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As he prepares to change jobs, state Treasurer Eric Schmitt talked to St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies about two of the major influences on his life:

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Advocates for more transportation funding in Missouri say lawmakers need to quickly consider alternative funding sources after voters rejected a gas tax increase at the polls this month.

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Prairie Village City Council members debated the wisdom and scope of an LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinance and ultimately voted unanimously Monday night for a broader ordinance than it originally contemplated.

The suburban council took action where state and federal law hasn’t yet reached — barring discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity by the city, landlords and any business offering services to the public.

Samuel King / KCUR 89.3

Gov. Mike Parson appointed state Treasurer Eric Schmitt as Missouri’s next attorney general Tuesday morning, filling the office that will be vacated by Josh Hawley, who was elected to the U.S. Senate last week.

Supporters of a plan that would have boosted Missouri’s gas tax by 10 cents are plotting their next steps after voters rejected the increase Tuesday.

Proposition D failed 54 percent to 46 percent, winning just six counties, all of which are located along Interstate 70. Voters last approved an increase in 1996.

Creative Commons

A University of Kansas study linked tighter welfare rules to a growing foster care load.

The state agency overseeing those programs backed those same new rules. Now, it’s hired a research team to question the findings of the KU study.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

When Teresa Loar first learned that the cost of the terminal at Kansas City International airport was nearing $2 billion dollars, “I about fell out of my chair.”

Loar felt better after learning a significant portion of that number was financing costs as part of a monthly briefing from the aviation director and terminal developer Edgemoor.

Still, with so much public interest in the project, Loar says she wants to be more informed about the project.

“People ask me at the grocery store, ‘What’s going on with the airport,' and I have no idea,” Loar said.

Jim Bowen / Creative Commons-Flickr

After drawing overwhelming bipartisan support, a bill expanding drug treatment courts to every county in Missouri was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Mike Parson.

The measure places all of Missouri’s treatment courts beneath the same umbrella, allowing a state commission to establish “best practice standards” for treatment courts.

Treatment courts, which include DWI and veterans treatment courts, provide offenders with an alternative to incarceration by allowing them to remain in their communities. 

Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson will leave the Statehouse to oversee management of the state’s low-income health-insurance program.

Gov. Mike Parson on Monday appointed Richardson, 41, director of MO HealthNet. The appointment will take effect Nov. 1, about two months before Richardson's term in the House was to end.

Zenoir/Creative Commons

The tussle between community groups and bar owners in Kansas City over background checks for servers will continue for at least another week.

The city council's Neighborhood and Public Safety Committee has been struggling over various proposals that range from doing away with liquor cards to easing restrictions on who can sell alcohol to not changing a thing.

Philip Taylor / Creative Commons-Flickr

Tax preparers are advising Missouri residents to double check their income tax withholdings, because the state has what it calls a “longstanding inaccurate calculation.”

Essentially, some Missouri taxpayers may see a smaller refund or owe more on their 2018 tax bill than in previous years.

File Photo / KCUR 89.3

Missouri now has until August 2019 to fall in line with federal ID requirements, as the Department of Homeland Security on Monday extended the deadline.

The so-called Real ID law is meant to prevent terrorist attacks and fraud by heightening security standards.

Missouri is among 16 states that have not yet fully complied and if it doesn’t update IDs, residents eventually will have to present a passport to board a domestic flight.

The extension means residents can still fly using their current Missouri driver’s license.

Missouri Auditor's Office

Missouri law enforcement agencies have lost track of 1,259 registered sex offenders, according to a report from State Auditor Nicole Galloway. That includes 439 in Jackson County, the highest number in the state.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

A Kansas City council committee voted today to send a proposal that would ban panhandling in intersections to the full city council but with the recommendation that it does not pass.

While not mentioning panhandling explicitly, the proposed ordinance would attempt to increase pedestrian safety at intersections and crosswalks by limiting how long a person can be in an intersection. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed it with a 3-2 vote.

City of Merriam / YouTube

After facing pushback from a vocal group of Merriam residents this summer, the Merriam City Council voted to approve the final design for a new $36.6 million community center.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Standing on the I-70 exit ramp at Independence Avenue on a cool fall morning is a thin guy, possibly in his late 30s or early 40s, his face weathered by the sun. He’s standing next to a backpack and holding a cardboard sign that says “anything helps.”

Further south, on the western edge of the Country Club Plaza a man in his 50’s wearing a tie-dye shirt carries a sign that says, “Broke as F---.”

