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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of May 12, 2003


. Despite loosing key bills business groups are satisfied at the end of the session (05/17/03)
JEFFERSON CITY - Businesses advocates said they are satisfied with the first Republican Legislature in more than fifty years.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Democrats leave session divided (05/16/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - This legislative session featured squabbling, wrangling and name calling -- and that's just among Senate Democrats. Tension between liberal and moderate Democrats erupted this session with party members arguing on the Senate floor over guns and abortion. The infighting culminated Friday with veteran lawmaker Sen. Harold Caskey, D-Butler, publicly quitting his chairmanship of the Democratic caucus.

    Get the newspaper story

    . Governor makes a bill become a law in secret (05/16/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Changes in Missouri law are being enacted behind closed doors instead of with the typical pomp and circumstance.

    Democratic Gov. Bob Holden has already signed about 20 bills into law, but has broken from tradition by doing so in the secrecy of his office without inviting the sponsors of the legislation.

    Get the newspaper story

    . Budget cutters and Social conservatives claim victory (05/16/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Both fiscal and social conservatives counted their victories Friday as the General Assembly wrapped up the five-month session.

    Members in both factions of the Republican party felt their agendas were successful in the first year the party has been in the majority of both chambers in half a century.

    Get the newspaper story

    . Governor still won't decide on budget as legislature finishes business (05/16/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - As the gavel fell on the last day of the legislative session, Gov. Bob Holden still would not committ to signing or vetoing next year's state budget. But, he did commit to vetoing at least three of the Republican-backed bills - a 24-hour wait period on abortion, the right for Missourians to carry concealed weapons and a cap on the amount of money a victim of malpractice can receive in a lawsuit.

    Get the newspaper story

    . Extreme partisanship surprises freshmen legislators (05/16/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The high degree of partisanship was a surprise for many of the state House's 90 freshmen legislators this session.

    Get the newspaper story

    . Foster care legislation on governor's desk (05/16/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - While the legislature made strides by passing a bill to increase protections for children, many of those involved look forward to more changes in the future.

    Get the newspaper story

    . Governor's vetos may make lawmakers' work null and void (05/15/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Going into the final day of the legislative session, all eyes are on the governor's office instead of the House and Senate.

    Democratic Governor Bob Holden has vowed to veto most of what the Republican legislature has put on his desk this year. But, Republicans call vetos a mistake.

    Get the newspaper story

    . Missourians could buy liquor earlier on Sunday under legislation now before the governor. (05/14/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's legislature has sent the governor a measure that would allow the sale of liquor earlier on Sunday morning.

    The measure would allow liquor sales at restaurants and packaged liquor stores to begin at 9am rather than 11am on Sunday.

  • Get the House vote.
  • Get the Senate vote.
    . Missouri's Senate votes to punish disorderly sports fans. (05/15/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's Senate passed a broad anti-crime bill that also would make it a crime for fans to run onto a sports field during a game, create the crite of identity theft and allow issuance of warrants by telephone.

    The long list of anti-crime sections were added to a House-passed bill that dealt only with extending the number of hours a suspect can be held before charges are filed.

    The measure now goes back to the House for consideration of the Senate additions.

  • Get the package of radio stories.
    . House Passes Gun Lawsuit Ban (05/14/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The state, counties and cities would no longer be able to sue gun manufacturers under a bill passed through the state legislature. The House passed the Senate measure 113-37. The bill now heads to the governor to sign or veto.

  • Get the radio story.
    . A top Senate Democratic leader quits his post. (05/13/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The chairman of the Senate's Democratic Caucus has resigned.

    Sen. Harold Caskey, D-Butler, confirmed his resignation, but refused to discuss his reasons. For the last two weeks, there has been growing speculation of discontent among rural, moderate Democrats with their party's leadership in the Senate.

    Two weeks ago, Caskey made the motion to shut off debate on a filibuster led by fellow Democrats that was blocking a vote on his bill to legalize concealed weapons.

    Two other rural Democrats, along with Caskey, ended up voting for the bill -- which the Democratic governor has vowed to veto.

    . Gov. Bob Holden refuses to confirm a special session (05/13/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - With three weeks left in the session, the Republican leaders said they were disapointed that the governor has not indicated whether he will call a special session.

    The two top leaders met with the governor Tuesday morning. Later in the day, both chambers passed the main bill needed to balance the budget they passed last week.

    Passage of the revenue-increase bill was without opposition in the Senate, but the overwhelming number of Democrats in the House voted against the revenue bill and another measure designed to raise funds to balance the budget.

  • Get the newspaper story.
  • Get the House roll call.
    . Bill would only allow US citizens and legal aliens to participate in A+ program (05/13/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Only U.S. citizens and legal aliens would be allowed to participate in the A+ program, which provides grants to Missouri's best academic performing schools, if a bill sponsored by Rep. Susan Phillips, R-Kansas City had passed during this legislature.
    . Holden refuses to tell legislative leaders his special session plans. (05/13/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Legislative leaders say Gov. Bob Holden did not tell them whether he intended to call a special session on taxes and the budget when the legislature adjourns its regular session at the end of the week.

    The House Speaker and President Pro Tem had a short meeting with the governor to urge him to sign the budget the legislature passed last week and to not call a special session.

    But the Speaker, Catherine Hanaway, said left with the impression that the governor would call a special session.

    . MU plan to build performing arts center hits roadblock (05/12/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers Monday squashed legislation that would have empowered the University of Missouri to move forward with its plans to build a new performing arts center.

  • Get the newspaper story
    . State would be required to privatize at least half of foster care system by 2006 (05/12/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate passed a House bill Monday that would require the state to privatize at least 50 percent of its foster care system by 2006.

    The measure now heads to a House-Senate conference committee to work out differences.

  • Get the newspaper story
    . Lawmakers Send Governor Election Bill (05/12/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The bill brings Missouri into compliance with the federal Help America Vote Act.

    The state is expected to receive more than $70 million to upgrade precincts.

    Supporters of the bill say the goal is to rid the voting system of punchcards by upgrading to touch screen voting machines.

    Only a handful of lawmakers in the House voted against the legislation, citing concerns the bill may disenfranchise voters in urban areas.

  • Get the newspaper story.