The Latest: Missouri Senate grinds to halt in final hours

The Latest: Missouri Senate grinds to halt in final hours

 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo./May 12, 2017 (AP) (StlRealEstate.News) — The Latest on developments in the Missouri Legislature, which is scheduled to end its annual session at 6 p.m. Friday (all times local):

1:25 p.m.

The Missouri House has struck down a bill that would’ve provided buyouts for homeowners living near a St. Louis-area Superfund site, prompting a shutdown of work in the Senate on the final day of session.

The bill that failed Friday would’ve allowed residents to apply for the state to purchase homes found uninhabitable due to contamination.

The measure is aimed at homes near Bridgeton Landfill and adjacent West Lake Landfill, where Cold War-era nuclear waste was buried in the 1970s.

The proposal is a priority of University City Democrat Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who launched a filibuster in response to its failure with less than five hours left before the 6 p.m. Friday deadline to pass bills.

The Environmental Protection Agency has previously said that despite radioactive waste and an underground fire at Bridgeton Landfill, there’s no increased risk for neighboring residents.

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12:50 p.m.

Missouri lawmakers have passed a bill aimed at cracking down on some immigrants who return to the country after being deported.

Legislators voted Friday to send the bill to Republican Gov. Eric Greitens. If signed, deported immigrants who come back and commit assaults or dangerous felony offenses would face three to 10 years in prison.

It doesn’t apply to crimes of marijuana possession, stealing and white-collar crimes such as embezzlement.

Republican sponsor Sen. Mike Cunningham has said the intent is to crack down on criminals. He’s said workers who overstay and people who come to visit family are not the intended targets.

But the measure was met with resistance by some Democrats and advocates for immigrants, who have argued it could deter immigrants from coming to the state and contributing to the economy.

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12:10 p.m.

Restaurants, summer camps and sports arenas could keep emergency allergy treatment on hand under legislation passed by the Missouri Legislature.

Lawmakers voted to send the bill to Republican Gov. Eric Greitens on Friday, the deadline of the annual session.

If signed into law, businesses and organizations where there are allergens such as bees or certain foods could get prescriptions for epinephrine.

The legislation also would expand a trial program aimed at managing prescriptions of some Missouri Medicaid patients.

The program would seek to connect doctors and pharmacists who serve patients with multiple prescriptions. The aim is to prevent drug interactions, avoid duplicate scripts for the same medicine and ensure patients take medications as prescribed.

Legislative researchers estimate expanding the program will save the state about $11 million annually.

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11:50 a.m.

Missouri lawmakers have passed legislation to raise penalties for crimes against police and create a “Blue Alert” notification system about suspects who assault law officers.

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Legislators gave the measure a final vote of approval Friday, the deadline to send bills to Gov. Eric Greitens.

Greitens called for the provisions outlined in the legislation before taking office in January. He says they’re needed to show support for law enforcement officials.

The Blue Alert system would be similar to Amber Alerts for missing children. The public would be notified when those suspected of injuring law enforcement are at large.

The bill calls for tougher penalties for involuntary manslaughter, stalking, property damage and trespassing if the victim was intentionally targeted as a police officer or for being related to a law enforcement officer.

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10:05 a.m.

The sponsor of a proposal to ban lobbyist gifts to Missouri elected officials says there’s no way the bill will pass before lawmakers’ Friday evening deadline.

Hermann Republican Rep. Justin Alferman told The Associated Press that he doesn’t believe the legislation will pass by the 6 p.m. end of the annual session.

Some legislators for years have tried and failed to ban lobbyist gifts to themselves and other elected officials.

The latest online records show lobbyists have given legislators more than $800,000 in gifts this year. Those include St. Louis Blues hockey tickets and expensive dinners.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens pledged during his campaign to ban all lobbyist gifts. While he banned the practice among state executive employees, it appears he will fall short on his broader promise.

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9:30 a.m.

Pay increases for tens of thousands of minimum wage workers in St. Louis could be on the line as the Missouri Legislature winds up its annual session.

Lawmakers face a 6 p.m. Friday deadline to finish their work.

One of the bills in limbo seeks to undo a minimum wage increase in St. Louis by prohibiting local government from adopting rates higher than the state’s minimum wage.

The state’s minimum is $7.70 an hour. The minimum wage in St. Louis rose to $10 an hour May 5 and is to rise again to $11 in January.

Republican lawmakers contend that businesses throughout Missouri should have to abide by the same wage laws.

Also pending Friday are bills enhancing penalties for crimes against police and establishing a prescription drug tracking database.

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12:20 a.m.

Missouri lawmakers are facing a Friday evening deadline to decide how and if to avoid cuts to personal care services for roughly 8,300 seniors and disabled people.

Funding for in-home and nursing care is one of several measures still hanging in the balance as a 6 p.m. deadline approaches to end work in the annual legislative session.

House and Senate lawmakers on Thursday refused to concede on potential solutions. Inaction likely will mean cuts in services to some of the state’s most vulnerable people.

Other bills still pending include Gov. Eric Greitens’ priorities to create a prescription drug tracking database, enhance penalties for crimes against police and establish a “Blue Alert” notification system about suspects who assault police.

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