Key developments Wednesday at the Missouri Capitol:
Lawmakers approved new tax breaks that would let automakers keep all or part of the employee withholding taxes they would normally pay the state if they improve their plants for new or expanded product lines. Approval of the tax breaks followed a 20-hour-plus filibuster by Republican Sen. Chuck Purgason, who says broad-based tax cuts, a repeal of Missouri's income tax and a "right to work" law for employees would do more for the economy than tax breaks for specific big businesses.
Lawmakers approved changes to Missouri's main retirement systems intended to save hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade. The legislation requires employees hired beginning in 2011 to pay 4 percent of their paychecks toward their pension funds, delays the standard retirement age and requires people to work longer before being eligible for a pension.
An abortion bill requiring clinics to give women the chance to view an ultrasound image and listen to the heartbeat of the fetus became law, without the signature of Gov. Jay Nixon. Wednesday was the deadline for Nixon to sign the bill, but he had the option of letting it become law without his signature — seen by some as a symbol of his opposition to the legislation.
Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation giving power to the Missouri Ethics Commission, limiting the shuffling of money between political committees and requiring quicker reporting of some campaign contributions. The bill doesn't restore contribution limits, as Nixon wanted.