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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of February 10, 2003

 


. Spending cap handed down to Education Appropriations Committee (02/13/03)
JEFFERSON CITY - Higher and lower education stand to lose a combined $119 million under a spending cap imposed Thursday by the House budget chairman.

The spending limits were handed down to each of the House Appropriations Committee in preparation for the committee's to begin work on the state's operating budget next fiscal year.

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    . House passes Republican budget compromise (02/13/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - A compromise between the Republican leadership and Gov. Bob Holden could fill the $350 million projected shortfall in this year's state budget. But, cuts to primary and higher education are still looming.

    The bill that passed the House Thursday takes $150 million from tobacco funds, but still requires $200 million in cuts, which the governor has threatened to take from education.

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  • Get the House roll call.
    . The House votes to give Holden less than half the tobacco money he demanded to plug '03 hole (02/12/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Holden said a House vote today effectively forces him to impose $162 million in withholdings from education this year. But Republicans say they're not done negotiating and the governor has other options than to cut from education.

    The House gave first-round approval to a bill to limit to $100 million the size of any bond issue the administration could issue to balance the remaining four months of the fiscal year.

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  • Get the House roll call.
    . Past criminal offenders want the chance to wipe the slate clean (02/12/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Catholic Conference supports a bill which would expunge criminal records after 10 years. Missouri's chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, however, wants to ensure that repeat drunk driving offenders can still be tracked by law enforcement officials.

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    . Businesses pay penalties for sending e-mail; licensed professionals do not (2/12/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Licensed trades, occupations and professions would not pay penalties for sending commercial e-mail under a House bill that was passed out of committee Wednesday. The bill would make businesses pay penalties for sending commercial e-mail to addresses on a state list.

    The bill includes a provision to push Internet service providers to block access to child pornography sites.

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    . Disabled adults voice fears that budget problems will curtail their services. (02/11/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Several disabled adults voiced fears to a House appropriations committee that the state's budget crunch could cause elimination of a program that provides them with personal attendants to avoid full-time institutionalization.

    The governor's budget proposal does not propose elimination of the program. But one member of the House committee said they had good reason to worry.

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    . Legislative committees approve the GOP's budget-balancing plan. (02/11/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Committee's in both Missouri's House and Senate approved legislation that would limit Gov. Bob Holden to borrowing no more than $100 million to balance the remaining four months of the current budget year.

    Holden has argued that is not enough and has rejected various areas Republicans have suggested for trimming state government spending.

    But Republicans say they will not agree to more than $100 million in bonds to fill a budget shortfall that administration sources say exceeds $350 million.

    Both the House and Senate are expected to take up the measures later this week.


    . Lawmakers hear widespread objections to a plan to deregulate Southwestern Bell's Internet services. (02/11/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Regional Internet service providers told legislative committees that deregulation of Southwestern Bell's Internet services could drive them out of business.

    Committees of the House and Senate heard testimony of a plan that would exempt broadband Internet services by telephone companies from regulation by the Public Service Commission.

    Unlike non-telephone companies which are exempt from PSC regulation, Southwestern's status as a telephone company brings both its phone and Internet services under price regulation.

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    . House approves setting gaming money aside for education (02/11/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The House gave first round approval to a Republican proposal that would put gaming revenue into a separate account. That money would get distributed to school districts on a per pupil basis.

    Democratic opponents argue gaming money already funds education. They also object to the plan because they say it favors wealthy school districts.

    The bill needs final House approval before heading to the Senate for consideration.

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    . Missouri's governor accepts part and rejects part of the legislative leadership's compromise plan to plug the state's budget hole. (02/10/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Bob Holden accepted part of a Republican legislative leadership plan to fix a $350 million hole in the state's budget.

    But the governor said Republicans still need to agree to a large bond issue to borrow enough money to prevent cuts from education.

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