JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have sent Gov. Jay Nixon a bill that would require public employee unions to get annual consent from their members to deduct fees automatically from paychecks.
The House passed the measure 85-69 on Monday. It passed the Senate earlier this year.
The legislation would also require public employee unions to get annual consent from members to spend a portion of their fees on political activities.
Organizations representing "first responders," such as police and firefighters, would be exempted from the measure.
Supporters say the measure gives public workers more control over how their union fees spent. Opponents argue it makes it harder for unions to participate in the political process.
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A 21-year-old St. Louis County woman faces sentencing in July after pleading guilty to child endangerment for placing her newborn baby under a tree in a stranger's yard.
KSDK-TV reports that Kaitlin Norton pleaded guilty in St. Louis Circuit Court. She was arrested last year, days after the child was found outside of a home in Ellisville.
A woman looked out her window and saw a bundle in a blanket, thinking at first it might be a litter of puppies. It was Norton's child. Norton had given birth to the baby in the basement of her boyfriend's home.
Norton turned herself in after she was treated at a hospital following the birth.
MoDOT starts work Tuesday that will close a lane on 370 and 70 for up to a month.
Crews will close left lane of westbound Route 370 between the Salt River Road exit and westbound I-70 on May 14. Then on Wednesday crews will close the left lane of eastbound Route 370 from eastbound I-70 to just east of the north outer road flyover.
The lane closures are expected to last for about a month as part of the Mid Rivers Mall Drive project.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Eleven Illinois counties will get some federal money to recover from the flooding in the state that occurred in late April and early May.
In a news release, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced the White House has made federal funds available to supplement state and local recovery efforts. The assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs that help businesses and home owners.
The federal aid will be shared by Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry and Will counties. And other areas might also receive assistance if the state requests it and further damage assessments reveal it is warranted.
For further information, contact http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
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.
The Supreme Court unanimously agreed with Monsanto, that and elderly Indiana farmer infringed on the company's patent.
The high court ruled that 75-year-old Vernon Bowman illegally used some of the biotech company's Roundup-resistant soybeans to grow a new crop. Bowman argued that he bought the seeds through a third party. He said the company had abandoned their patent-protected seeds by allowing them to be mixed-in with non-patented seeds.
Experts say this is a victory for inventors who create self-replicating products--like computer software. the ruling will protect their intellectual property. Still, consumers could end up paying higher food prices--farmers will pass on the higher cost of Monsanto's seeds to customers.
Residents and environmental groups are voicing their concern over the continuing stench coming from the Bridgeton Landfill.
Homeowners within the so-called stink radius say the problem is only getting worse and they worry about the possible hazards. Meanwhile, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a law suit against Republic Services, the owners of the Landfill, saying they violated environmental law. Now the owners are offering hundreds of households the option of relocating to a hotel as the work continues. Darlene Martin has lived in the area for 33-years and she doesn't see that changing anytime soon.
"For years we've been trying to sell our house. That's what I want personally is to get out of there. And what are the chances now? I have no chance of selling the house now."
Work at the landfill is scheduled to resume May 20th. A first hearing against Republic Services is scheduled for Monday afternoon.
The man accused of setting the Randolph County house fire that killed four children has pleaded not guilty.
33-year-old Derrick Twardoski is facing murder charges after allegedly setting the fire that killed 12-year-old Ethan Owen, 9-year-old Kailey Owen, and five-year-old twins Brandon and Landon Owen in Percy, a village 60 miles southeast of St. Louis. A judge ordered him jailed without bond and assigned him to be represented by a public defender. State's Attorney Jeremy Walker says he doesn't consider the fire random, though he's declined to detail what led investigators to Twardoski or any relationship he may have had with the victims.
Randolph County Coroner Randy Dudenbostel has confirmed that all four died of smoke inhalation.
Funeral services for the children will be Tuesday at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Steelville, Illinois.
Donation are being accepted at the church to help the family with their expenses.
The funeral service for the Owen children has been planned. It will be held Tuesday, May 14, at 2:00pm at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Steeleville, IL, with visitation Monday evening from 4:00pm until 8:00pm and again Tuesday from 7:30am until 1:45pm also at the church.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Exactly how much the soggy spring has slowed farmers' efforts to plant their corn will become a bit clearer.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday was to issue its latest update on spring plantings.
A week ago, the USDA reported that just 12 percent of the nation's cornfields have been planted. That's about a quarter of what was planted by this date over the previous five years, and it marks the slowest start in decades in some states.
In Illinois, only 7 percent of the Illinois corn crop was sown.
Yet USDA estimates that while the wet start is expected to reduce the amount each acre produces this year, farmers are planting so much corn that they're still likely to bring in a record amount.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Six federal marshals are being recognized for bravery related to a 2011 St. Louis gunfight that killed one of their own from Illinois and a drug suspect they were looking to arrest.
Federal lawmakers from Missouri and Illinois were expected to attend Monday's ceremony in St. Louis honoring the law enforcers with the Congressional Badge of Bravery.
Fugitive Carlos Boles was shot and killed in March 2011 in his St. Louis home where law enforcers were trying to arrest him on drug and assault charges. Also killed was John Perry, a 48-year-old Illinois native who'd been with the U.S. Marshals Service for nearly 10 years.
Two other law enforcers were wounded.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois says Monday's honorees rescued the wounded colleagues without regard for their own safety.