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Politics

Various Mo. state fees may increase

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Republicans in the Missouri Senate want to make sure the governor doesn't create a health care exchange without their consent.

Missouri's Republican-led Legislature put a priority on cutting taxes this year. But the same lawmakers who passed a $700 million income tax cut also approved numerous little-known fee increases.

One of those measures could increase fees on driver's licenses and vehicle registrations, costing Missourians almost $22 million annually. Another bill would impose fees on mailed-in speeding traffic tickets, affecting an estimated 170,000 cases annually.

Missourians could pay more to get copies of their own medical records or court transcripts. Businesses could get charged more for certain Agriculture Department services. And court fees could rise in some places.

Although fees and taxes both take money from people, many Republican lawmakers have drawn a philosophical distinction. They say taxes are applied generally, and fees are charged only for specific services.