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Morning headlines - Wednesday, May 30, 2012

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Nixon to sign funding stream for Mo. veterans homes

Gov. Jay Nixon is set to sign legislation that provides a dedicated funding source for the state’s veterans homes.

The measure redirects casino fees that now benefit early childhood programs into a trust fund for the Missouri Veterans Commission. Those early childhood funds will be replaced with money from the state’s tobacco settlement.

Supporters say a permanent funding stream is necessary because the trust fund has been tapped repeatedly to cover shortfalls in general revenue.

The ceremony today is in Mexico, Mo., where one of the homes is located. This is the first bill Nixon has signed since the General Assembly adjourned May 18.

Same-sex couples to sue over Ill. gay marriage ban

More than two dozen same-sex couples in Illinois are planning to file lawsuits in an effort to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.

Illinois lawmakersapproved civil unions for gay and lesbian couples last year, but the plaintiffs say the state law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman is unconstitutional.

The state’s American Civil Liberties Union and the New-York-based rights group Lambda Legal are handling the case. Similar suits have been filed in other states – in Iowa, the suit resulted in the state Supreme court legalizing same-sex marriage.

Ill. Senate again rejects bullying bill

The Illinois Senate has again rejected legislation that would require schools to adopt more detailed policies against bullying.

The measure would have required districts to spell out how students would be able to file anonymous complaints, how the complaints would be investigated, and how bullies would be punished.

Some conservative groups saw the measure as a cover for schools to tell students to accept homosexuality. They wanted a provision that would let students and teachers skip any lesson that violates their religious beliefs.

The vote Tuesday was 29-21, but the measure needed 30 votes to pass. It also failed by a similar margin last week.

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.