Capitol Wrap-Up: Week of Nov. 10

Missouri to allow same-sex married couples to file joint tax returns

Same-sex couples in Missouri will soon be able to file their federal taxes jointly, per an executive order by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The order makes Missouri the only state to allow same-sex couples to file joint tax returns and still not recognize gay marriages. Nixon, who last week announced his support for same-sex marriage, said in a news release that allowing same-sex couples the right to file their taxes jointly was the only appropriate course of action.

"Missouri is one of a number of states whose tax code is directly tied to that of the federal government,” Nixon said in a news release. “And under Missouri law, legally married couples who file joint federal tax returns with the IRS must also file joint state returns with our state Department of Revenue.”

Following the U.S. v. Windsor decision in June, the U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS declared legally married same-sex couples would be entitled to the same federal tax benefits as heterosexual couples.

Governor provides $2 million for Sullivan County lake project

Gov. Jay Nixon pledged his support last week to a project that will affect northern Missourians’ access to drinking water.

The goal: to develop a 2,200-acre lake in Sullivan County. The lake will provide clean water to 10 Missouri counties in the wake of last year’s drought, which impacted much of northern Missouri.

"While my administration's emergency cost share program helped meet some of the demand for water by helping farmers drill wells and expand irrigation systems,” Nixon said, “this long-envisioned reservoir will be a more permanent and widespread solution for the water needs of this 10-county region. I'm pleased this state funding can move forward to help acquire more land to make this project a reality."

The project was already allotted funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a municipal bond and a referendum by Sullivan County voters that raised sales tax by half a cent to pay for the lake.

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