A legislative panel studying a possible merger of St. Louis city and county governments is meeting in Clayton to hear public testimony on the idea.
The Joint Interim Committee on St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area Governance and Taxation has a more straightforward mandate than its wordy name: help Missouri lawmakers determine whether combining the two governments into one makes fiscal and political sense.
The city of St. Louis acts as its own county. Merger proponents say a union could save taxpayers money and reduce government duplication.
Wednesday's hearing at the St. Louis County Council chambers in Clayton was scheduled to last more than five hours and consist entirely of public testimony.