Associated Press

The new president of the four-campus University of Missouri System says faculty will be added despite reduced budgets.

President Mun Choi said Friday that the university is not "retrenching" in the face of budget shortfalls. He says the Missouri University of Science and Technology will add 18 faculty members. Faculty also will be added at engineering, business and medical schools on the Columbia campus.

Choi also pledged to elevate research and teaching at the university.

Results from a monthly survey of business supply managers suggest a slight improvement in the economic conditions in nine Midwest and Plains states.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index report released Monday says the overall economic index for the region rose to 61.4 in April from 60.1 in March.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the figures suggest strong growth for both manufacturing and nonmanufacturing through the third quarter of this year.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has agreed to pay a penalty to the state Ethics Commission for failing to report that his gubernatorial campaign got a donor list from a charity he founded.

Greitens' campaign adviser Austin Chambers said Saturday that the violation was a "simple campaign finance matter — not a major ethics matter."

The Ethics Commission imposed a $1,000 fee, most of which would be waived if Greitens pays $100 and commits no other violations in the next two years.

images_of_money / flickr

Roughly 240,000 more Missouri Medicaid recipients are being switched to a system under which private companies oversee patient care.

The system, called managed care, will be expanded statewide Monday. About 500,000 Missourians in 54 counties along I-70 already had health care under that model.

The rest received care under a fee-for-service model. Under that system, physicians are reimbursed as patients are treated.

Missouri seniors, the blind and people with disabilities on Medicaid will not be impacted by the change.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says two people have died in the weekend flooding across his state.

Greitens said Sunday that additional flooding is expected in the days ahead as rivers crest at historic levels.

So Greitens says he has activated the National Guard, so troops can help cities fill sandbags and prepare for the flooding.

First responders performed 111 evacuations and 135 rescues across Missouri over the weekend.

Flood warnings remain in place for much of Missouri with the heaviest flooding expected in the southern third of the state.

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Senate has passed a school choice bill that would create education savings accounts for students with disabilities, foster children and children with parents in the military.

The bill passed Thursday by a 20-12 vote. It now moves to the House.

The legislation would create a tax credit program that parents of children with special needs could use to pay for educational expenses such as private school tuition, online classes and home schooling.

Columns at University of Missouri
File Photo / KBIA

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri's Columbia campus has announced revised policies related to protests, with the changes coming nearly two years after the campus was hit by a wave of demonstrations over racial concerns.

The new policies announced Thursday include a commitment to "protecting the rights of expression, assembly, protest, and dissent." Outdoor areas will be made available whenever possible, even for unscheduled gatherings.

File Photo / KBIA

Missouri representatives have approved that the state pay an extra $241 million in unexpected expenses for this fiscal year.

House members voted 143-7 in favor of the supplemental budget Wednesday. It soon will go to the governor's desk.

Most of the money comes from federal funds, and most of it will go toward unexpected Medicaid expenses. About $44 million comes from state general revenue.

The state has allocated about $10 million to the Department of Transportation for vehicle replacements and equipment improvements.

St. Louis Arch
paparutzi / Flickr

St. Louis' city minimum wage could rise to $10 an hour starting next week now that the state's highest court won't reconsider its ruling upholding it.

The Missouri Supreme Court in February rejected claims by business groups that setting a wage higher than the state's $7.65 one would spawn regulatory confusion. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to revisit that, ending the issue.

The ordinance sets a $10-an-hour minimum wage in the city this year, climbing to $11 in 2018.

Scott Davidson / Flickr

A former Jefferson City business owner has admitted to his role in a burglary scheme in which primarily electronic equipment and college housing in Columbia was targeted and the loot was sold on eBay.

The U.S. attorney's office says 27-year-old Yevhen Drobovych pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of mail fraud. Drobovych was the owner of Jefferson City Computer Services.

j.stephenconn / flickr

Missouri public K-12 schools appear set to get roughly $48 million more in basic aid next fiscal year.

Senators voted 19-14 on Tuesday in favor of bumping up funding to meet targets called for under state law.

Because House members also passed a proposed budget that would meet funding goals, the money for schools likely will be locked into the final budget due May 5.

Senators were split on whether to give the extra money to K-12 schools while state revenues are lagging.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

A Missouri senator says he's moving out of a room he rents from a lobbyist following questions from a co-worker.

St. Joseph Republican Sen. Rob Schaaf said he's staying at a hotel Monday as he searches for a new place to stay.

Columbia Republican Sen. Caleb Rowden questioned him days earlier about renting from a lobbyist and sponsoring a bill the lobbyist is pushing.

Schaaf says that contributed to the appearance of a culture of corruption in Jefferson City, then called to strengthen ethics laws and ripped into Republican Gov. Eric Greitens' ethics.

File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri House has passed stricter requirements for tracking fetal tissue after abortions.

The bill passed Monday with a 117-40 vote. It now moves to the Senate.

The proposal prohibits anyone from donating fetal tissue from an abortion to scientific research and sets stricter standards for pathologists to record and track fetal tissue after an abortion procedure.

Paul Sableman / Flickr

St. Louis County's largest city is swearing in its first African-American councilman.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 46-year-old Robert Parson Jr. officially becomes a member of the Florissant City Council on Monday.

