Missouri Minute: St. Louis County to hold final vote on America’s Center expansion; Express Scripts snags new Medicaid contract

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It’s National Pet Day, which means it’s as great a time as any to show your furry friends how much you love them. It’s also a big news day, so read up on a wave of new tax bills and why amusement parks want schools to start later.

Stay alert

St. Louis County Council to hold final vote on America’s Center expansion
The council will vote next Tuesday on a $240 million plan to expand and upgrade the downtown convention center. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Express Scripts snags new Medicaid contract
CareSource, a major nonprofit Medicaid managed care provider based in Ohio, will replace CVS with the St. Louis company as its pharmacy benefit manager effective next year. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Online sales tax bill narrowly advances in Missouri House
The bill, which received 78-72 initial approval in the House on Tuesday, would require out-of-state retailers with over $100,000 in sales to collect state sales tax. (Associated Press)

St. Louis VC firm co-leads $20 million investment in biotech startup
RiverVest Venture Partners has co-led a $20 million Series B funding round for Scout Bio of Philadelphia. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Proposed measure could move local tax votes to general election
The proposed constitutional amendment would ask voters in 2020 to move municipal tax measures from the April ballot to the general election, when turnout is higher. (Associated Press)

House votes to defer late fees on taxes
Critics say that the measure, a legislative response to issues with the state’s tax withholding tables, comes too late as taxes are due April 15. (Associated Press)

Teamsters, YRC agree to tentative deal
Unions for workers at Overland Park, Kansas-based YRC Freight and two affiliated companies have reached a tentative deal that would raise wages for drivers and dock workers 18 percent over five years. (Kansas City Star)

Show me

Today’s graphic looks at the Missouri counties where severe housing cost burden is most prevalent. The city of St. Louis has the highest proportion of households (21 percent) that face severe housing cost burden, which occurs when a household spends 50 percent or more of its income on housing. Nationally, 11 percent of households qualify as severely burdened, according to the 2019 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.

Say that again

“There can be no talk of a successful takeover any more.”

Ingo Speich, a major Bayer shareholder, told company management they had underestimated the legal risks associated with Bayer’s $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto, Reuters reports. The annual general meeting on April 26 is expected to be a lively one, especially following a 30 percent drop in shares. The company’s market value has plummeted about $34 billion since last August.

Go figure

20 days 
That’s the number of operating days erased from the summer season for Big Surf Waterpark in the Lake of the Ozarks thanks to an earlier school start date, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. And Big Surf is not alone. Amusement parks like Branson’s Silver Dollar City and other tourism operators throughout the state say they have seen fewer visitors in the past decade. A bill in the Missouri House would try to remedy this by barring Missouri schools from starting the fall semester in early August.

Word to the wise

Wishful recycling
The act of putting items that are not recyclable into recycling bins adds complexity and cost to the recycling process, industry experts say. That compounds the challenges faced by an industry that’s also grappling with difficulties due to China’s ban on importing certain recyclables, KCUR reports. Experts say public education is key to eliminating wishful recycling and helping businesses in the industry operate more efficiently.

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