Missouri Minute: Elected officials promote KC as jobs destination; KBP Foods faces lawsuit over employee pay

Here are today’s top headlines from across Missouri:


Elected officials promote KC as destination for 700 USDA jobs

With the U.S. Department of Agriculture expected to relocate up to 700 jobs, U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler, Sam Graves and Emanuel Cleaver are promoting the Kansas City area as a destination. The USDA announced earlier this month that it will shift its Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture away from Washington in a move expected to be completed by the end of 2019. Hartzler, Graves and and Cleaver sent a joint letter promoting Kansas City’s low-cost environment, central location and proximity to land-grant universities. Read more

Restaurant group KBP Foods faces lawsuit over employee pay

KBP Foods, an Overland Park, Kansas-based restaurant group that operates 581 fast-food restaurants in 23 states, is being sued by a workers who claim they have not been properly compensated for time worked. The lawsuit seeks class-action status for employees at the hundreds of KFC restaurants the group operates. It cites technology problems, illegal practices by managers and company policies that incentivize such illicit behavior. Read more

Court ruling could spur Missouri spending on EV charging stations

A decision handed down this month by the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, could change state regulators’ stance on oversight of electric vehicle charging stations, potentially spurring a surge of investment in the stations. To date, the Missouri Public Service Commission has declined oversight of charging stations. That has meant utility companies in the state have no guarantee that they can pass the costs of the stations on to ratepayers, making the structures a relatively risky investment. Read more

GOP leaders look ahead after ‘resounding’ defeat of ‘right to work’

Brief remarks from two key Missouri Republicans at the Missouri State Fair suggested GOP “right-to-work” supporters in Missouri have not organized a response since voters rejected a right-to-work ballot measure earlier this month. Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that voters had “spoken pretty loud and clear” in voting against the measure. The Republican governor said he would not make the issue a priority for the remainder of the year. Read more

St. Louis VC landscape sees progress, challenges

Venture capital funding for startups in the St. Louis region has made considerable strides in recent years, with the metro area ranking fourth among Midwestern markets for total dollars invested between January 2015 and July 2017. After attracting $96 million in venture capital annually from 2005 to 2012, the area has averaged $342 million per year since. Still, some concerns persist. Read more

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