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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - People who fraudulently sign petitions for ballot initiatives could face stiffer penalties under legislation passed by the Missouri Senate.

 

Senators voted 30-3 Thursday for a bill that would make petition signature fraud a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of between $1,000 and $25,000.

 

Violators currently can face a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

 

The legislation now goes to the House.

 

The proposed criminal charges also could cover petition circulators who use trickery to obtain signatures or who knowingly submit forms with false signatures.

 

Charges also could be filed against those who hire petition circulators and should have known that the circulators were committing fraud.

 

Thursday, 04 April 2013 12:35
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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has passed a proposed change to the state's Constitution designed to strengthen gun rights.

   The amendment would declare gun rights "unalienable" and compel elected officials in Missouri to defend against any infringement on the right to bear arms. It would also allow people to use firearms in defense of their families.

   Senators voted 29-2 Thursday to send the measure to the House. It is sponsored by Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer, of Columbia. Missouri voters would need to sign off on the constitutional change if the measure passes the House.

   The gun amendment is SJR14

 
Thursday, 04 April 2013 11:32
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   St. Louis County’s Workforce Development director says he resigned under pressure after he extended a business trip for two days to attend President Barack Obama’s inauguration.  

   Gene Gordon had attended the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in January.  He stayed in Washington an extra three nights to attend the inaugural ceremony on Jan. 21.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Gordon initially included the additional cost on his county expense report, but by February 7th had charged the additional hotel costs to his own credit card.  He also gave the county a check to cover additional cab and airfare.  

   Gordon told the paper he quit after objections were raised over his handling of the expenses because he didn't want to "get political."

Thursday, 04 April 2013 10:50
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   Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., 45 years ago, on April 4, 1968.

   His death shocked a country rocked by riots, civil discord, and a controversial war.  It sparked nationwide protests, a two-month manhunt and an outpouring of grief for the slain civil rights leader who continues to stand for equal rights, peaceful protests and justice for all.

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