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Good morning, MBA readers, 

In the final week of the 2023 legislative session, Missouri lawmakers are hoping to finalize several bills, including school district open enrollment, changes to the initiative petition process and a limit to transgender health care. On Monday, lawmakers passed legislation that would establish an income tax cut for some Missourians on pensions and people with disabilities receiving Social Security benefits. In the cannabis industry, companies and state regulators are facing off over regulating marijuana packaging to make it less attractive to children. And, a new survey shows that close to half of U.S. banks are tightening credit in light of recent failures. Here are those and the other top business stories of the day.

Stay alert

Missouri legislature faces Friday deadline for legislation

Many issues championed by GOP lawmakers await resolution, including restrictions on transgender health care, school district open enrollment and changes to the initiative petition process. (Missouri Independent)

Lawmakers pass bill exempting Social Security from state income tax

The legislation, which now heads to Gov. Mike Parson, is expected to reduce state income by $318 million. (Missouri Independent)

Regulators seek to make marijuana packaging less attractive to children

A clause in the amendment legalizing recreational marijuana requires packaging not appeal to children, but a trade group says enforcing a change across all cannabis product sellers would be “unduly burdensome.” (Missouri Independent)

Biden administration to propose new requirements for airline compensation 

Under the proposed regulations, if flights are canceled for reasons within the airline’s control, that airline would be required to cover meals and hotel rooms for the stranded traveler. (Associated Press)

State regulators scrutinize pollution in Brentwood

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources cited the city for pollution after construction-grade polystyrene foam spilled into Deer Creek after a bridge demolition. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Luxco to acquire Penelope Bourbon

The subsidiary of MGP Ingredients, which has a corporate office in St. Louis, will purchase the bourbon maker in a deal that includes $105 million in cash at closing. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Phas3 to be acquired by Texas firm

The St. Louis digital health startup will be purchased by Ucardia, which provides software aimed at helping cardiac rehabilitation patients. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Indoor dog training gym to open St. Louis location

Los Angeles-based Zoom Room will open its first location in the city on Saturday. (St. Louis Business Journal

Say that again

The benefit of the robot right now is to improve the surgical accuracy and guide the placement of our instrumentation - what we call navigation.”

That’s Dr. Daniel Hafez, a neurosurgeon at Washington University in St. Louis, speaking to the utilization of robotics to aid in surgical procedures. This has been a growing trend in medicine across the globe, with surgeons in both the U.S. and India employing the help of a robotic assistant to make smaller and more precise incisions with invasive procedures. Popular robotic system da Vinci, made by the company Intuitive, reported 1.1 million procedures in the U.S. in 2021. However, the trend is still taking root in India, where, over the past 12 years in India, there have been 128,000 successful robotic surgeries.

Go figure


About 46% of banks across the nation have raised standards for business loans this quarter, according to a survey from the Federal Reserve released Monday. That's about a 1% increase from last quarter, but slightly more banks were easing credit standards than raising them a year ago, the Associated Press reports. In light of recent bank failures and the Fed’s interest rate hikes, access to credit has become much more difficult and expensive. This trend is expected to slow the economy and subdue inflationary prices, but could risk causing a recession.

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The Kansas City Zoo announced that it will open is new 650,000-gallon aquarium on Labor Day weekend, the Kansas City Star reports. Over 8,000 sea animals will be featured in the new indoor aquarium, which will be open to visitors year-round. This will include creatures native to aquatic habitats including warm-water shores, coral reefs and the deep ocean. The project cost about $77 million, and officials expect it to generate $45 million in annual revenue and create about 100 new jobs. 

Hello, my name is

Cogent Communications Holdings

This firm based in Washington, D.C. recently purchased the former Sprint Corp. wireline business, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. Cogent’s CEO plans to retain all of the 1,300 current employees of the U.S. long-haul fiber network, many of which are located in the Kansas City area. The firm plans to use the network to continue providing internet services.

It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning. 

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