Associated Press

cigarette
Sudipto_Sarkar / flickr

Attorney General Chris Koster is calling for Missouri to increase the state's cigarette tax and use the money for college scholarships.

Wikimedia Commons / Loavesofbread

Ferguson city leaders will meet with Justice Department officials in about two weeks and provide a plan for ways to improve the police department following a DOJ report released this week.

Mayor James Knowles says that the goal is to work out an agreement for a plan forward. A specific meeting date has not been set.

Knowles says city leaders are still going over the report "line by line." Knowles says Police Chief Tom Jackson still lead the department, but declined to discuss Jackson's future.

State of Missouri

An aide to former U.S. Senator John Danforth says she was on the phone with Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich discussing his religion just moments before he killed himself. 

school buses
Twix / Flickr

A Senate bill intended to fix issues with Missouri's student transfer law could cost more than $200 million to implement next fiscal year. 

File / KBIA

  Missouri House members voted 141-7 today to send a proposal to the Senate that would waive penalties for those who agree to pay overdue Missouri taxes.

Delinquent taxpayers would need to pay their bills between July 1 and Sept. 30 to qualify.

Legislative researchers estimate the measure would bring in nearly $20 million in additional general revenues next fiscal year.

But similar tax amnesty proposals have stalled in previous years in the Senate.

umkc.edu

University of Missouri-Kansas City students say they're ultimately satisfied with answers over questions regarding the college's business school, which an audit found it knowingly submitted false data in applying for rankings and awards. 

401 (K) 2013 / FLICKR

A measure that would waive penalties if Missourians agree to pay back taxes has initial approval from the state House. 

j.stephenconn / Flickr

The Missouri House is moving forward with a measure to limit the amount of noneconomic damages that can be awarded to victims of medical malpractice. 

Scott Davidson / Flickr

A Justice Department report says blacks in Ferguson are disproportionately subjected to excessive police force, baseless traffic stops, and citations for petty infractions -- like walking down the middle of the street.

KBIA

Michael Brown's uncle says a Department of Justice decision not to charge the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot his nephew is deflating.

A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that a Justice Department investigation has found patterns of racial bias in the Ferguson, Missouri, police department and at the municipal jail and court.

missouri auditor tom schweich
State of Missouri

Missouri House members are honoring Auditor Tom Schweich, who fatally shot himself in what police say was an apparent suicide.

missouri auditor tom schweich
State of Missouri

  Former U.S. Sen. John Danforth has suggested that political bullying led Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich (shwyk) to fatally shoot himself.

Danforth delivered the eulogy Tuesday during a memorial service for Schweich that was attended by many of Missouri's top elected officials and hundreds of others.

Danforth was a close friend, co-worker and political mentor to Schweich, who had planned to run for governor.

401 (K) 2013 / FLICKR

  The state budget director says increases in Missouri's revenues are holding steady at close to a 5 percent growth from last year.

Budget Director Linda Luebbering on Tuesday reported 4.9 percent growth in general revenue this fiscal year, close to Gov. Jay Nixon's estimate of 4.6 percent.

Nixon's used that number to guide spending restrictions on hundreds of millions of dollars approved for use by the Legislature last session. Luebbering says about $690 million is still being withheld.

Kansas City Public Schools

Kansas City Public Schools has settled a lawsuit over how it handled students protesting during a speech by Governor Nixon last year.

The students were protesting the shooting of Michael Brown during a speech at the Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in November, when they were ordered to sit down.

Officials say construction on Kansas City's downtown streetcar project is nearly 50 percent complete and is on track to finish this fall.

handcuffs
v1ctor Casale / Flickr

A man serving a life sentence for killing his wife in 2011 has won a legal victory in his quest for a retrial.

j.stephenconn / flickr

A measure to create a database to monitor the prescription of drugs such as addictive pain killers is moving forward in the Missouri House.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Two proposals aimed at addressing concerns with Missouri's student transfer law have gained initial approval from the state House and Senate.

school buses
Twix / Flickr

  A Missouri judge says the state's membership to a testing company aligned with the national Common Core education standards is illegal and that it shouldn't pay fees to be part of the group.

401 (K) 2013 / FLICKR

  Missouri's local governments and school districts are closer to getting federal funds for storm shelters and disaster repairs.

The Missouri House Tuesday gave first-round approval to a budget bill for this fiscal year to release federal money for local projects in declared disaster areas.

Already-completed local projects totaling about $30 million are awaiting federal funds.

The bill, which needs final approval in the House before going to the Senate, approves the transfer of that money.

mike matthes
Matt Veto / KBIA

Columbia city staff plans to ask council members to delay voting on a partial ban on single-use plastic shopping bags.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the council is set to discuss the ordinance at its March 2nd meeting. But Deputy City Manager Tony St. Romaine says the city's staff plans to ask council members to instead table the ordinance for at least a year or withdraw it altogether.

hitthatswitch / flickr

A Missouri Republican wants to require preschools and daycare centers to tell parents if there are other children attending who have not been vaccinated against measles or other illnesses. 

File Photo / KBIA

Republican Jay Ashcroft says he's running for Missouri secretary of state.

vote here sign
KBIA file photo

Today the Missouri Senate voted 26-8 in favor of legislation that would prevent changes to ballot measures within about two months of an election.

Current law allows measures to be finalized anytime within 180 days of an election. Republican Senator Will Kraus of Lee's Summit, is sponsoring the bill and says it’s aimed at saving the state money for reprinting ballots if there are changes close to an election.

Jefferson City in the snow
Jeanine Anderson / KBIA

The Missouri House again is pushing this year to require photo identification at the polls.

The House gave initial approval Wednesday to a constitutional amendment and bill that would require voters show photo ID before casting a ballot.

Scott Davidson / Flickr

Law enforcement groups say public access and retention of footage from police cameras should be limited to protect privacy and contain costs.

File Photo / KBIA

The full House will consider giving Missouri's emergency agency additional spending authority this year to use federal money on disaster-relief projects.

columbia city hall
File Photo / KBIA

  The Columbia City Council has approved new regulations for ride-booking services such as Uber and Lyft.

An Uber representative says the new rules show the city does not welcome the services, despite support from residents.

The regulations approved Monday require ride-booking services to get business licenses and license their drivers as chauffeurs. The drivers must pass background checks and their vehicles will undergo condition checks conducted by the city.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he plans to restore nearly $5 million in state funding for the Truman Sports Complex and Bartle Hall in Kansas City.

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