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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of February 17, 2003


. Workers' compensation restrictions: creating jobs or hurting workers? (02/20/03)
JEFFERSON CITY - Workers' compensation is being blamed by lawmakers and businesses owners for much of Missouri's job loss, but some say restricting workers' compensation will not affect job losses and would only hurt workers.

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. Borrowing plan awaits Holden's signature (02/20/03)
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's legislature has voted to give the governor power to borrow money for the purpose of balancing the state budget. The bill passed overwhelmingly--but some objected that the $150 million cap was too low. It's the first time in recent memory the legislature has authorized borrowing to aid in a fiscal crisis.
. Lawmakers consider packed pistols. (02/20/03)
JEFFERSON CITY - Legislative committees are reviewing proposals that would let private citizens carry concealed weapons.

A similar measure was rejected by Missouri voters a few years ago. The bills before the legislature would not refer the proposal to the voters.

  • Get the newspaper feature.
    . The deadline approaches for getting on Missouri's SeniorRx program. (02/20/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Friday, Feb. 28 is the deadline for lower-income elderly to apply for the state program that helps cover the costs of prescription drugs.

    The state estimates that about 40,000 Missourians will enroll in the program. The deadline applies to coverage for the current year.

  • Get the newspaper feature.
    . Workers compenstation restrictions win approval in Missouri's House. (02/20/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - In a near party-line vote, Missouri's House gave first round approval to legislation that would add restrictions to the state's program that provides health coverage for injured workers.

    Business interests strongly have pushed for the measure.

  • Get the bill.
  • Get the roll call.
    . An abortion restriction bill clears an abortion restriction. (02/19/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The House Health Committee has sent to the full House legislation that would impose a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion could be performed.

    Under the bill, a physican would have to advise a woman of potential risks of an abortion at least 24 hours before an abortion could be performed.

  • Get the newspaper feature on abortion restriction bills.
  • Get the bill.
    . Missouri's House and Senate remember KMOX journalist Nan Wyatt (02/19/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's House and Senate opened Wednesday's session with a moment of silence in honor of KMOX broadcaster Nan Wyatt who was shot to death in her home Tuesday night.

    It was the first time in recent memory that a journalist had received such recognition by the legislature.

    Wyatt frequently traveled to the statehouse to cover major state government stories.

    . Senate approves giving the governor $82 million less in borrowed money than he demanded (02/19/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's Senate agreed to go along with a House plan to limit the amount of borrowed money the legislature would give Gov. Bob Holden this fiscal year to resolve the state's budget crisis.

    Under the Senate plan, the administration would be limited to $150 million in bonds to finance the remaining four months of the current fiscal year.

    But the Republican plan leaves the state with a $82 million shortfall for the rest of the budgeting year, which ends June 30.

  • Get the newspaper story.
  • Get the radio story.
  • Get the Senate vote.
  • Get the vote to raise the amount of the bonds.
  • Get the vote to borrow money from the emergency reserve fund.
    . Lower education gets brunt of cuts. (2/19/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Lower education would be cut by $107.9 million, while higher education would lose $3.7 million under the plan from the House Education Appropriations Committee.

    Lower education cuts include changes to the school foundation formula and the elimination of the safe schools program. Each institution of higher education had its budget cut by 0.25 percent.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Bills would combat obesity (02/19/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate Health Committee was urged to approve legislation to establish a commission to develop a state program to combat obesity.

    The committee took no immediate action on the proposal.

  • Get the newspaper feature.
    . Bill Would Increase DWI Treatment Fees (02/19/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The House Health Care Policy Committee heard testimony on a bill sponsor Rep. Robert Schaaf (R-St. Joseph) says would make DWI treatment programs self-sufficient.

    Under the bill DWI offenders would pay additional fees to make up costs currently paid for by the state government.

    DWI offenders must complete these programs to get their drivers licenses reinstated.

  • Get the radio story.
    . Senate bill would double UM insurance costs (02/18/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - A vice president of the University of Missouri system said health insurance costs for faculty and staff would nearly double under legislation to combine all the health-coverage plans for state workers.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Legislative Academy would train freshman legislators (02/18/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - In a year where more than half of the Missouri legislators are new to their post, a veteran senator is looking for a way to educate freshman even faster.

    Sen. Doyle Childers, R-Reeds Spring, has passed a bill through the Senate that would create a Legislator Academy for new members between their first and second sessions. The bill still awaits a hearing in the House.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . UM alumni form caucus (02/18/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - In what amounts to a political alumni association, several state House members have formed the University of Missouri Caucus.

    The petition seeking recognition as an official caucus was filed today with the House Ethics Committee.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Holding Down Spending Key For New House Budget Chairman (02/17/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Less than four years ago, Carl Bearden was a St. Charles County commissioner, absorbed with local political issues like streetlights and noisy neighbors.

    Today he's among the most powerful forces steering Missouri's $19 billion budget.

  • Get the newspaper feature.
    . House budget chairman asks lawmakers to make cuts in 2004 (02/17/2003)
    JEFFERSON CITY - House budget chairman Carl Bearden gave committee heads spending targets based on a lower general revenue estimate than the Governor's.

  • Get the radio story.
    . House bill would regulate companies' handling of mental health insurance (02/17/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Vicky Riback Wilson, D-Columbia, says insurance companies discriminate against people with mental illnesses. But opponents of her bill say more insurance mandates could drive up costs across the board.

  • Get the newspaper story