JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) –  Time is nearly up for Missouri Republican leaders seeking to complete their legislative priorities in their first year with a historic majority in the state Legislature.

The annual legislative session ends at 6 p.m. Friday, which gives Republican leaders five working days to negotiate deals and win final approval for numerous bills.

GOP leaders said they planned in the final week to focus on economic development efforts, approving a requirement for drug testing of cash welfare recipients and imposing new restrictions for late-term abortions.

Other issues awaiting resolution this week include a new push to require a government-issued photo identification to vote, an extension for a state prescription drug program that would otherwise expire, changes to the workers’ compensation system and a new date for Missouri’s presidential primary election.

Lawmakers also could remove state control of the St. Louis Police Department for the first time since the Civil War, revise proposed limits for lawsuits over farm-related nuisances — after a previous version was vetoed — and extend on a ban on texting while driving to all people instead of just those 21 years old and younger.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press


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