Associated Press

St. Louis Arch
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A member of the ownership group that sought an MLS franchise for St. Louis calls the defeat of public financing "likely the final stage of our journey."

St. Louis voters on Tuesday turned down a measure that would have provided $60 million from a business use tax to help build a 22,000-seat downtown soccer stadium. St. Louis was a favorite to land a Major League Soccer expansion team for play starting in 2020 — but only with voter approval.

St. Louis Arch
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Ferguson, Missouri's top elected official in the tumultuous 32 months since the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown has won another three-year term.

James Knowles III, the mayor who was the public face of Ferguson after Brown's death in August 2014, held off a challenge Tuesday from city Councilwoman Ella Jones, who was seeking to become the St. Louis suburb's first-ever black mayor. It will be Knowles' final term in office, due to term limits.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

  Missouri House members are pressing forward with a budget that would cut funding to public colleges and universities while providing a record amount to elementary and secondary schools.

The House began debate Tuesday on a proposed $27.8 billion operating budget for next year that includes nearly $3.4 billion in basic state aid for K-12 school districts. The plan provides the full increase called for under a state school funding law and significantly exceeds the recommendation of Gov. Eric Greitens.

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The Missouri House has passed a bill to ban cities and counties from using red-light cameras.

House members voted 125-30 Monday to send the bill to the Senate. The measure would prohibit the use of cameras to catch traffic violations such as speeding and running red lights.

pills
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House members have passed a bill to make Missouri the last state to adopt a prescription drug monitoring program.

Lawmakers voted 102-54 Monday to create a database to track prescription drugs. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Missouri Capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Monday plans to combat human trafficking.

Hawley outlined plans to issue new consumer protection rules, create an anti-trafficking unit in his office and establish a permanent anti-trafficking task force to combat forced labor and commercial sex.

Columns at University of Missouri
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The four campuses of the University of Missouri system are reporting a drop in applications from international students. System officials say the current political climate and concerns about safety are contributing to the decline.

New system President Mun Choi has said one of his first initiatives is to increase revenue by attracting more international students.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the campuses reported declines from last fall ranging from 10 percent to 50 percent, although the Columbia campus refused to release actual numbers.

Missouri Capitol
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The Missouri House has passed a bill overturning a St. Louis ordinance that seeks to protect women who have abortions from workplace discrimination.

claire mccaskill
studio08denver / flickr

A Democratic senator is warning her party it could be politically dangerous to block President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

Sen. Claire McCaskill is up for re-election next year in Republican-leaning Missouri. McCaskill highlights the dilemma for many Democrats in similar straits.

They must decide whether to vote for Judge Neil Gorsuch and anger their liberal supporters, or to vote to block Gorsuch and prompt Republicans to permanently change Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster.

Josh Hallett / flickr

Missouri residents are one step closer to being able to get a driver's license that complies with a federal identification requirement.

The Missouri House on Thursday passed a bill with a 99-40 vote that would allow people to decide whether to get a compliant license.

Without a change, Missouri residents won't be able to use their driver's licenses to board airplanes starting in 2018. They already can't use them to enter military bases. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Gov. Eric Greitens is tapping the Illinois Department of Labor director to head Missouri's labor agency.

The Republican on Thursday announced his pick of Anna Hui to oversee labor issues and workers' rights in Missouri. She served as assistant labor director in Illinois until Gov. Bruce Rauner in February picked her to lead the agency.

If confirmed by the Senate, Greitens says Hui would be Missouri's first Asian American cabinet member.

pills
acephotos1 / dreamstime

House members are advancing a bill to make Missouri the last state to adopt a database to track addictive prescription drugs but the measure still has a long way to go.

Kip Kendrick / Missouri House

Missouri's Republican-led House has squashed an attempt by Democrats to expand Medicaid eligibility.

Members voted 102-41 against a proposal by Columbia Democratic Rep. Kip Kendrick to broaden eligibility under former President Barack Obama's federal health care law.

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A Missouri appeals court panel says utility regulators had no authority to grant conditional approval for a high-voltage power line across northeastern Missouri.

The ruling Tuesday overturns an April 2016 decision by the Missouri Public Service Commission, which approved the line on the condition that an Ameren Corp. subsidiary later get consent to cross roads from the counties affected.

FlightAware

Members of Missouri's House Budget Committee want to make records of elected officials' flights on the state airplane easily accessible by the public.

Members added the requirement for state airplane use to be recorded on sites such as FlightAware to budget proposals debated Tuesday.

Kansas City Democratic Rep. Greg Razer says his goal is to ensure citizens know when the plane is used and where it's headed.

File photo / KBIA

Missouri's Republican-led House has endorsed a bill to repeal the state's "prevailing wage" requirements for public construction projects.

The 93-60 vote Tuesday is part of a Republican push to revamp the state's labor laws by limiting union powers.

Missouri Capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

  Gov. Eric Greitens says he's still against expanding eligibility for Medicaid in Missouri following failed efforts in Congress to overhaul health care.

