JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have until the end of the week to finalize the state’s $25 billion operating budget. The formal talks begin today as the House and Senate try to hammer out an agreement on the spending plan that will take effect July 1st.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri school officials are challenging the summary and cost estimate of a proposed constitutional amendment that could head to voters in 2014. Supporters are collecting signatures to have the measure put on the ballot. It would prohibit new contracts that are longer than three years for staff members who are certified to teach in Missouri.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The head of St. Louis University shocked supporters and critics this weekend when he said he would retire as president of the school. Reverend Lawrence Biondi made the announcement during a $1,000-a-seat gala, but hasn’t set a specific date for his departure. His decision comes after months of campus strife that included no-confidence votes by faculty and students.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri father and his son are walking across the state to hold meetings aimed at increasing mental health awareness. Mark Norwine and his son, Eric, are making a more than two-week journey throughout the state. Both have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are hoping to reinstate local taxes on vehicles bought from out-of-state dealers or through person-to-person sales. Two weeks remain for legislators to send Governor Jay Nixon a revision of the bill he twice has vetoed. The latest legislation would let local voters opt out within two years.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — After 20 years of federal oversight, the Kansas City Housing Authority is now under local control. U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple issued an order last week saying he will continue to monitor the authority for one year, but it will no longer be under federal control. Whipple took over control of the authority in 1993 after a lawsuit complained about its financial mismanagement and political meddling.

ARNOLD, Mo. (AP) — Water rescue crews pulled six people from river waters in eastern Missouri over the weekend. Three men who were fishing yesterday in the Meramec River near Arnold had to be rescued when their canoe capsized. Three other people were rescued Saturday near Desoto after they drove into water that was covering a road.

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — Joplin is preparing to mark the second anniversary of a tornado that killed 161 people and injured hundreds more. The twister hit the southwestern Missouri city on May 22, 2011, destroying thousands of homes and businesses. On that date this year, Joplin officials say tents will be set up in Cunningham Park to highlight efforts to restore various elements of the community.