Top Of The Morning News: March 1, 2013
Emergency responders came together from across the region to respond to the JJ’s explosion and fire. The Kansas City council bans paying for liquor license signatures. The Missouri House votes to align workplace discrimination standards with federal guidelines and to exempt schools from the prevailing wage requirement.
Plaza Blast Underscores Region’s Emergency Medical Capacity
As of mid-week, four people remained hospitalized from the gas explosion and fire that destroyed JJ’s restaurant on the Plaza. One employee, Megan Cramer, died in the blast. Find out how another crisis, the Hyatt Skywalk Collapse in 1981, has helped shape the region’s capacity to respond to large-scale events here.
Council Bans Paying For Liquor License Signatures
Acting on complaints that the operator of a center-city convenience store was paying residents for permission to get a liquor license, the Kansas City Council has banned the practice. Council action will invalidate any future liquor license applications if resident-consents come after their being given any consideration, including cash. Read more about the measure here.
Teachers’ Union Objects To Being Left Out Of Conversation
The union representing teachers in Kansas says its members were prevented from offering their opinion on a bill that affects unions. The bill would scale back some of the mandatory bargaining rights of teachers. Read more here.
Kansas House Advances Change in Judicial Selection
The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a bill that would change how appeals court judges are selected in the state. The bill would allow the governor to appoint appellate court judges, who would then be confirmed by the state Senate. Find out more about why some people want the change here.
Kansas Senate Passes Drug Testing for Welfare Bill
A bill that would require drug testing for some welfare and unemployment benefit recipients passed the Kansas Senate Thursday. It would require drug tests for some people enrolled in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, if they are suspected of drug use. Learn more here.
Michelle Obama Promotes Healthy Foods In Springfield
First Lady Michelle Obama called on more businesses to join in the fight against childhood obesity during the second and final day of her Let’s Move! tour, an initiative she began three years ago. Mrs. Obama’s trip to a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Springfield served as a tribute to the company’s commitment to creating and selling healthy products. Learn more about here trip here.
Missouri House Moves To Align Discrimination Standards With Feds
The Missouri House has passed legislation that would bring the state’s workplace discrimination standard in line with the federal one. Under the bill, discrimination would have to be a motivating factor in wrongful actions taken against employees, instead of a contributing factor as it is now under Missouri law. Read more here.
Missouri House Votes To Exempt Schools From Prevailing Wage
The Missouri House has passed legislation that would allow some school districts to exempt themselves from the prevailing wage requirement for construction and maintenance projects. The sponsor, Republican Casey Guernsey of Harrison County, says it will allow rural schools in particular to be able to afford much-needed expansions and upgrades. Learn more here.
Missouri Senate Moves To Lower Tax Credits
The Missouri Senate has passed a wide-ranging tax credit bill that drastically lowers the caps on Historic Preservation and Low Income Housing programs. It would cap Historic Preservation incentives at $50 million a year, instead of the current $140 million, and Low Income Housing incentives would be capped at $55 million a year, instead of the current $190 million. Read more about the tax credits here.