Missouri Minute: ‘Religious freedom’ amendment defeated, Panera to shutter, convert Paradise restaurants

Here are today’s top business headlines from across Missouri:

‘Religious freedom’ amendment defeated in House committee vote

A proposed “religious freedom” amendment to Missouri’s constitution was defeated Wednesday in a House committee vote, likely ending chances that the controversial measure will be put to voters. Read more

Following slow growth, Panera plans to convert, shutter more Paradise restaurants

In a conference call with analysts on Wednesday, Sunset Hills-based Panera Bread Co. announced its plans to convert more of its Paradise Bakery & Cafe to Panera restaurants and shutter some non-mall Paradise locations. Read more

Nixon approves higher education budget

Gov. Jay Nixon (D) on Wednesday signed off on the fiscal year 2017 budget for higher education in the state. The budget will freeze tuition for Missouri undergraduates for the 2016-2017 school year and provide an additional $71.3 million for higher education in Missouri, including scholarships, performance-based funding and institutional operating funds. Read more

A-B InBev downplays talk of move beyond beer

Anheuser-Busch InBev, which is in the process of acquiring rival SABMiller, believes future acquisitions are more likely to be in beer rather than other beverages, its chief executive said on Wednesday. Read more

Treasury issues pension regulations, says Central States decision still to come

The Treasury Department has posted the final regulations of a 2014 act that lets struggling pension funds cut benefits, but a decision from the Treasury on the fate of the Central States Pension fund is not expected until next week. Read more

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