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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is seeking a $50 million increase in basic aid to public schools.

The details of Nixon's school funding proposal are included in an email sent Wednesday to education groups in advance of his State of the State address. The Associated Press obtained a copy from one of those organizations.

Missouri schools are getting nearly $3.2 billion in basic aid this year. They would need an additional $482 million next year to be fully funded under state law.

The Justice Department is poised to declare that former police officer Darren Wilson should not face civil rights charges over the death of Michael Brown, law enforcement sources tell NPR. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was black, in August. Brown was not armed.

"Two law enforcement sources tell NPR they see no way forward to file criminal civil rights charges" against Wilson, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. She adds, "Those charges would require authorities to prove the officer used excessive force and violated Brown's constitutional rights."

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The 2015 legislative session is still less than a month old and legislators are figuring out what bills will be important this session and how to get those important pieces of legislation passed. 

KBIA

  The construction of the Avenue of the Columns streetscape along Eighth Street will move forward with an estimated $750,000 of city funding.

Columbia City Council voted to approve the project during their meeting on Tuesday, January 20. The project will mainly make improvements in the area of Eighth Street and Walnut, including removing the traffic light at that intersection and replacing sidewalks.

Joni Ernst, who in 2014 became the first woman elected to the Senate from Iowa, offered the Republican response to the State of the Union last night and introduced herself to the nation.

Delivering his sixth State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama faced a Congress that's now controlled by his Republican opponents. His speech included possible areas of cooperation — and a threat to use his veto power.

Tax proposals that would boost middle-class families were in the president's speech; so were calls for a new approach to immigration and a push for free education at community colleges.

Obama also called on Congress to pass a resolution to authorize using military force against the extremist group ISIS.

KBIA File Photo

Ferguson's first municipal election since a fatal police shooting sparked months of protests has drawn relatively little interest from prospective candidates as the filing deadline approaches.

Three of the St. Louis suburb's six City Council seats are up for election on April 7 and none of the three incumbents plans to seek re-election.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles says two of those council members decided not to run again well before 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot to death by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson in August.

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A Missouri Republican who supports Medicaid expansion will introduce a bill that would cover veterans and their families.

Missouri residents with incomes below the federal poverty level, or $19,530 for a family of three, do not qualify for Medicaid or for subsidies to buy health insurance through a federally run website.

Sen. Ryan Silvey, of Kansas City, says that group includes veterans' families. He plans to introduce a bill expanding Medicaid for veterans that fall in the coverage gap created by Missouri's decision not to expand the program.

In so many ways, Jan. 20, 2009, was a frightful day to be taking the oath of office.

The U.S. economy was in free fall as Barack Obama rose to deliver his inaugural address. "We are in the midst of crisis," he said. "Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered."

Exactly six years later, Obama is returning to Capitol Hill to deliver a State of the Union address at 9 p.m. EST. He is expected to highlight the economic progress that has been made since that frigid Day One — and call for more changes.

Even in the era of declining television audiences, President Obama's State of the Union address is still the biggest audience he'll have all year. Historically, seventh-year State of the Union speeches have a short shelf life. Every one of the five lame-duck presidents (that is, presidents constitutionally barred from running again — Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama) has had opposition congresses, making the prospects for passing major parts of the president's agenda slim to none.

Wellspring United Methodist Church in Ferguson hosted nine members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Sunday for a service commemorating Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The chair of the CBC, G.K. Butterfield, told the congregation that all 46 members of the caucus are committed to comprehensive criminal justice reform.

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Republicans will push this session to reinstate some lawsuit damage award caps the Missouri Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional. 

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Yves Tennevin

The French publication Charlie Hebdo has a long history of publishing controversial cartoons. But after an attack on its offices that left 10 staff and two police officers dead, news organizations are grappling with the ethics of reprinting those same cartoons. The graphic depictions may provide relevant context, yet are deeply offensive to many of the Muslim faith. Missouri School of Journalism professors Jamie Grey, Ryan Thomas and Amy Simons discuss the publication on KBIA-FM's media criticism program, "Views of the News."


