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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A state judge has been asked to put an immediate halt to Missouri's acceptance of joint tax returns from gay couples who got married legally in other states.
The request for a temporary restraining order was filed Wednesday in Cole County Circuit Court.
 
It's part of an ongoing lawsuit brought by several Missouri residents, including officials from the Missouri Baptist Convention. They're challenging a decision by Governor Jay Nixon's administration to accept combined tax returns from legally married same-sex couples.
 
The lawsuit contends Nixon's policy change violates a Missouri constitutional provision recognizing marriage only between a man and a woman.
 
Nixon has noted that Missouri's tax code is tied to the federal code, and that federal officials are now accepting joint tax returns from married same-sex couples.
 
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missourians could lose welfare benefits if they go too long without using them in the state under legislation advanced by the House.
The House gave the measure first-round approval Wednesday. It needs a second vote before moving to the state Senate.
 
Recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families would be warned of possible suspensions if they go 60 days without using their electronic benefit card in Missouri.
The Department of Social Services would suspend accounts if benefits went unused in Missouri after 90 days. State officials would investigate whether a recipient is a Missouri resident.
 
 A state audit in December identified 366 cases in which recipients used $461,000 of benefits exclusively out of state for at least three months.
 
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House members have endorsed a bill that attempts to resist proposed federal regulations of wood-burning stoves.
The legislation received initial approval Wednesday. It would prohibit the state Department of Natural Resources from implementing regulations on wood-burning heaters without specific approval from the Legislature.
 
It's prompted by a proposed rule change by the Environmental Protection Agency that would give manufacturers five years to meet tougher standards that would reduce emissions from wood stoves by an estimated 80 percent.
Some manufacturers contend it would drive up the costs and could put them out of business.
 
Supporters of the Missouri legislation hope to prevent state regulators from helping to implement the proposed EPA regulations. The bill needs another House vote to move to the Senate.

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