Associated Press

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Missouri's Republican-led House has pushed forward a proposal to make Missouri the 28th right-to-work state despite Democratic efforts to send the measure to a public vote.

The House voted 101-58 Wednesday to give initial approval to the bill, which would ban mandatory union fees. The bill needs another House vote before it can move to the Senate.

The legislation is likely to pass following renewed momentum from the recent inauguration of Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, who has vowed to sign the bill that his Democratic predecessor vetoed.

The Missouri Supreme Court is ordering Kansas City to put a proposed minimum-wage hike to $15 an hour on the ballot.

Supreme Court judges ruled Tuesday that a vote is needed before judges can decide if a wage increase is lawful.

A group of citizens had collected enough signatures to force a vote on minimum wage in 2015. But the vote was scheduled to take place after the enactment of a new state law prohibiting higher local minimum wages from the state's minimum wage.

Missouri's minimum wage is $7.70 an hour.

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New Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens will outline his policies on jobs, ethics, public safety and education during his first State of the State address.

The Republican will speak Tuesday evening at the Capitol.

Spokesman Parker Briden says more higher-paying jobs are a priority for Greitens. He also will touch on so-called labor reform, which likely means a right-to-work law banning mandatory union dues.

Central Missouri Democrats nominated an attorney who formerly worked for the Missouri Senate to run in a special election for the 50th House District seat.

Michela Skelton will run to replace Republican state Rep. Caleb Jones, of Columbia, who resigned from the Senate to become deputy chief of staff to Gov. Eric Greitens.

Skelton was nominated Monday by the 50th District Democratic Committee.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is cutting $146 million of spending from the budget, including tens of millions of dollars to public colleges and universities.

The Republican governor said the cuts announced Monday are necessary to keep the budget in balance because of lower than expected tax revenues and rising costs in certain programs such as Medicaid.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are hoping to expand services to Missouri customers under proposed statewide regulations for the app-based companies.

The proposal requires background checks for drivers, vehicle inspections and includes a rider nondiscrimination policy.

The bill has largely drawn bipartisan support, but some are concerned that the statewide regulations don't go far enough to ensure safety. The proposal also includes a provision saying drivers don't have to pay local taxes.

Missouri State Highway Patrol

Freezing rain is causing numerous accidents in Missouri, including one fatal wreck.

Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Al Nothum says a sport utility vehicle veered off of Interstate 55 near Festus, south of St. Louis, on Friday morning. The SUV struck a tree, killing the driver. No other information has been released, but Nothum says a slick roadway is the suspected cause.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

An attorney for a man sentenced to 25 years in prison for rape is arguing that a Missouri law allowing sexually violent predators to be indefinitely committed to mental institutions is unconstitutional.

The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday from attorneys for Jay Nelson and the state.

Nelson was convicted of rape in 1989. While in prison, he was accused of sexually assaulting female guards.

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Missouri's Republican House budget leader says without more cuts the state is expected to end the fiscal year about $40 million in the hole.

Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick told lawmakers Thursday the difference between how much money the state has and its obligations is a problem.

Former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon already cut more than $200 million in spending this fiscal year.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has said he plans more cuts, although he hasn't said how much or what he'll ax. Greitens took office Monday.

Missouri's new Republican governor has named a partner at a global management consulting firm as the state's chief operating officer.

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Pink Sherbert Photography / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Justice says Missouri counties are now eligible to receive federal funds for prescription drug monitoring programs to combat the opioid epidemic.

David Shane / Flickr

A Missouri House panel has voted to advance a right-to-work bill to bar mandatory union fees.

House Economic Development Committee members voted 8-4 in favor of the bill Wednesday.

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri's new Republican governor has named a partner at a global management consulting firm as the state's chief operating officer.

Gov. Eric Greitens announced at a Jefferson City steel manufacturing business Wednesday that he picked Drew Erdmann from McKinsey and Company for the job.

Greitens created the COO position through executive order. He didn't take questions from reporters.

Erdmann previously worked as the National Security Council's director for Iran, Iraq and strategic planning in 2005 under former Republican President George W. Bush.

pills
images_of_money / flickr

 

Some Republican lawmakers in Missouri are proposing to overhaul the state's Medicaid system without waiting for President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress to act first.

A Senate committee heard testimony today on a bill that would direct the state Department of Social Services to seek a "global waiver" from federal Medicaid requirements to remake the state's program.

Lea Aharonovitch / flickr

Missouri lawmakers have defeated an effort to ban smoking in state Capitol offices.

Smoking already is prohibited in Capitol hallways and legislative chambers. On Tuesday, a House rules committee heard testimony from several high school students and the Jefferson City Council urging legislators to ban smoking everywhere in the Capitol, including in offices.

But the panel's Republican majority struck down a proposed amendment to the House rules on a 9-4 party-line vote.

Granger Meador / flickr

Bagnell Dam and Osage Energy Center at Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks will get a $52 million upgrade starting this spring.

Ameren Missouri said Tuesday that new anchors and concrete will be installed on the downstream side of the dam that provides power to 42,000 homes.

Ameren officials say the last major structural update at Bagnell Dam was completed more than 30 years ago.

The new project is expected to take about 18 months. Ameren says the new anchors will help hold the dam to underlying bedrock, and more than 66 million pounds of new concrete will be added.

