Mo. Senate backs expanded powers for rural areas

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri senators have endorsed a pair of bills giving rural counties greater authority to establish building codes and provide housing for senior citizens.

One bill that received initial approval Tuesday would allow rural counties to seek voter approval to adopt building codes, just as more populous counties already can do. The legislation would exempt buildings used solely for agricultural purposes from the codes.

Another bill given first-round Senate approval would allow rural counties with nursing home districts to convert empty skilled-care rooms into apartments for seniors.

Both bills need another Senate vote before going to the House.

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