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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A key Illinois House committee has advanced legislation to add five new casinos and scores of slot machines. But the sponsor is working on rewriting language on tax rates and oversight of a Chicago casino before the full House takes a vote.

Governor Pat Quinn has vetoed two earlier measures to expand gambling.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed a nearly $25 billion budget that would fund modest increases for public education but not the Medicaid expansion sought by Gov. Jay Nixon.

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House approval of the budget Thursday sends it to the Senate, where more changes are likely.

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The 2014 budget plan would provide a roughly 2 percent increase in basic aid for public K-12 schools, colleges and universities. But school funding would still fall $620 million short of what's called for under a state formula.

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Missouri's Tourism Division would get one of the largest percentage increases in the budget - from nearly $14 million this year to almost $20 million next year.

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The budget leaves out more than $900 million of federal funds that Nixon had recommended for a Medicaid expansion.

 

Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House members have approved legislation that would require simplified report cards for schools.

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.
Published in Local News
Illinois lawmakers are pushing forward with a measure that would repeal the state's ban on same sex marriage.

The State House Executive Committee voted 6-5 late Tuesday to move the measure to the floor, where passage is considered likely.

Advocates say the bill would help eliminate discrimination against children of homosexual couples. But opponents say this measure steps on people's religious freedoms. They argue lawmakers don't have the right to redefine marriage.

The bill was approved by the Senate on Valentine's Day. A House OK would send the matter to Governor Pat Quinn, who says he'll sign it. 
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee has adopted a measure requiring voters to show photo identification before casting ballots.

The House Elections Committee approved a state constitutional amendment that would ask voters whether to allow the photo ID requirement. The committee also approved a separate bill that would implement the photo identification requirement.

The vote was along party lines, with Republicans saying the photo ID requirement would increases transparency and reduce voter fraud. Democrats said there are no reports of voter impersonation and that the plan could disenfranchise voters.

Currently when Missourians vote, they can show a photo ID or other means of identification such as utility bills or bank statements.

Both measures head to the House Rules Committee for further consideration.
Published in Local News

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