House endorses presidential primary date change
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri would hold its 2016 presidential primaries on March 15 of that year under legislation advanced by the state House.
The elections are currently scheduled for February 2016, but the bill's supporters said Monday that keeping that date could cause Missouri to lose delegates to the national party conventions.
National party rules allow only certain states to hold primaries before the March 15 date.
Sponsoring Rep. Tony Dugger, a Hartville Republican, says moving the elections would avoid a repeat of 2012, when Missouri held a non-binding presidential primary. Faced with losing delegates, state Republican officials decided that year to select convention representatives with a caucus system held after the primaries.
The measure needs one more House vote before moving to the Senate.
Judge upholds Missouri limit on funeral protests
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A federal judge has upheld a Missouri law barring protests within 300 feet of a funeral.
The Missouri law creates a buffer zone around funeral sites from one hour before until one hour after a funeral.
Attorney General Chris Koster said Tuesday that the law is now in effect as a result of a federal court ruling a day earlier.
But an attorney for the Kansas woman who challenged the law said it has been enforced since last April, when a federal appeals court rejected a free-speech challenge to the buffer zone.
The latest ruling by U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. dismissed a claim that the time restriction was unconstitutionally vague.
The lawsuit was brought by a member of a Topeka-based church that denounces homosexuality and frequently protests at funerals.
MOTORCYCLE-SCHOOL BUS WRECK
2 motorcyclists dead after wreck with school bus
WENTZVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Two motorcyclists are dead after their motorcycles were involved in an accident with a school bus in the eastern Missouri town of Wentzville.
The accident happened just before 7 a.m. Tuesday on Route A, near the intersection of U.S. 61. The Missouri State Highway Patrol identified the victims as 43-year-old Matthew Adam of Bowling Green and 22-year-old Jacob Boedeker of Warrenton. A third motorcyclist who trailed his two friends was not injured.
The school bus was on its way to pick up students and was empty except for the driver, who was not hurt.
Wentzville is about 40 miles west of St. Louis.
ABORTION WAITING PERIOD
House passes bill tripling abortion waiting period
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has approved legislation tripling the waiting time for women to get abortions after first visiting their doctors.
The bill would extend the amount of time between a woman's doctor visit and her procedure to 72 hours. Missouri now has a 24-hour waiting period.
The House voted 115-39 on Tuesday to send the bill to the Senate. Missouri would become the third state to enact a three-day waiting period if the bill becomes law.
Republican supporters say the three-day timeframe was not too much to ask for a woman to think about abortion's consequences. Opponents argue the bill would be a barrier to women and would restrict abortion rights.
Mo. House endorses curbs on tanning device usage
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Teens younger than 17 would need parental consent to use tanning machines that emit ultraviolet rays at salons under legislation endorsed by the Missouri House.
The bill given first-round approval Tuesday would penalize tanning salons $500 for providing services to teenagers without parental consent. The legislation needs another House vote before moving to the Senate.
State health officials would be charged with developing a standardized consent form for parents to use.
Sponsoring Republican Rep. Gary Cross, of Lee's Summit, says the bill would protect children from exposure to ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer. Opponents argue that it is a burdensome government regulation on tanning businesses.
KC man charged in crash that killed 1-year-old
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Kansas City man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death of a 1-year-old girl who was thrown from the vehicle he was driving when he fell asleep and crashed.
Jackson County prosecutors say 23-year-old Eric Gahagans also was charged Tuesday with possession of a controlled substance and driving without a valid license in connection with the July 28, 2013, incident.
Gahagans told police he fell asleep while driving his girlfriend and her children and ran off the road, becoming airborne and crashing at 7:08 a.m.
The girlfriend and her infant daughter were found outside the vehicle. Police said the child had not been properly restrained in a car seat.
Prosecutors say Gahagan's blood tested positive for marijuana usage. They have requested a bond of $75,000.
Mo. health policy enrollment up, but behind goal
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The number of Missouri residents using a federal website to enroll in health insurance is growing, but not as fast as had been projected.
Figures released Tuesday show nearly 75,000 people had enrolled in health policies by March 1. That's up by more than one-third from the Feb. 1.
Yet Missouri remains behind the enrollment targets originally set for federal health care law. The March 1 number is about where Missouri was expected to be on Feb. 1.
Missouri was projected to enroll 118,000 people by March 31.
Missouri is one of 36 states where the online insurance marketplace is being run by the federal government.
Health care advocates intensified their efforts over this past weekend to persuade people to sign up for the insurance policies.
Missouri House endorses curb on drone usage
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri residents and government agencies could not use drones to conduct surveillance without a warrant under legislation advanced by the state House.
The measure would also prevent journalists and other organizations from using drones to observe private property without an owner's consent. State universities could still use unmanned aircraft to conduct educational research.
Sponsoring Republican Rep. Kenneth Wilson, of Smithville, says the bill protects privacy rights. Opponents say the ban is unnecessary and could hurt business opportunities with companies that use drone technologies.
Under the bill, any evidence collected from improper drone usage would not be admissible in court cases.
The House gave the measure initial approval Tuesday. It needs one more vote before moving to the Senate.
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