Updated at 5:04 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide on gay marriage this term.

The justices said today they will review an appellate court's decision to uphold the ban on same-sex marriage in Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky. The four states are among 14 that ban same-sex marriage.

File Photo / KBIA

The Missouri House will require most bills to go through two committees before moving to the full chamber this year.

(Updated 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9, 2015)

Despite all the gains that Missouri Republicans made in last fall’s balloting, the state party appears headed for a showdown shortly over who should be its leader heading into the crucial 2016 elections.

Two St. Louisans – incumbent state GOP chairman Ed Martin and former party executive director John Hancock – are competing in an election to determine who gets Martin's job.

j.stephenconn / flickr

A Missouri House committee is suggesting lawmakers reject a pay increase for statewide elected officials in 2017.

It’s been more than a week since the deadly attack on the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. The remaining staff has put out its first edition, again with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed on the cover.  Who is republishing the cartoons? Who isn’t? Is it possible to give this story context without using it? From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Jamie Grey and Ryan Thomas: Views of the News.


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Police killings of unarmed residents in Missouri, New York and elsewhere have prompted an array of proposed policy changes as legislatures across the nation began their new sessions. 

Pity the poor guys who are trying to run for president while still serving as governors.

All the media attention this week went to former Govs. Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, because Romney suddenly decided to call in his chits and get back in the presidential conversation for 2016. Virtually every news organization in North America instantly got wide-eyed about it.

The first post-attack edition of Charlie Hebdo has sold out in France, just hours after it was released.

France 24 reports that people lined up in front of newsstands as they opened. The network adds:

via Flickr user Valentina Cala

It's been a week since the deadly attack on the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. The remaining staff has put out is first edition since the January 7, 2015 shooting that left 12 dead.  On its cover: another cartoon showing the image of the Prophet Mohammed.  What message are editors trying to send?

david_shane / Flickr

Members of a changed Missouri legislative committee will deal with concerns raised after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown.

Putting an end to the speculation, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says she won't run for governor in 2016.

The Missouri Democrat told KCUR's Steve Kraske she made the decision over the holidays with her family.

"At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself if the job you're thinking about going for is better than the one you have, and can you do more?" McCaskill says.

Wikimedia Commons / Loavesofbread

Several elected officials say some of Missouri's top leaders tried unsuccessfully to pressure Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson to resign after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

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Kristofor Husted / KBIA

A Missouri lawmaker wants to ban recipients of a federal food assistance program from using those benefits to buy energy drinks.

Democratic state Rep. Keith English of Florissant filed legislation recently to prevent Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funds from buying the drinks.

On his first day in his new job, freshly minted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., designated the Keystone XL pipeline bill as Senate Bill 1 --the first legislation introduced under his leadership.

That signaled more than just McConnell's own support for the bill. The prestige of being S-1 also conveys a sense of the priority and urgency Senate Republicans in general attach to the project, which would permit the pipeline to cross the U.S.-Canada border and carry crude oil from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf Coast.

(This post was last updated at 6:50 p.m. ET.)

A nationwide manhunt for the suspects of France's deadliest terrorist attack in more than 50 years ended in a hail of gunfire on Friday.

After hours of tension in two separate standoffs that shut down parts of the Paris metro area, the two main suspects in the attack on a satirical magazine and a man who took hostages at a kosher grocery are dead, President François Hollande said in a speech to the nation.

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File Photo / KBIA

Nearly 900,000 people who paid fines for red-light violations in Missouri can apply for partial refunds as part of a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed against American Traffic Solutions, which operated the cameras in 27 Missouri cities. The settlement is for violations between 2005 and November 2014.

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KBIA

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is asking lawmakers to cut dozens of filing fees to help the state attract new businesses.

On Thursday, Kander announced the fee cut as part of his agenda for the 2015 legislative session.

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