Parson's election earlier this month comes less than a year after the city changed boundary lines of its nine wards so each would have roughly the same number of people.

The adjustments were urged in a 2015 letter by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a New York-based civil rights law firm.

Columns at University of Missouri
File Photo / KBIA

A dormitory association at the University of Missouri is pushing that a new residence hall on campus be named after a prominent late black journalist once denied admission there.

The Columbia Missourian reports the campus Residence Halls Association has included Lucile Bluford's name among a list of potential ones for the 279-student dorm.

Bluford was denied admission to the university's journalism school 11 times because of her race. In 1989, five decades after Bluford's first application, the university granted her an honorary doctorate degree in humanities.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri is launching a new program for tax-free savings accounts to help families financially support people with disabilities.

Treasurer Eric Schmitt will announce the program's start Monday in St. Louis. It will allow people with disabilities or their families to open tax-exempt savings accounts to pay for related expenses.

The savings wouldn't count toward total assets when determining a person's eligibility for Medicaid or other benefits.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has signed into law statewide regulations for ride-hailing companies including Uber and Lyft.

The governor signed the bill Monday at St. Charles Community College. It requires app-based companies to conduct driver background checks and pay a licensing fee.

The law will also exempt such companies from local and municipal taxes, require drivers to submit to background checks and to buy vehicle liability insurance.

Uber and Lyft say the law will allow them to expand throughout the state.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens during his first 100 days in office made good on a top campaign promise to sign right to work legislation.

Greitens passed the 100-day mark on Wednesday. He achieved a major campaign promise months before, when he signed a law in February banning mandatory union fees.

But Greitens has had less success in strengthening state ethics laws, another top pledge.

About 1,500 people are being asked to reapply for a Missouri program that shields the addresses of abuse victims after a St. Louis County judge ordered a woman to reveal her home address because of a flaw in the application process.

The Safe at Home program lets victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, human trafficking or stalking keep their addresses confidential by routing mail through a post office box run by the secretary of state's office

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY -- Missouri Senate budgeters have approved a plan to make cuts to in-home and nursing care for disabled residents while slightly increasing money for public K-12 schools.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday passed its version of a budget for the next fiscal year beginning in July.

The budget proposal would cut in-home and nursing care by requiring people to show more severe disabilities to qualify, although the cuts are not as deep as what Gov. Eric Greitens initially recommended.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri House has given initial approval to a proposal that sets stricter requirements for tracking fetal tissue after abortions.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri House has passed a plan to change laws on students transferring from failing schools.

House members voted 138-6 Tuesday to send the bill to the Senate.

The measure would require schools to be accredited by individual building instead of just by district.

It would allow students at failing schools to transfer to better-performing schools within their districts. If those are full, they could transfer to nearby districts or charter schools.

Jay Nixon
File Photo / KBIA

Former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has released a nearly 90-page booklet detailing his time in office in his official last act as leader of the state.

The News Tribune reports that Missouri law requires the governor to give the Legislature a report at the end of each session and at the close of his term of office.

The booklet issued by Nixon last week says his eight years in office focused on "Building a Stronger Missouri."

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers are considering a bill to give student journalists more freedom by restricting the types of content school administrators could censor.

The bill passed out of the House in March and is awaiting debate in the Senate.

WallyG / FLICKR

An important case about the separation of church and state comes up in Justice Neil Gorsuch's first week on the Supreme Court bench.

The outcome could make it easier to use state money to pay for private, religious schooling in many states.

Eric Greitens
Dave Ingraham / Flickr

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he's reversing previous state policy and allowing the Department of Natural Resources to issue grants to religious organizations.

In a statement Thursday Greitens said that religious organizations can now apply for grants for programs such as playground surfaces, school field trip transportation and recycling efforts.

The previous prohibition was based on a state constitutional amendment banning the use of state money by religious groups to enforce the separation of church and state.

A media advocacy group and the ACLU are asking Missouri's highest court to settle whether the state's prison officials must publicly reveal the source of the drug used to execute prisoners.

The nonprofit Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the American Civil Liberties Union and other plaintiffs wrote in a filing Wednesday with the Missouri Supreme Court that that court can resolve the issue that's produced conflicting rulings.

David Shane / Flickr

Missouri House and Senate budgeters want to spend $100,000 on the state's Amber Alert system.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday locked in a House plan to replace and expand the alert system for missing children.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Brown says the company providing the program went bankrupt, so the state needs to pay for another system.

Money budgeted for next fiscal year also would cover an expansion of the program.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

The Missouri House has defeated a proposal to allow voters to decide in 2018 whether to raise gas taxes by nearly 6 cents per gallon to fund improvements to thousands of miles of state highways and hundreds of bridges.

Legislators struck down the proposal 51-103 on Wednesday. Supporters say it would have put to voters a ballot initiative to help mitigate the effects of aging roadways throughout the state.

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Brown said yesterday that he wants to put a break on House plans to provide K-12 schools the full amount of basic aid called for under state law.

Brown says he wants to wait because the House budget plan depends on a proposal to eliminate a tax break for seniors and disabled renters.

Brown also disagrees with a House decision to cut money for most colleges and universities by about 6.6 percent and slash the University of Missouri System 9 percent.

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