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Morning headlines: Friday, February 3, 2012

Mo. revenues are lower than what is needed to balance the state budget.
(via flickr/yomanimus)
Mo. revenues are lower than what is needed to balance the state budget.

Mo. revenues behind amount needed for budget

Missouri's revenues continue to be behind what is needed to balance the budget. January's figures show that net state revenues grew two percent over the same month last year.

The fiscal year began in July. For the first seven months of the 2012 fiscal year, Missouri's general revenues were up 1.3 percent. That is almost half the 2.7 percent growth rate that the governor's budget office says is needed to meet the budget.

Missouri gets most of its general revenues from individual and sales taxes. Both of those categories are up about 2.5 percent for the fiscal year. Corporate taxes are down almost 11 percent.

Mo. Senate votes for health insurance exchanges to require approval

Missouri senators have approved a measure that would require lawmaker or voter approval before the state attempts to set up health insurance exchanges. 

Health insurance exchanges allow consumers to shop online for health insurance.

The federal health care law gives states until 2014 to establish their own exchanges or they will have one operated by the federal government.

The legislation approved by the Mo. senate would stop Gov. Jay Nixon from creating an insurance exchange by executive order. The measure was approved 25-8 and will go to the Missouri House.

The measure would go before voters in the November election if the legislature is approved.

Lambert Airport traffic is up, despite setbacks

Passenger traffic at Lambert Airport rose about two percent from 2010 to 2011. Airport officials say nearly 6.3 million passengers boarded planes at Lambert in 2011.

Officials say it is quiet an achievement considering the challenges the airport faced. Among the challenges was a significant cutback by American Airlines. The airport was also struck by a tornado on Good Friday that briefly shut it down and closed one concourse through the rest of the year. 

Southwest Airlines was the busiest carrier at Lambert with 45 percent of the airport's outbound traffic. American was next with 17 percent of the traffic and Delta Air Lines followed with 14 percent.