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Missouri Minute: Major bills await lawmakers in final day; apparel manufacturing firm launching in St. Louis



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Peak graduation season is upon us, and students across the state will celebrate the completion of their academic journeys this weekend. And you? Well, you’re completing another workweek, and that’s cause for its own celebration. So turn on the “Pomp and Circumstance” (or Vitamin C’s “Graduation,” if that’s more your style) and commence your march through the day’s top business stories, including the Missouri Legislature’s homestretch, Sprint’s 5G plans and a big return for women investors in Kansas City.


Stay alert

Major bills await lawmakers in final day
With the Missouri Legislature set to wrap up its annual session Friday, high-profile issues still to be addressed as of late Thursday included abortion regulations, low-income housing tax credits and bridge funding. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Apparel manufacturing firm launching in St. Louis
Two New York fashion industry veterans announced the new firm, Evolution St. Louis, which will invest about $5 million and install 35 high-tech knitting machines in a new facility. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Missouri Senate passes lax vehicle safety, helmet requirements
The bill would exempt vehicles with less than 150,000 miles from mandatory safety inspections and do away with a helmet requirement for adult motorcyclists who have health insurance. (Associated Press)

Sprint plans 5G launch for May 31
Two 5G-enabled smartphones will be available at launch in four 5G markets, including Kansas City. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Developer plans $24 million affordable apartment project in downtown KC
The city approved a plan from the Cordish Companies to add 117 apartments at the Midland office building. (Kansas City Star)

Cultivation Capital leads $7.7 million investment in Reconstruct
The startup, which was founded at the University of Illinois, produces three-dimensional timelines to help coordination and track progress on construction projects. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Blue KC invests in Phoenix-based health network startup
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City was part of a $42 million funding round for Solera Health, which created a network that connects doctors, patients and payers with community wellness organizations and non-medical health providers. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Pot lobbyist plans high-dollar fundraiser for Parson
Guests are asked to spend between $2,600 and $25,000 at a fundraiser next week planned by Steve Tilley, a lobbyist for the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)


Say that again

“They were trying to solve a problem and focused on growing the business and doing what needed to be done. … Whenever they’d come up against any kind of hurdle they’d just figure it out.”

Kelly Sievers, managing director of the Women’s Capital Connection in Kansas City, offered praise for the founders of TomboyX, a Seattle-based startup that makes boxer briefs for women, Startland News reports. Members of the Women’s Capital Connection took an $18 million buyout of their shares in TomboyX, and Sievers said the return on her group’s investment shows the support for companies led by women.


Show me

With another Missouri legislative session set to end, today’s graphic focuses on states that have not expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The graphic charts the number and percentage of uninsured adults who would be eligible for Medicaid if their states expanded coverage. Expansion in Missouri would bring health insurance to an additional 219,000 uninsured nonelderly adults, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s 47% of the state’s uninsured nonelderly population.


Go figure

$290,000

That’s how much St. Louis Airbnb hosts expect to make this weekend as the city hosts three college commencements, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. About 3,800 visitors are projected to use the service in St. Louis this weekend.


Hello, my name is

Amy Shaw

Shaw is the new acting chief at St. Louis-based Nine Network Public Media, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. She will replace John E. “Jack” Galmiche III, who died last month.