Greitens told reporters Tuesday in Jefferson City that he doesn't support broadening eligibility under former President Barack Obama's federal health care law.

Greitens was among Republican governors who wrote to congressional leaders in support of a House plan to overhaul health care. Efforts to pass the bill collapsed last week, but Greitens says he still supports repealing and replacing the federal law.

Missouri Capitol
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The Republican-led Missouri Legislature will get back to a business-friendly agenda when it returns from a mid-session recess next week.

Lawmakers are hoping to continue to pass laws backed by business leaders now that, for the first time in almost 10 years, GOP majorities in both houses have the backing of a Republican in the governor's office. Gov. Eric Greitens has promised to work with legislative leaders to pass bills regarding labor, lawsuits and education.

Greitens already has signed a new "right-to-work" law banning mandatory union fees.

Eric Greitens
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JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is backing a contested health care overhaul proposed in the U.S. House.

Greitens joined seven other Republican governors in a Thursday letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan voicing support of the bill.

The letter comes as President Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers are scrambling to get enough votes in the U.S. House to pass the proposed replacement for the federal health care law enacted under former President Barack Obama.

North Carolina Central University

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Central Missouri's Lincoln University is searching for a new president after the campus' top administrator resigned for a similar position at another historically black college.

Kevin Rome resigned from the Jefferson City university to become the president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Rome's resignation takes effect June 30.

Rome had been Lincoln University's president since mid-2013. The university's curators say that a search committee and transition team meant to find Rome's successor will be seated as soon as possible.

  The University of Missouri System's new president says he wants to leverage private-public partnerships to bring revenue and investments to campus.

The Columbia Missourian reports President Mun Choi joined about 100 members and guests of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday as part of its "Lunch with a Leader" series. At the gathering, Choi emphasized the mutual economic benefit of such partnerships.

St. Louis Arch
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Private attorneys in the St. Louis area have committed to take over some cases from the state's overburdened public defender system on a volunteer basis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a new nonprofit group, called the Missouri Coalition for the Right to Counsel, is behind the plan. It calls for younger private sector attorneys to handle certain jury cases for indigent defendants in the circuit courts of St. Louis and St. Louis County. Besides reducing public defender caseloads, the young attorneys can gain trial experience.

Missouri Capitol
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Unemployment in Missouri has dropped again.

Data released Tuesday by the Missouri Department of Economic Development show the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down to 4.1 percent in February compared to 4.2 percent in January.

The unemployment rate has fallen slightly in Missouri each of the past six months.

The state also gained more than 6,700 jobs from January to February. Some of the largest gains were in the leisure and hospitality field and the accommodation and food services industry.

Kirk Kittell / flickr

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A renewable energy company is again facing opposition as it seeks one of the final pieces of regulatory approval needed to carry wind power from the nation's heartland to the east.

Missouri utility regulators began hearing testimony Monday on a request from Clean Line Energy to build a high-voltage transmission line from western Kansas across Missouri and Illinois to an Indiana power grid that connects with eastern states.

A new report shows that withheld funding and lack of follow-through effectively killed a program aimed at allowing Missouri residents receiving child support to accept wage hikes without losing state assistance.

With state Sen. Daniel Biss' announcement Monday, four Democrats are now lined up to challenge Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner in the 2018 election, and more may be on the way.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A bill advancing in the Missouri Legislature would change whom patients could sue for medical malpractice.

The bill passed the House 101-50 Thursday and now goes to the Senate.

If made law, patients could only sue hospitals if the physician accused of wrongdoing is an employee. Hospitals couldn't be sued because of doctors who only have admitting privileges.

Republican Rep. Kevin Austin says it's unfair to sue hospitals for malpractice by a doctor who only performs some work there.

A measure to repeal tax breaks for low-income Missouri seniors and disabled residents who live in rental housing is advancing in the Legislature.

House members voted 89-65 to give the bill initial approval Wednesday. At least 82 lawmakers must vote in favor of it again for it to advance to the Senate.

The measure would set aside additional revenue from the roughly $55 million-a-year tax break for other services for low-income seniors and those with disabilities.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

  Missouri's House budget leader is proposing fully funding state K-12 schools next fiscal year.

Republican Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick's budget proposal released Wednesday includes roughly $45 million more than what GOP Gov. Eric Greitens had recommended in basic aid for schools. About $7.8 million of that relies on lottery proceeds.

Fitzpatrick's plan also includes $36 million more than Greitens' proposal for school transportation.

A federal lawsuit claims that a St. Louis suburb is violating federal housing laws by disproportionately revoking occupancy permits of blacks, women and disabled residents.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council's lawsuit filed Monday accuses Maplewood of violating the Fair Housing Act.

The lawsuit claims that at least two police calls can put someone on the list of "chronic nuisances." That's without a conviction or even when that person is the victim of the crime that triggered the police call.

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