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

A committee of Kansas judges and attorneys says cities need to reduce the costs of appearing in municipal court.

The Kansas Supreme Court appointed the ad hoc committee last September to assess whether the state’s municipal courts impose an unreasonable financial burden on low-income people. 

A report released Wednesday lists more than a dozen suggestions to reduce or simplify fees, bail and monetary fines that come with being arrested and charged with a crime.

Celisa Calacal/KCUR 89.3

The city of Raytown, Missouri is considering transferring its Emergency Medical Services department to the Raytown Fire Protection District.

Discussions about this transfer began in May, and it is the third time in 20 years that Raytown has considered this transfer. If approved, the deal would go into effect Nov. 17.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The man who many Democrats thought could go all the way to the Missouri governor's mansion instead will be going to federal prison for more than two years.

Former Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders was sentenced Wednesday to 27 months in prison for a wire fraud conviction in connection with a kickback scheme that netted Sanders at least $40,000.

file photo / Kansas News Service

In the wake of rape charge filed in an attack on a 13-year-old girl in the office of a foster care contractor, Kansas lawmakers said Tuesday they’ll investigate what went wrong.

One legislator said state officials and the contractor responsible for watching over the alleged victim will face tough questions later this month.

While the special legislative session moves forward, Missouri lawmakers have wrapped up their annual veto session with no overrides.

The House did vote in favor of overriding four of Gov. Mike Parson’s line-item vetoes, which would’ve restored $785,546 to the current state budget. But the Senate needed to override them, too, and it didn’t.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The chairman of the Kansas City Zoo Board says a $75 million proposed aquarium project might be dead if the city can't come up with $7 million.

“I’m concerned that it does not happen without that investment, without that partnership,” Todd LaSala said Thursday after appearing before City Council's Finance and Governance Committee.

The zoo has $22 million in private pledges to help pay for the 65,000 square foot aquarium. In addition, money will be used from the Zoo District's sales tax.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Proposed home building regulations in Prairie Village, Kansas, are one step closer to taking effect, after being approved unanimously by the Planning Commission at a public hearing Tuesday night. 

The new rules were proposed earlier this year in response to many residents' concerns that a growing number of old houses in the area have been torn down and replaced with much larger houses.

State lawmakers return to the Missouri Capitol on Monday for a special session designed to pass two pieces of legislation vetoed by Gov. Mike Parson.

And Wednesday they’re scheduled to hold their annual veto session, which may be relatively short and quiet.

Johnson County Sheriff's Office

An Olathe Republican vying for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives was arrested Thursday and charged with election perjury.

The complaint filed by the Johnson County district attorney’s office alleges Adam T. Thomas, 35, falsified an affidavit to election officials on or about May 31, 2018.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Jackson County property owners should brace for a property tax hike when they get their December bill.

County legislators Wednesday voted 9-0 to roll back a property tax cut from several years ago.

The "intent of the Legislature" resolution had been kicked down the road twice in the past month as lawmakers and Jackson County Executive Frank White decided how to spend the additional $19 million a year.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

A proposal aimed at reducing panhandling on city streets has hit a nerve in Kansas City, Missouri, so city officials are taking a step back and plan to rework it. 

On Thursday, more than 70 people packed a room at City Hall to testify both in support and against the measure. Proponents argue panhandling has gotten out of control in their neighborhoods, while opponents say the measure would punish homeless people.  

File photo / KCUR 89.3

A proposed pedestrian safety ordinance would have implications for individuals panhandling at Kansas City intersections. 

Councilperson Teresa Loar introduced the measure Thursday. It outlines new rules to increase pedestrian safety at intersections and crosswalks, reducing the amount of time permitted to cross, and limiting the roadside space permitted for walking.

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Developers of the new terminal at Kansas City International airport may not be able to follow through on a promise to help fund initiatives for minorities and disadvantaged parts of the city.

The so-called Community Benefits Agreement is a package of initiatives that include free or subsidized transportation options and licensed childcare for workers, as well as an on-site health clinic, expedited payment and workforce training during the project.

Samuel King/KCUR

Missouri taxpayers generally have no say and little information about some 400 tax districts across the state, according to a new report from the state auditor.

“The law allows for sales taxes to be charged without a vote. The law allows for a lack of transparency and a lack of accountability," Auditor Nicole Galloway said Wednesday during a news conference in Kansas City.

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