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Missouri Government News for Week of Apr. 19, 1999

Anti-methamphetamine task forces get new equipment

Anti-methamphetamine task forces gathered at the Jefferson City Police Department Monday to get new equipment for the cleanup of meth-lab sites. Funds for the equipment came out of a bill package passed last year at the prompting of Gov. Mel Carnahan. Along with money for training programs on anti-meth enforcement, the funds total $1.3 million.

Grant money to lower pre-school costs for parents.

Eighty-four school districts across the state will receive money to partially fund pre-school programs. The grants will help reduce tuition costs for parents.

House Gives Final Approvial to Crime Bill

The House gave final approvial to this year's crime bill. Measures in the bill include increasing the hold-time before a person is charged with a crime, creating new crimes, and exempting the mentally retarded from the death penalty.

See our newspaper story for details.

The Senate votes to expand hate crimes.

The Senate passed, on a closely divided vote, a measure to expand the state's hate crime law to cover sexual orientation and disabilities.

The law imposes tougher penalties for crimes based against certain categories of people.

See the Senate roll call.

Senator wants meeting on Lambert Airport expansion plans.

St. Louis County Senator Franc Flotron called for a meeting between Mayor Conrad Bowers of Bridgeton and Mayor Clarence Harmon of St. Louis to discuss Lambert Airport Expansion plans.

See our radio story for details.

House votes to restrict federal land purchases

If you want to sell your land to the federal government, the state House wants to intervene. The House passed, 88-31, a bill that would require the state legislature's approval for federal land purchases.

See our newspaper story for details.

Also see the House roll call.

Senate Addresses Criminal Forfeiture Complaints

The senate addresses complaints of educators who claim police are stealing their money.

They passed a measure requireing law enforcement to submit reports on the amount of criminal forfiture money they are sending to the federal government, who keeps a portion and returns the rest, rather than through the state courts, who gives the money to education.

See our newspaper story for details.

Lawmakers make bribery of a public official a crime again.

The Senate passed and sent to the governor legislation that reinstates what everyone thought was a law that makes it a crime for a public official to accept a bribe.

The legislation was filed with Jackson County Prosecutor Claire McCaskill, now the state auditor, discovered that the bribery law actually did not cover government officials who do not receive salaires -- like school board members.

The House approves banning use of credit reports for insurance coverage decisions.

The House approved and sent to the Senate a meausre that would prohibit insurance companies from discriminating on the basis of information from credit reports.

See our newspaper story for more information.

Also see the House roll-call vote.

Senate adopts amendment to ban abortion funding

In a six-hour debate that lasted well into the night Monday, the Senate approved an amendment by Senator John Schneider (D-St. Louis) that would restrict funding to organizations that provide abortions. Schneider's amendment strengthens language in a current appropriations bill that prohibits the state from funding abortion clinics. The amendment now moves to conference.

A spokesman for Governor Carnahan says the administration is waiting to see what happens to the amendment now. If it remains intact, it would prevent the state from providing any money to Planned Parenthood, even if it reorganizes and separates its abortion services unit from its counseling department. Schneider's amendment is designed to strip all funds from any organization with ties to abortion.

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