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Missouri Government News for Week of Oct. 7, 1996


Veteran GOP former state senator dies.

A. Clifford Jones, one of Missouri's most respected state senators, died Wednesday after a lengthy illness.

The St. Louis County Republican had served 24 years in the Senate before his retirement in 1988.

In the Senate, he developed a reputation for using unusual tactics to make his points. Once, he began a Senate speech in ancient Greek.

On another occasion, he launched a lengthy, but silent, debate on the Senate floor -- pantomiming to demonstrate the time his colleagues were wasting in useless speeches prompted by live coverage of the Senate by a St. Louis radio station.

One of the few members who actually read every bill filed, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers regularly sought his advice.

Although he preached a conservative philosophy, Jones supported abortion rights, the Equal Rights Amendment and lowering the state's legal age.


Ballot issues still in legal limbo.

With just a little more than three weeks left before November elections, legal fights concerning a couple of ballot issues remain in limbo.

Earlier this week, term limit supporters appealed to the Mo. Supreme Court a lower court decision upholding the ballot description of their proposal to require the ballot indicate whether Congressional candidates support or oppose Congressional term limits.

A similar petition proposal requiring position identification of state legislative candidates on Congressional term limits was rejected by the Secretary of State for having too few signatures.

But that decision has been challenged in court.


Gubernatorial candidates trade charges.

The two main candidates for Missouri governor traded charges in the first debate of the campaign.

Republican Margaret Kelly described Democratic incumbent Gov. Mel Carnahan as "taxman Carnahan" for breaking his 1992 campaign promise to submit his education tax increase proposal to the voters.

Carnahan accused Kelly of ignorning wrong doing by GOP office holders during her 12 years as state auditor.

Much of the debate focused on Kelly's proposed $640 million package of tax cuts.

Carnahan said the package was based on faulty math -- that numbers had been double counted -- and, as a result, would force deep cuts in state services like education.

Kelly defended the tax cut, saying it could be done without hurting education.

The Libertarian Party candidate, J. Mark Oglesby proposed elimination of the state income tax, but said he not had time to work out the budget figures.


Indictments reported near in House Speaker investigation.

The Kansas City Business Journal reported Friday that the federal grand jury investigating former House Speaker Bob Griffin has been asked to return four indictments.

The paper, which quoted unnamed sources, did not name those for whom indictments have been requested by federal prosecutors.

The federal investigation, more than a year old, began after published reports on Griffin's work for riverboat gambling interests.

The journal's story, however, reports the indictments also will include health care legislation and a gasoline tax passed by the legislature


Minimum wage ballot issue stands.

The Cole County Circuit Court has let stand, with only one minor change, the cost estimate that will appear on the November ballot for the proposal to raise the state minimum wage.

As a result, the description of Proposition A will include an estimate that the proposal will cost Missouri government at least $100 million if the minimum wage is raised.

In the mean time, two other lawsuits involving ballot issues on the November ballot remain pending.

For more information, see our radio story.