Missouri National Guard / flickr

Missouri's new Gov. Eric Greitens is putting a temporary freeze on new government regulations.

Greitens on Tuesday signed an executive order banning state agencies from creating new regulations through the end of February.

He said in a video announcement first released on Facebook that burdensome regulations hurt businesses.

St. Louis Arch
paparutzi / Flickr

An effort to target crime and improve life in 15 St. Louis neighborhoods is off to a slow start.

In December 2015 Mayor Francis Slay released a detailed plan to target 12 north St. Louis and three south side neighborhoods. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that halfway through the two-year plan, some aldermen are concerned about what they see as only limited progress.

The University of Missouri plans to be more aggressive in its approach to ticket sales after finalizing a contract with a sales solution company.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the university finalized Friday the contract with IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions, which will have a 13-person team serving as the school's outbound ticket sales unit.

The team will work on campus calling potential season-ticket buyers, and complement the university's ticket operations staff.

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Flickr / steakpinball

Missouri State University has agreed to pay $25,000 to a former student who sued after he was removed from a counseling program because he wouldn't counsel gay couples.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the settlement with Andrew Cash was final last month. The newspaper reported the details after submitting an open records request.

Cash sued the university in April, saying he was removed from the university's master's counseling program in 2014 after he said his religious beliefs prevented him from counseling gay couples.

David Shane / Flickr

Gov. Eric Greitens' inaugural festivities are being funded by some of the state's most prominent businesses.

Greitens has not revealed a cost for Monday's privately funded celebrations, but he has released a list of "benefactors" that have helped finance the events.

That list includes such businesses as Anheuser-Busch, Boeing, Enterprise, Express Scripts, General Motors, Monsanto and Wal-Mart.

Also on the list is the ride-share firm Uber, which is providing free rides to people in the Jefferson City area during the inaugural festivities.

David Shane / Flickr

Former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves is the new chairman of the Missouri Republican Party.

The Missouri Republican State Committee elected Graves on Saturday as the party's new statewide chief. Graves has served as western Missouri's top federal prosecutor and lately has been an attorney with the Kansas City, Missouri, law firm Graves Garrett.

Graves, who was endorsed by Gov.-elect Eric Greitens, succeeds John Hancock, who announced in November said that he will step down to return to political consulting.

A Kansas City group is seeking a required citywide vote before any streetcar expansion can occur.

The Kansas City Star reports that the group filed petition signatures with the city clerk's office Tuesday. The city attorney's office will review the petition.

Election authorities will see if the group meets the threshold of 1,708 valid signatures of registered voters to place a measure on a Kansas City ballot.

Adam Procter / flickr

Federal regulators have renewed the operating license for the University of Missouri's nuclear research reactor.

The university says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted a 20-year operating license to the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center, known as the MURR.

The reactor is used to create radioisotopes for medical use and to analyze artifacts.

The reactor began operating in 1966. Its infrastructure was updated before the university applyied for the operating license.

David Shane / Flickr

  Missouri's Republican Senate leader is casting doubt on a proposal by Republican Gov.-elect Eric Greitens on a waiting period before elected officials can lobby.

Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard told reporters Thursday that he doesn't support Greitens' call for a one-to-one waiting period.

Under that plan, elected officials would need to wait a year for every year served in office before lobbying.

Richard says that would allow a lawmaker to resign after one year, wait a year and then lobby. Richard called that "backwards."

David Shane / Flickr

  Missouri has spent more than $415,000 to buy and install new security equipment at the state Capitol.

Starting Tuesday, visitors will be required to pass through metal detectors at the Capitol. State employees who work in the building will be allowed to use electronic identification cards to enter through locked doors.

David Shane / Flickr

  Ridesharing company Uber will give free rides on Missouri's inauguration day in Jefferson City.

A statement from Uber provided to The Associated Press on Thursday says free rides through the app-based service are available from 7 a.m. Monday until 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Incoming Republican Gov. Eric Greitens and four other statewide elected officials will be sworn into office Monday. Celebrations include a Capitol ball.

Rides are free for those going to inaugural events.

David Shane / Flickr

Missouri lawmakers are kicking off the 2017 legislative session with flowers and a reading of the Bill of Rights.

Yesterday was the first day of session, which runs through mid-May.

Most House members wore red roses on their lapels, and senators wore orange boutonnieres. Ceremonies included listening to the National Anthem and a reading of the Bill of Rights.

Lawmakers were sworn in, and friends and family packed the chambers.

David Shane / Flickr

After meeting with investors in a proposed St. Louis soccer stadium, Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens still opposes spending state money for the project.

Senior adviser Austin Chambers said Greitens met yesterday in Jefferson City with members of the group SC STL.

The group is seeking to build a $200 million soccer stadium downtown in hopes of attracting a Major League Soccer expansion team.

The group wanted $40 million in state tax credits to help fund the project.

j.stephenconn / flickr

A Columbia state lawmaker will be Missouri Republican Gov.-elect Eric Greitens' deputy chief of staff.

Yesterday, Greitens announced he picked Republican Rep. Caleb Jones for the job. Jones will work alongside Greitens' pick for chief of staff, Michael Roche of Anheuser-Busch.

Greitens has never before held public office and says he'll pick outsiders to lead state government. Jones has served in the House since 2011 and will bring government experience to Greitens' administration.

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