Figures released Monday by the state Office of Administration show Missouri's finances have improved mainly because of a decline in tax refunds and an increase in individual income tax collections.
Through February, net general revenues were up 8.7 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. The total includes a 5.5 percent increase in individual income taxes and a 16.5 percent decline in tax refunds. Sales tax collections have remained relatively flat for the fiscal year.
Missouri's 2013 budget year began last July and runs through the end of this June.
Tax collections in February alone were virtually unchanged from February 2012. But for the entire fiscal year, collections were up $394 million.
< The Springfield News-Leader reports the child, Harmony Blue, was in the car with an older child when the car was taken from a store parking lot Saturday afternoon. Police say the children's father left them and the keys in the car while he was in a store and briefly chased after the car on foot.
The older child was dropped off nearby and recovered by police.
Springfield police Lt. Brian Phillips says the young girl was reunited with her family Saturday evening and the car was recovered, but he declined to release details.
There was no arrest reported.
Ralls County and state investigators say three fires over the past four months at vacant homes in Saverton were intentionally set by youngsters. The Hannibal Courier-Post reports that the names and ages of the suspects, and the number of them, were not released.
The matter has been turned over to juvenile authorities.
Saverton is an unincorporated town of about 75 residents near Hannibal and about 100 miles north of St. Louis.
The report cards would include scores on state performance measures with a translation into a letter grade for the individual standards and their components. The report cards would apply to public schools and charter schools with classes beyond second grade. They would be available starting December 2014.
Principals could provide up to 250 words of context or background on the scores. Schools that receive an overall score of less than 70 percent would need to submit a plan to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education explaining what will be done to improve.
The House passed the measure 128-23 on Thursday. It now goes to the Senate.
The bipartisan commission released its recommendations Thursday for overhauling Missouri's voting laws.
Missouri now allows people to vote by mail only if they meet certain conditions, such as a disability or absence from their district on election day. The commission says voters should be allowed to mail their ballots without such restrictions.
It also recommends requiring all local election authorities to establish one location where voters can cast ballots in-person beginning six weeks before election day. For presidential elections, highly-populated areas would be required to establish an additional polling place for early voting.
The 11-member commission is made up of local election authorities, attorneys and former lawmakers.
The Senate's 27-7 vote Thursday sends the bill to the House, where it already faces some opposition.
House Speaker Tim Jones has said senators "over-reached" by significantly lowering the amount of tax credits available for the construction of low-income housing and the renovation of historic buildings. But Jones likes provisions in the Senate bill that create new tax credits for air cargo exports, computer data centers and investors in high-tech, start-up businesses.
Gov. Jay Nixon praised the bill Thursday for containing "long-overdue reforms" to tax credits.
A similar proposal to overhaul Missouri's tax credits failed during a 2011 special session.
A state Senate committee heard testimony Tuesday on a bill that would bar school personnel from asking students whether their parents or guardians own guns. Violators could face a $200 fine.
The bill would also bar medical professionals from putting information about a patient's firearm into a medical record unless it relates to the patient's immediate medical care or safety.
That language was added by Republican Sen. Brian Nieves, of Washington. He says the bill would prevent inappropriate questions about firearm ownership.
But Republican Sen. Rob Schaaf, a physician from St. Joseph, said there shouldn't be limits on what doctors can insert in medical records.
The case was scheduled to be heard Wednesday. But the court agreed to move it to March 5 because of this week's snowstorm.
The school transfer case was filed by families who were paying to send their children to public schools in suburban Clayton when St. Louis lost accreditation in 2007. They argued St. Louis should pick up the tab.
But the St. Louis district is no longer subject to the law after regaining provisional accreditation last year. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has argued that the change in St. Louis' accreditation status makes the case largely moot.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - About 30,000 people in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas woke up without power as heavy, wet snow hitting the region downed power lines.
Kansas City Power & Light reported at 6 a.m. Tuesday that just over 25,000 customers were without power. The outages stretched throughout the utility's service area from Emporia, Kan., to Sedalia, Mo., but the highest number of outages was in the Kansas City metro area.
BPU, which provides service in Wyandotte County on the Kansas side of the metro area was reporting about 7,600 customers without service. Westar Energy reported 8,900 outages throughout its Kansas region, which includes pockets near Kansas City. Westar's highest number of outages early Tuesday was in Greenwood and Douglas counties, which includes the Wichita area.