A new report shows that health insurance payments for autism-related treatments in Missouri rose by more than 50 percent last year.
The state insurance department says more than 2,500 people received treatment covered by insurance for autism spectrum disorders in 2012. Insurance claims for the services increased to $6.6 million from $4.3 million the previous year.
A Missouri law that took effect in January 2011 requires health insurance companies to cover certain autism treatments.
Missouri senators are preparing to debate legislation to revive an insolvent fund for disabled workers. The state's Second Injury Fund has a deficit of about $25 million that is expected to keep growing.
The fund provides compensation to people with previously existing disabilities who then suffer an additional work-related injury or illness. It's financed by a surcharge on workers' compensation insurance premiums. But the revenues haven't kept up with expenses.
A Missouri legislative committee is creating a new funding model for the state's public colleges and universities.
The Joint Committee on Education plans to release a detailed draft Monday at the state Capitol. The panel will accept public comment on the proposal until Feb. 11.
A recently approved state law requires development of a higher education funding formula similar to the one used for public school districts. Missouri now bases funding for colleges and universities largely on how much they've received in past years and how much money is available.
Singer Tony Orlando says this year's Christmas shows will be his last holiday season in Branson.
Orlando has been performing in the southwest Missouri entertainment resort for 20 years.
The Welk Resort Theatre says in a release that the 2013 "Tony Orlando's Great American Christmas" will be Orlando's last Christmas season as a Branson performer. The seasonal show will run from Nov. 5 to Nov. 30.
A Missouri Senate committee is set to review the state's numerous tax credit programs and their impact on the state budget.
The Senate Appropriations Committee scheduled a hearing Monday on tax credits before it takes up Gov. Jay Nixon's proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year.
The 61 tax credit programs currently offered by Missouri cost the state nearly $630 million in the latest fiscal year. Last week, the Senate approved another one, with an estimated yearly cost of $3 million, to attract amateur sporting events to the state.