Mo. Lawmakers Face Weighty Financial Issues
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri lawmakers have opened their annual session with an agenda that includes some big financial challenges.
The 2012 session got under way shortly after noon Wednesday and will run through May 18.
Lawmakers will need to decide how to close a budget gap estimated at a half-billion dollars for the upcoming fiscal year. They also will be considering changes to the state's multi-billion-dollar school funding formula.
Republicans hold commanding majorities in both chambers. They plan to push several changes that they said would benefit businesses, including legal restrictions on workers claiming they were injured or discriminated against. Some Democrats have suggested those proposals would do little to create jobs.
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is to outline his budget and policy priorities during a State of the State address Jan. 17.