JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - With time running out on the legislative session, The Missouri Bar and state lawmakers are acknowledging that an overhaul of the state's criminal laws won't cross the finish line.
But that group pledged on Wednesday to push for the criminal code revision next year when lawmakers have more time.
The measure is the product of a Missouri Bar committee charged with updating the criminal code for the first time since 1979. It would create new classes of felonies and misdemeanors and give judges more flexibility in sentencing.
Democratic Sen. Jolie Justus, of Kansas City, is one of the overhaul's sponsors. She says time ran out to pass the 1,000-page bill this year.
Missouri lawmakers end their annual session at 6 p.m. Friday.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri Senate panel had endorsed a new funding source for a program that serves developmentally disabled children.
A Senate health committee amended a bill Monday to create a $55 million state fund from general revenues to be used for services to the disabled and low-income seniors.
The bill is intended to ensure there is no drop in funding for the First Steps program for disabled preschoolers, nor for several other initiatives.
Last week, the Legislature voted to fund First Steps and those other initiatives with revenues from the repeal of a tax break for low-income seniors and disabled people who live in rental housing. But Gov. Jay Nixon has said he is likely to veto that tax-credit repeal if it is not part of a broad-based tax credit overhaul.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have prepared a budget that could force Gov. Jay Nixon to choose between developmentally disabled children and low-income seniors.
The nearly $25 billion operating budget being considered Thursday by lawmakers assumes more than $55 million of savings from the elimination of a tax break for low-income seniors and disabled residents who live in rental housing.
The budget would spend that money on early childhood programs for the developmentally disabled, health care for the blind and medical clinics that treat low-income people.
Nixon has said he would veto a repeal of the renters tax break unless it's part of a broader tax-credit overhaul. But if he does, then the early childhood programs and health care initiatives would lose money.
Lawmakers hope that will compel Nixon to accept the plan.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have until Friday to finalize the state's roughly $25 billion operating budget.
The House and Senate have each passed their own budget and now must hammer out an agreement on the spending plan that will take effect July 1. Budget negotiators were scheduled to begin formal talks Monday, but delayed that until Tuesday.
The House and Senate must reconcile differences on higher education funding and whether to keep intact cuts made to state agencies over concerns about the new drivers' license procedures.
One item not up for debate this week is Gov. Jay Nixon's plan to draw down nearly $1 billion from the federal government to expand Medicaid coverage for about 260,000 adults. Neither the House nor Senate included the federal money in their budget proposals.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Amid the risk of losing millions of dollars in federal transportation funding, Missouri lawmakers are considering changes to rules for commercial driver's licenses.
State House members this week gave initial approval to legislation that seeks to comply with federal regulations dealing with learning permits for commercial driver's licenses and with restrictions on texting and using hand-held cellphones while driving a commercial vehicle.
The Missouri Transportation Department says the state could lose $30 million for one year and $60 million annually after that if it doesn't act quickly enough.
The legislation needs another round of approval in the House before it can move to the Senate. Lawmakers have until their mandatory adjournment on May 17 to approve new legislation.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri senators are considering a measure to impose tough attendance requirements for students receiving state-sponsored scholarships.
Sponsoring Republican Sen. David Pearce, of Warrensburg, says the bill is designed to help students finish their degrees on time. It would require them to take a defined number of credit hours per semester to remain eligible for aid.
The Bright Flight, Access Missouri and the A+ Schools Program would be affected.
The measure has already won first-round approval and is expected to be sent to the House this week.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri social service officials have told a House panel the state could save $28 million annually by moving people from welfare programs onto federal disability payments.
The Republican-led committee is investigating a contract that pays Boston-based Public Consulting Group $2,300 for every Missouri resident moved onto disability payments.
Officials with the Department of Social Services told the panel Monday the contracts saves money for the state and assigns people to the appropriate program.
People on welfare are required to engage in job-seeking activities. Committee Chairman Rep. Jay Barnes, of Jefferson City, says people receiving disability payments are unlikely to seek work because it would negatively affect their federal benefits. Barnes called for the hearing in early April.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Newly obtained records show that Missouri senators were informed two years ago about a new driver's license system but were not briefed about one of its most controversial aspects.
Republicans have complained about the new system in which applicants' personal documents, such as birth certificates and concealed weapons endorsements, are scanned and retained in a state computer system.
Audio records reviewed by The Associated Press show that members of the Senate Appropriations Committee were briefed in 2011 about the new licensing procedures but were never told that applicants' documents would be scanned and retained in a state database.
Republican lawmakers have accused the department of sharing that information with the federal government or a private company. Revenue Department officials have denied that charge in legislative committee hearings.
The report cards would include scores on state performance measures with a translation into a letter grade for the individual standards and their components. The report cards would apply to public schools and charter schools with classes beyond second grade. They would be available starting December 2014.
Principals could provide up to 250 words of context or background on the scores. Schools that receive an overall score of less than 70 percent would need to submit a plan to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education explaining what will be done to improve.
The House passed the measure 128-23 on Thursday. It now goes to the Senate.
Roorda says he was "inspired" by the GOP approach to protecting gun rights and he wants to do the same for unions. Rep. Mike Leara, of St. Louis County, is sponsoring the bill banning gun-control legislation.
Both measures would give lawmakers prison terms of up to four years for proposing gun restrictions or anti-union bills.
The Republican-led Legislature is currently working on proposals to curb collective bargaining by limiting the ability of unions to collect fees from employees' paychecks.