Missouri Minute: Lawmakers pass limits on public construction; enrollment decline hurts UM System

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

Missouri lawmakers pass limits on public construction

Local governments in Missouri would no longer be able to require union working conditions for public construction projects under a bill passed Thursday by the Republican-led legislature. Counties, cities and other local governments currently have the option to issue bid requirements mandating union working conditions for contractors if less than half a project’s funds come from the state. The bill, which passed the House 104-52, would prohibit that. Read more

Declining enrollment adds to UM System budget woes; curators to vote on tuition hike

State funding isn’t the only issue plaguing the University of Missouri System as leaders plan for the coming year. A continuously declining enrollment isn’t helping either. During a budget discussion Thursday at the Board of Curators meeting, the system’s interim chief financial officer said he anticipated a decrease in tuition revenue of almost $9 million across the four campuses. Read more

Monsanto’s reputation is a ‘major challenge,’ Bayer CEO says

Bayer’s chief executive acknowledged on Friday that he will face an uphill battle to improve Monsanto’s reputation once Bayer completes the takeover of the Creve Coeur-based seeds and agrochemicals company. “Monsanto’s image does of course represent a major challenge for us, and it’s not an aspect I wish to play down,” Werner Baumann told shareholders at Bayer’s annual general meeting. Read more

With just a slight decline in how many returns it handled, H&R Block declares victory

H&R Block nearly succeeded in its effort to halt a slide in the number of tax returns it handles by posting only a modest decline in the tax season that ended April 18. The Kansas City-based tax preparation company said it handled about 19.38 million returns, compared with roughly 19.55 million a year earlier. Read more

Federal regulator sues four KC area payday lending companies

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday accused four companies with operations in suburban Kansas City of running an illegal payday lending operation, marking another investigation into an industry with an ongoing and sizable presence in the area. Read more

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