ST. LOUIS (AP) — Todd Akin isn't ruling out a political comeback, nearly six months after losing Missouri's U.S. Senate race amid widespread criticism of his comments about "legitimate rape."
Akin recently spoke to KSDK-TV in his first interview since losing the November election to Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill. He said he's ready for a comeback, but hasn't decided if that will be in academia, public speaking, or even politics.
The 65-year-old Republican was a 12-year congressman from suburban St. Louis who won a tough Senate primary in August. His campaign took a hit after he remarked in a TV interview that women's bodies have ways of avoiding pregnancy from what he called "legitimate rape."
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Several hundred gun-rights advocates rallied at the state Capitol as the Missouri House voted to allow certain school personnel to carry concealed weapons in school buildings.
The House voted 115-41 to send the measure to the Senate Thursday.
The Missouri Sports Shooter Association held a previously scheduled rally in the Capitol rotunda while the House was debating the bill. Many lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, spoke at the event and promised to continue to push for more gun rights.
The House bill would also lower the minimum age required to carry concealed weapons and allow firearms less than 16 inches to be openly carried by people with valid permits.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Parents could give up newborn babies without legal consequences 45 days after birth under a bill given first-round approval by the Missouri Senate.
The measure endorsed Tuesday increases parents' "safe harbor" period from the current five-day window.
Parents of newborns can currently hand over a baby to medical professionals, firefighters, emergency medical technicians or law enforcement. The legislation would add pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes to that list.
Sponsoring Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Republican from Kansas City, says his measure would help protect children from being abused or neglected by parents unfit to care for their child.
His bill also includes a provision requiring students attending a public university to be vaccinated for meningitis if they live in on-campus housing and do not have religious objections.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House members have passed legislation that would require mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect to report suspicions directly to the state's Children's Division.
Currently, mandated reporters such as doctors, social workers and teachers must either report or "cause a report to be made" to the Children's Division when they suspect child abuse or neglect.
Supporters of the House legislation say that allows a mandated reporter to submit information to another person in his or her organization, who then decides whether to notify authorities.
The House legislation passed 150-0 and now will be considered by the Senate.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan raised more than $800,000 in political funds compared to $565,000 for Gov. Pat Quinn in the first three months of the year.
Madigan is a potential Democratic primary challenger to Quinn. Madigan says she has not yet decided whether to take on the governor next spring.
Campaign finance reports filed with the state Elections Board show Madigan spent $77,000 during the first quarter and had $4.4 million in the bank on April 1. Quinn spent $119,000 and had $1.5 million on hand.
Among possible Republican candidates, businessman Bruce Rauner's (ROW'-nerz) exploratory committee raised more than $1 million and already has taken in $91,000 in large donations since April 1.
GOP Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROO'-ther-ferd) raised $300,000 and had $740,000 in the bank.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has more than $400,000 in the bank as he makes plans for a 2016 gubernatorial race.
Koster filed a quarterly finance report Monday indicating he had $419,348 in his account as of the end of March. The Democratic attorney general confirmed last week that he is "making the necessary preparations" to run for governor.
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is barred by Missouri law from seeking a third term. But Nixon still was raising and spending money in recent months, partly to pay for his inaugural celebration. He reported $427,531 in his campaign account at the end of March.
Republican State Auditor Tom Schweich (shwyk) is the only statewide official facing re-election in 2014. He has yet to start fundraising but reported $71,931 in his account.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says he is making preparations to run for governor in 2016.
Koster, a Democrat, has served as attorney general since 2009 and previously was a state senator and local prosecutor. He has the potential to move up because Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is prohibited by term limits from seeking re-election again.
Asked Tuesday by The Associated Press whether he will run for governor in 2016, Koster replied: "We are making the necessary preparations and building consensus around the state toward that end."
Koster's statement came a day after the campaign manager for Democratic State Treasurer Clint Zweifel said that Zweifel will not run for governor in 2016. He cited Zweifel's desire to spend time with his teenage daughters and avoid a contentious primary.
CHICAGO (AP) - Up and down the state, Illinois voters are electing mayors, highway commissioners and filling school boards and fire protection districts.
Tuesday's turnout is expected to be low. And it won't be helped by rain in some parts of Illinois or by the many races in which candidates are running unopposed. Still, a number of communities do have real contests, including West Chicago, where three candidates are running for mayor.
The race to replace former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has received the most attention in the Chicago area.
Voters in some places will be asked to do more than elect candidates, including Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall and Fulton Counties, where voters will decide if they want to add a 1 percent sales tax to fund school facilities improvements.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A sweeping anti-abortion bill is headed to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
The House gave final approval Friday to the measure, which blocks tax breaks for abortion providers and outlaws abortions performed solely because of the baby's sex.
The measure also declares that life begins "at fertilization," language that abortion opponents call a statement of principle and not an outright ban on abortion, though the bill's opponents are skeptical.
Brownback is likely to sign the bill into law.
Abortion opponents argue the bill lessens the state's entanglement with terminating pregnancies. Abortion-rights advocates say it threatens access to abortion services.
The bill also prohibits abortion providers from being involved in public school sex education classes and spells out in greater detail what information doctors must provide to patients before performing abortions.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Confronting bipartisan criticism, President Barack Obama is conceding that his proposed budget is not his "ideal plan." But he says it offers "tough reforms" to the nation's benefit programs while closing loopholes for the wealthy.
Obama argues his approach will provide long-term deficit reduction without harming the economy.
In his first comments about a budget he is to release next week, Obama says he intends to reduce deficits while providing new spending for public works projects, early education and job training.
Obama says in his weekly radio and Internet address that he's willing to compromise to move beyond what he calls "a cycle of short-term, crisis-driven decision-making."
In the Republican address, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says that ideas for fixing the federal government are coming from the states.