Mo. lawmakers head back to work to tackle some hot topics

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JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon's last legislative session in office began with the start of the regular session of the 98th General Assembly Wednesday. 

Social issues and ethical issues are set to be on the agenda for discussion.

Nixon along with other lawmakers have big expectations throughout the year.

"I'm not going to lower my bar as far as what I expect in my last year," Nixon said.

Nixon held a news conference on Tuesday to address what he would like to accomplish in the next legislative session. He addressed talks of building a new NFL stadium in St. Louis. Nixon said he believes the stadium would benefit the state economical. 

Although officials applied Monday to move the stadium, Rams owners need to vote on it. If the stadium is built it would cost $400 million.

Also, Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton is pushing to split the Missouri State Highway and Water Patrols that merged in 2010. Franklin said she believes the merger is not cost effective and would cost the state $900,000 a year.

Sen. Jill Schupp, D - St. Louis County filed a bill that would enact stricter safety requirements for in-home child care facilities. She has four key changes she would like to see happen.

Schupp wants to require children under kindergarten age related to caregivers to be counted in the total number of children being cared for at the facility. The facility would have to disclose its license status to parents or guardians of the children. The bill would also increase existing fines for making false statements about the license status or capacity of the facility. Her bill would also empower the Department of Health to close illegal operating and unlicensed facilities based on harm or imminent danger.

Nixon also intends to address ethical issues, transportation, and flood relief.

"To the very end, I'm going to work really hard and I'm going to be direct and open with the public I serve, its a very high honor," Nixon said.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate were set to convene at Noon Wednesday.

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