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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of February 3, 2003

 


. UM Curators nominees fail to gain Senate approval (02/06/02)
JEFFERSON CITY - Two seats on the University of Missouri Board of Curators will be vacant due to Senate Republicans' refusal to approve Gov. Bob Holden's nominees. The Senate did not act on the January nominations of Democrat Don Walsworth and Republican Cheryl Walker, which had an approval deadline of Feb. 8.

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. Medical malpractice may get facelift (02/06/03)
JEFFERSON CITY - The state Deptartment of Insurance released a plan Thursday to reform the state's medical malpractice industry.

In the past decade, Missouri has decreased from eight companies offering coverage for doctors who are sued by their patients to three that still sell new policies.


. Lawmakers consider 24-hour waiting period for abortions (02/05/2003)
JEFFERSON CITY - A house commitee heard from supporters and opponents of a bill that would establish a 24-hour waiting period before abortions.

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    . Secretary of State Matt Blunt says he wants to crack down on securities fraud (02/05/2003)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Secretary of state Matt Blunt supports a bill that gives the state greater power to punish scam artists.

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    . The House gives first round approval for a 30-hour cap on the time someone is held without charge (02/05/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's House responds to law enforcement officials' complaints that 20 hours is not enough time to process charges on arrested individuals. Some officials, however, feel a citizen's civil liberties could be violated with the cap since it will apply to all classes of crimes.

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    . Senate Gives First Round Approval to Alert Missouri Bill (02/05/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - A bill to create a state-wide system for abduction alerts moved closer to becoming state law Wednesday. The Senate gave preliminary approval to the bill, which would establish the "Alert Missouri System."
    . Lawmakers consider a ban on human cloning (02/04/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Controversy over attempts to clone humans prompted some lawmakers to call for a ban on human cloning in Missouri. A House panel heard testimony on the plan that calls for tough restrictions on cloning. A professor of science and theology testified in favor of the bill. He told lawmakers the proposal will not impact the ability of doctors to perform standard fertility proceedures like in vitro fertilization. No scientists testified against the legislation.
    . Republicans craft plan to fix current fiscal year shortfall (02/04/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - House Speaker Catherine Hanaway and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder announced their compromise plan to fix the shortfall in the current year's budget. The proposal calls on borrowing $100 million from tobacco settlement funds along with $250 million in postponed spending and other accounting changes. Hanaway calls the plan "the least worst of several bad alternatives."

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    . Changes to no-call get first review (02/04/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - More industries could be unable to do business over the phone if changes to the existing no-call law heard by a House committee today go into effect.

    Rep. Rick Johnson, D-Jefferson County, proposed a bill that would prohibit certain professions, such as real estate and insurance agents who are licensed by the state, responding to a referal or working from home from calling potential clients to set up an appointment. If the new law were adopted, the caller must have an established business relationship with the recipient of the call.

    Lobbyists representing the Realtors Association, insurance agents, accountants and the telephone companies testified in opposition to the bill.

    The Attorney General's office that handles no-call complaints reported more than 32,000 complaints since the law went into effect July 2001. There are an average of 50 complaints per day, according to the Attorney General's staff who enforces the law.


    . Lawmakers wrestle with possible education cuts (02/03/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Funding for higher education and K-12 may be cut to solve the state's estimated $1 billion budget deficit, House and Senate education committee chairmen say.

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    . Promise of tobacco settlement revenues grows dim for healthcare, anti-smoking advocates (2/3/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - When Missouri and other states sued the tobacco companies in 1997, they argued for compensation for tobacco-related health care costs.

    Seven years and hundreds of million dollars in tobacco revenues later, lawmakers are tempted to use the money to close budget deficits, and Missouri still has not spent a cent to prevent smoking.

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    . Lawmakers Learn about Juvenile Justice (02/03/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Supreme Court along with the Missouri Juvenile Justice Association hosted an informational session for lawmakers. Legislators heard from juvenile court judges from around the state. They also broke into regional groups to discuss the topic further.

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