last Thursday damaged a section of track east of Warrensburg. Union Pacific is doing repairs that require afternoon closings through Friday.

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  The Missouri House has already endorsed legislation that would nullify some federal gun control laws the state considers to be infringements on gun rights.

But today, the Republican-led chamber voted to remove a portion of the bill that could have sent law enforcement officers to jail for knowingly enforcing such laws.

Under previous versions of the measure, federal agents could have faced up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The House bill would only allow people to sue law enforcement for enforcing certain federal laws.

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  A Missouri Senate committee has slashed the amount of money that’s to be used to keep Normandy schools open the rest of the school year.   

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  Grocery store bakeries in Missouri must continue to pay tax on the utilities they use to warm their food.

The state Supreme Court rejected a request on Tuesday, March 11 for a sales tax refund on the electricity and natural gas used by the bakeries at 40 Schnucks grocery stores.

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  Missouri residents and government agencies could not use drones to conduct surveillance without a warrant under legislation advanced by the state House.

The measure would also prevent journalists and other organizations from using drones to observe private property without an owner's consent. State universities could still use unmanned aircraft to conduct educational research.

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  St. Louis-based utility company Ameren announced today that executive Michael Moehn has been named chairman, president and chief executive officer of the utility's Ameren Missouri subsidiary.

Moehn succeeds Warner Baxter, who will become Ameren CEO on April 24.

Moehn has held several leadership roles since joining Ameren in 2000.

Ameren provides electric and natural gas services in parts of Missouri and Illinois.

University Village Apartments
Miranda Metheny / KBIA

  A recent walkway collapse at an apartment complex for graduate students and their families has led more than 500 people to ask the University of Missouri to move a child-care center to a safer location.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that 549 people have signed a petition concerning the day-care center after the fatal walkway collapse. Twenty-three-year city firefighter Bruce Britt died after he fell from the second-floor walkway at University Village on February 22.

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  Five other states are joining Missouri's fight against a California egg law that would prohibit the sale of eggs produced by hens kept in cages that don't meet California's size and space requirements.

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  Missouri voters would be required to show photo identification before casting ballots under legislation endorsed by the Missouri House today.

The House gave first-round approval to two measures that would enact the requirement. One is a state constitutional amendment that would require a photo ID during elections. The other bill would actually implement this requirement.

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  A Missouri House panel endorsed legislation today that would move the state's presidential primary from February to March of 2016.

Sponsoring member Tony Dugger says keeping the earlier date could cause Missouri to lose delegates at the 2016 national party conventions.

He says moving the date to March would avoid a repeat of 2012, when the state held a non-binding presidential primary. Faced with losing delegates, state Republican officials later decided to select convention representatives with a caucus system that year.

Blaine Luetkemeyer
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  Missouri congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer is urging the federal Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider newly proposed regulations for wood-burning stoves.

Luetkemeyer sent a letter to the EPA Tuesday saying the proposed regulations could increase the costs of manufacturing wood-burning heaters. He said that could make them unaffordable to many people and drive some small manufacturers out of business.

File / KBIA

  Missouri senators have given first-round approval to legislation that would reward the state's four-year institutions for good performance with more funding.

Under the measure endorsed Tuesday, public universities would establish performance criteria. The criteria would be used to determine how much extra money the institutions get during years the state can afford to increase college funding.

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  Ameren Corp. is promoting Warner Baxter to president of the St. Louis-based utility, effective immediately, and he'll become CEO this spring.

Baxter is a longtime executive at Ameren. He succeeds Thomas Voss, who will retire on July 1.

Ameren said Tuesday that Baxter also has been elected to the board of directors. He will become chief executive on April 24 — the day Voss will become Ameren's executive chairman.

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File Photo / KBIA

  Laws that once banned retail sales on Sundays are largely gone in many states. Yet it remains illegal in Missouri to sell cars, trucks and motorcycles on Sundays.

Now there is effort in the Missouri Legislature to lift the ban for motorcycles.

A House committee heard testimony Tuesday from a Kansas City area Harley-Davidson dealer who is one of the main backers of the legislation. Rick Worth says it's hard for him to compete when a dealer in nearby Kansas can sell motorcycles on Sundays.

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File Photo / KBIA News

  

  Missouri House members have given first-round approval to legislation taking aim at synthetic drugs.

The bill would add several specific substances to what is considered synthetic marijuana.

It was endorsed by a voice vote Tuesday and needs a second vote before moving to the Senate.

In recent years, Missouri has tried to keep pace with evolving synthetic drugs and twice has approved legislation targeting them. Sponsoring House member Shawn Rhoads says the current bill is needed to stay ahead in the effort.

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  The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday plans to file suit challenging Missouri's treatment of same-sex marriages.

ACLU's Diane Balogh said Tuesday that the suit will be filed in state court in Kansas City, but she would not discuss specifics. News conferences announcing the litigation are planned for Wednesday morning in Kansas City, St. Louis, Jefferson City and Springfield.

It's unclear if the ACLU suit will challenge Missouri's constitutional ban on same-sex marriages or if it would simply seek recognition of gay marriages from other states.

Courtesy of Mike Menu

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says "our thoughts and prayers" go to the family of a former University of Missouri swimmer who said she was sexually assaulted and later committed suicide.

Missouri House of Representatives

Republican House leaders had pledged an investigation after allegations of a hostile workplace were made against the directors of Missouri's agriculture and labor departments, but that now appears unlikely to happen.

KBIA

  A Missouri House committee is considering legislation to offer additional financial aid to persuade more top students to stay in the state after they graduate.

The legislation would add a forgivable loan of up to five thousand dollars per year to Missouri's Bright Flight scholarship.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

A longtime attorney in Gov. Jay Nixon's administration has been chosen as executive director of the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The commission announced Tuesday that James Klahr will begin serving as director Sept. 13.

The Missouri Ethics Commission enforces the state's campaign finance and lobbyist laws. Its director is limited to a six-year term.

A big first for Danica Patrick, but an even bigger second for Jimmie Johnson.

Patrick made history out front at the Daytona 500, only to see five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson reclaim his spot at the top in the end.

Johnson won his second Daytona 500 with a late push on Sunday, grabbing the spotlight from Patrick as she faded on the final lap. Patrick became the first woman in history to lead laps in "The Great American Race" and was running third on the last lap, but slipped to eighth in the late push for position.

If officials in Washington don't reach a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," Missouri could see a hit to its economy and budget.

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A long-sought proposal to extend University of Missouri worker benefits to same-sex domestic partners has been expanded to include committed couples of the opposite sex, as well as other unrelated dependent couples, such as roommates.

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