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Morning headlines: Tuesday, February 28, 2012

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Mo. lawmakers seek requirements for officials involved in economic development projects

A House panel heard testimony Monday on eight measures aimed at increasing scrutiny of businesses that ask for government money. The legislation would require local governments to get insurance for municipal bonds for economic development projects and to hold public hearings before issuing bonds.

State and local officials would also have to share information they have about companies seeking development incentives.

The bills are a response to a failed project to build an artificial sweetener plant in Moberly. Construction of the Mamtek U.S. Inc. factory stopped last fall after the company missed a payment on $39 million in bonds issued by Moberly. State government offered $17 million worth of incentives, but none were ever paid.

Carnahan first to file for political office this morning

St. Louis Congressman Russ Carnahan  filed to run in the newly redrawn 1st district, which could set up a primary against Democratic Representative William Lacy Clay. Despite uncertainty over the districts, dozens of people have turned out to file this morning.

Today marks the start of the candidacy filing period for the 2012 elections. It kicked off as planned, even though Missouri still lacks a final map for the state Senate districts and Missouri Supreme Court has yet to rule on challenges to the state and U.S. House districts.

Carnahan is among those hoping the Supreme Court still will strike down the districts. If that happens, Carnahan says he is prepared to re-file under new boundaries.

Update: St. Louis On The Air will have Rep. Carnahan on the show at 11 a.m. for an update on his plans. Join us!

Mo. State manual now available, but only online

Missouri lawmakers voted in 2010 to stop printing the manual, better known as the Blue Book. The manual is produced by the secretary of state's office and contains information about local, state and federal governments, election records and contact information for government officials and departments.

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, whose websitenow carries the manual, says the Blue Book helps make government more open and accessible to voters.