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Missouri Government News for Week of Sept. 30, 1996

State auditor accused of using bogus budget figures to justify her tax-cut plan.

State Auditor Margaret Kelly, the GOP candidate for governor, unveiled Thursday the details of her tax-cut plan.

But the state budget director and the incumbent governor's campaign officials immediately responded that Kelly had used incorrect budget figures to justify how the state could afford the $640 million cost of her package.

She said the savings could be realized by freezing a $4.4 billion budget line for "bureaucracy" that does, not in fact, exist in the official budget.

In addition, the state's budget director said Kelly had, in one instance, double counted figures to come up with a higher cost savings.

For more information, see:

November ballot remains in legal limbo.

Three lawsuits involving what will appear on the November ballot remained unresolved at the end of the day Thursday.

All three lawsuits are pending before the Cole County circuit court:

  1. Whether a petition campaign requiring the ballot indicate positions of Congressional candidates on Congressional term limits. A similar Congressional-term-limit proposal covering state legislative candidates was certified for the November ballot.
  2. The estimated cost to government to implement, if it is passed, the proposal requiring ballots note the position of state legislative candidates on Congressional term limits.
  3. The estimated cost to government to implement a proposed increase in the state minimum wage.

With less than five weeks before the November election, decisions on the cases are expected within the next few days.

Missouri Bar survey finds support to retain judges on the ballot.

Lawyers surveyed by the Missouri Bar have supported retention of all the non-partisan court judges on the November ballot.

Under the non-partisan court plan, judges do not face opposition candidates on the ballot. Instead, voters chose whether to retain each judge for another term.

The non-partisan court plan covers the state supreme court, appeals courts and some metro-area circuit judges.

For more information, see the Missouri Bar judicial survey page.

Kelly to unveil tax-cut plan on Thursday.

The GOP candidate for governor has scheduled a two-day, cross-state set of news conferences to unveil her tax cut plan.

Earlier in the summer, Margaret Kelly had promised she would pursue a $500 million tax cut package if she were elected governor.

But Kelly refused to reveal any details of the plan, saying she'd do that in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Meanwhile, incumbent Gov. Mel Carnahan has proposed near elimination of the state sales tax on groceries and tax credits for some college costs. Those cuts would cost the state only about half of Kelly's $500 million plan.

For more information, see our radio story.

Federal welfare cuts to hit Missouri this week.

On Tuesday, Missouri welfare recipients will begin to feel the effects of federal welfare reform.

October 1 is the effective date for a package of tougher requirements, restrictions and benefit cuts mandated by the new federal law.

In Missouri, some of the cuts are being softed temporarily by expanded state spending to make up for the reduced federal dollars.

For more information on specific program changes, see: