JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republican senators have made it clear that there will be no Medicaid expansion in Missouri this session.
The Republican-led Senate voted down a Democratic attempt Monday night to insert $890 million of federal funds into Missouri's budget to expand Medicaid eligibility to an estimated 260,000 lower-income adults.
The vote was just the latest in a series of similar defeats in the Missouri Legislature for the Medicaid expansion backed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and called for under President Barack Obama's health care law.
But this vote carried a bit more weight. That's because it ensured that neither the Senate nor the House version of the budget includes the Medicaid expansion. Under legislative rules, negotiators cannot insert money into the final budget that wasn't in either chamber's plan.
The order was signed Monday by Republican Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey. It requires the department to produce documents to help determine whether the state is sharing people's personal information with the federal government or a private company.
Lawmakers began investigating after a southeast Missouri man filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit challenges the new requirement that documents such as birth certificates and concealed weapons endorsements be scanned into a state database when a person applies for a driver's license.
Revenue Department officials have denied during legislative hearings that personal information is being shared.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says in excerpts released ahead of his Republican response to Obama's State of the Union address that he hopes the president will "abandon his obsession with raising taxes" and try to grow the economy.
Rubio says the nation needs a balanced budget amendment to curb spending and says he won't support changes to Medicare that will hurt seniors like his mother.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, in excerpts from his tea party response, says Washington acts in a way that your family never could - spending money it doesn't have and borrowing from future generations.
One proposal considered by a Missouri Senate committee Tuesday would eliminate the "prevailing wage" altogether.
Missouri calculates the prevailing wage for various construction trades in each county based on surveys of wages already paid on jobs.
The measure's sponsor, Sen. Dan Brown, of Rolla, told the panel the current wage calculation does not adequately reflect construction wage rates in rural Missouri, thus driving up a project's cost.
Another bill would keep the prevailing wage intact, but would use a federal database to set the guidelines for projects in rural counties.
An 86-person committee was scheduled to meet Saturday in rural Van Buren to pick one of 10 potential candidates to run in the 8th District. Whoever gets the nod will immediately become the front-runner in a June 4 special in the Republican-leaning district. Democrats will pick their candidate next weekend.
The Missouri congressional seat is one of three vacant in the nation, but it's the only one where party leaders - not voters - are picking the candidates.
Emerson resigned Jan. 22 to lead a national association for rural electric cooperatives. Missouri's 8th District had been represented by either Emerson or her late husband since 1981.