The Internal Revenue Service is warning lake area residents to be on the lookout for a new email phishing scam. The emails appear to be from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service and include a bogus number. The fake emails may also include a message stating that a person’s 2013 income is flagged for review due to a document processing error and has been forwarded to the taxpayer advocate service for resolution assistance. The IRS says the taxpayer advocate service is a legitimate IRS organization but does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or any other social media.
Legislation has been passed by the Missouri House of Representatives that attempts to crack down on commercial websites that post police mug shots of people and then demand money to have them removed. The house unanimously passed the bill that would require websites to delete photos for free within 30 days of a request. Those who don’t could be charged with a misdemeanor. Supporters of the measure say many people whose booking photos are posted are not charged with crimes, but must pay to have the pictures removed. The bill would not apply to certain organizations such as news media.
A bill meant to keep the federal government from enforcing updated regulations on wood burning stoves and furnaces has been endorsed by the Missouri House of Representatives. The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed standards for makers of wood stoves in its aim to reduce emissions by nearly 80 percent. Manufacturers testified before lawmakers telling them the new standards would make stoves too costly for most consumers and could put them out of business. The proposed legislation would also prohibit the State Department of Natural Resources from regulating the use or manufacture of wood stoves without approval of the General Assembly.
Nearly one thousand people were on hand for a rally at the State Capitol yesterday. Union members were on hand to protest legislation that would prohibit labor contracts from requiring that all employees pay union fees. Sources say the proposed bill is a top priority of House Republican Leaders who say the right to work bill is necessary for the State to compete for jobs. Governor Jay Nixon spoke at the rally and told those in attendance that he would veto the bill and called it “unnecessary and misguided legislation.” The Governor also said he would fight the proposal if the legislature decides to put it on the 2014 Ballot.
Legislation has been endorsed by the Missouri Senate that would require local elections authorities to phase out the use of some electronic voting machines. Under the proposed legislation, voters could only use electronic machines that produce a paper trail of marked votes. The other types of electronic machines could still be used but could not be replaced once they malfunction or break down. The legislation also declares that the paper ballot is the official ballot for state elections. The bill received first round approval yesterday and needs one more vote in the senate before going to the house.
The Missouri Department of Transportation kicked off a Statewide Pothole Repair Initiative today. MODOT Lake Area Engineer Bob Lynch says potholes and road conditions will be an issue during the next several weeks:
Lynch says it is going to be a challenge for them to get the roads back in shape, but they are going to make sure the roads are drivable, safe and keep people moving.
Counties in Missouri could tax devices that can call 9-1-1 in order to help pay for services. That’s according to legislation being considered at the State Capital. House bill 1573 would allow a fee to be charged of up to $1.50 per month, per device to help fund 9-1-1. Supporters of the bill say its designed to let each county decide the best option for funding; whether that would be a land line surcharge, a sales tax or the new proposed cell phone fee. Missouri is the only state that does not have a fee attached to cell phones. The bill is currently being debated in the House and Senate.