Missouri Minute: Public unions sue over law altering state hiring; Quaker Window Products expanding in mid-Missouri

Here are today’s top headlines from across Missouri:

Public unions sue Missouri over law altering state hiring

Three labor unions are suing to block a new Missouri law that makes it easier to fire state employees, saying the law violates collective bargaining rights protected under the state constitution. An estimated 25,000 public workers — or about half of Missouri’s state employees — are affected by the law. Read more

Quaker Window Products expanding in mid-Missouri, plans to hire 300

Quaker Window Products, a manufacturer of windows and doors for commercial and residential buildings, on Thursday announced plans to invest $65 million to build a new factory in mid-Missouri. The company will open the new facility in Eldon, about 55 miles away from its Freeburg headquarters. It’s expected to create 300 jobs in a town with a population of about 4,600. Read more

Supreme Court vacates ruling that upheld lengthy licensing for Missouri hair-braiders

The U.S. Supreme Court has vacated a lower court’s decision that protected a lengthy licensing process for hair-braiders in Missouri. The high court’s ruling, handed down Tuesday, aligns with a new law passed by the Missouri Legislature in May that relaxed the state’s licensing requirements for hair-braiders. Read more

Affordable Care Act marketplace premiums dip for first time

The average premium for a benchmark health care plan on the federal insurance marketplace will decrease by 1.5 percent for 2019, the Trump administration announced Thursday. The federal exchange covers people in Missouri and 38 other states. That decrease in average prices is the first since the Affordable Care Act marketplace opened in 2014. It follows two consecutive years of double-digit increases. Read more

LaunchCode founder McKelvey celebrates five years, sizes up St. Louis tech

LaunchCode, the St. Louis-based nonprofit that takes an apprenticeship-based approach to preparing people for technology jobs, celebrated its fifth anniversary Thursday night with a “GeekGala.” The organization has helped 1,400 people start tech jobs in St. Louis, founder Jim McKelvey said, and that total doesn’t account for the program’s efforts in other markets. Read more

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