JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have sustained the veto of legislation barring state or local officials from adopting policies infringing upon private property rights and traceable to Agenda 21.
Agenda 21 is a nonbinding resolution adopted in 1992 by the United Nations that encouraged sustainable development. Its title is a reference to the 21st century, and it encourages changes in global consumption, management and conservation practices.
Senators supported the override 24-6 on Wednesday. It fell short of the needed two-thirds majority in the House, where legislators supported the override 107-53.
Gov. Jay Nixon said the legislation would require a costly analysis by cities and governmental bodies to determine if a zoning ordinance can be traced to the resolution. Supporters say their concern is infringement of personal property rights without due process.
The Agenda 21 bill is SB 265.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Republican push to cut Missouri's income taxes faces resistance as lawmakers decide whether to override Gov. Jay Nixon's vetoes.
The Republican-led Legislature convenes Wednesday for a veto override session. The tax cut is the highest profile issue out of Nixon's 33 vetoes.
The legislation would phase-in hundreds of millions of dollars of income tax cuts for businesses and individuals. Republican legislative leaders say it would spur the economy and help Missouri compete against recent tax cuts in Kansas and other states.
But Nixon says the lost revenues could jeopardize education funding. And he says a drafting error would impose sales taxes on prescription drugs.
A veto override requires a two-thirds majority in both chambers. Supporters may fall short in the House, because several Republicans plan to vote "no."
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - An environmental group is heading to court in another attempt to overturn the way Missouri officials have implemented a 2008 ballot initiative about renewable energy.
The initiative requires investor-owned utilities to tap renewable energy sources for at least 5 percent of their electricity by 2014, with that amount gradually rising to 15 percent by 2021.
In 2011, the Legislature blocked part of an administrative rule that would have required the electricity from renewable energy sources to be produced or sold in Missouri. The result is that utilities have been able to purchase credits for renewable energy produced by others.
A lawsuit filed this past week on behalf of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment challenges the legal basis for the Legislature's action.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Some Republicans in the Missouri House say a veto override appears likely for a high-profile gun bill, but the odds remain uncertain for a tax-cutting measure after a meeting of GOP lawmakers.
House Republicans who attended a private weekend caucus said Monday that there was a lot of discussion about the income tax cut vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. T.J. Berry of Kearney, says he feels more optimistic about the prospects of an override. But the meeting may not have changed too many minds. Rep. Don Phillips, of Kimberling City, says he still plans to vote "no."
Rep. Doug Funderburk, of St. Peters, says his bill attempting to nullify some federal gun-control laws received little Republican opposition and appears poised for a veto override.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Online retailer Amazon is severing ties with its online associates in Missouri because of a new state sales tax law.
Amazon Associates are people who write blogs or product reviews then link to Amazon.com. They collect commissions if people use their link to buy at Amazon.
The Kansas City Star reports that Amazon blames its decision to sever ties with its Missouri associates on a new state new law that takes effect this month subjecting those transactions to sales taxes. The retailer says it will no longer pay advertising fees for customers referred to an Amazon site after Aug. 27.
Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, a Kanas City Democrat, says lawmakers didn't hear from Amazon when the bill was under debate in the Legislature.
Call it the tale of two hearings.
Missouri Senate and House committees each held hearings Wednesday on the state's Medicaid program. Each focused on different perspectives.
At the House hearing in St. Louis, most testified in favor of expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. But at the Senate hearing in Jefferson City, the stress was on the need to overhaul the system first -- by finding ways to reduce costs and improve care.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri's 8.5-billion dollar Medicaid program currently serves 875-thousand low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children. Expansion would add about 260-thousand low-income, working people.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's Republican-led Legislature put a priority on cutting taxes this year. But the same lawmakers who passed a $700 million income tax cut also approved numerous little-known fee increases.
One of those measures could increase fees on driver's licenses and vehicle registrations, costing Missourians almost $22 million annually.
Another bill would impose fees on mailed-in speeding traffic tickets, affecting an estimated 170,000 cases annually.
Missourians could pay more to get copies of their own medical records or court transcripts. Businesses could get charged more for certain Agriculture Department services. And court fees could rise in some places.
Although fees and taxes both take money from people, many Republican lawmakers have drawn a philosophical distinction. They say taxes are applied generally, and fees are charged only for specific services.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are down to their final day to pass legislation before their annual session ends.
Legislators face a mandatory quitting time of 6 p.m. Friday. Several significant issues remain unresolved with fading prospects, including an overhaul of the state's tax credit programs and a proposed transportation sales tax that would go on the 2014 ballot.
The Republican-led Legislature already has passed several other priority measures. Those include an income tax cut projected to eventually reduce state revenues by about $700 million; several pro-gun measures; and changes to state labor laws and workers' compensation claims.
The Legislature defeated a Medicaid expansion for lower-income adults that had been a priority of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has rejected tough new evaluation standards for school principals and administrators.
The House voted 82-76 to defeat the measure Wednesday, one of Republican House Speaker Tim Jones' top education priorities.
This marks the second defeat of legislation to impose evaluations based largely on student achievement. Previous versions of the bill would have subjected teachers to the evaluation standards, but that provision was removed from this bill in an effort to pass the measure.
The evaluations would have started in the 2014-15 academic year and would've included multiple measures and be conducted at least annually. School personnel would have been classified on a four-point scale ranging from highly effective to ineffective.
It looks like the last of the safeguards Missouri legislators had initially placed on casinos could soon be tossed out.
A bill now before the Senate would let the state’s 13 casinos issue short-term loans to gamblers, secured by the gamblers' bank accounts. The measure easily won approval in the state house last month.
Casino executives say they need to be able to provide credit in order to attract high-end gamers who don't want to carry large amounts of cash.
The measure would repeal the last of the safeguards that were in the original state law voters passed in 1992 when they legalized riverboat gambling. The rule requiring riverboat casinos to actually be on a boat on a river, and $500 loss limits have already been repealed.