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Missouri Government News for Week of Sept. 14, 1998

Roger Wilson says he'll run for lieutenant governor.

Roger Wilson has ended months of speculation about his political career.

The Columbia Democrat said he will seek a third term as Missouri's lieutenant governor in the year 2000.

Last spring, Wilson dropped his campaign for governor. In the Democratic primary for that race, he had been trailing State Treasurer Bob Holden in funding.

McKenna ends Senate career

Senate president pro-term Bill McKenna (D-Barnham) is Missouri's first victim of term limits. He presided over his last legislative session this week, and when he banged the gavel to adjourn, his time was up.

St. Louis area loses control of Senate leadership

Jefferson County democrat Bill McKenna is Missouri's first victim of term limits. The end of this week's veto session marked his last day presiding over the Senate as president pro-term.

The man expected to replace McKenna as Senate president is Ed Quick, a democrat from the Kansas City area. Quick is now Senate majority leader. It is also likely that the Senator who replaces Quick will also be from western Missouri -- the three men who want the job are all from that area.

GOP lawmakers call for a $300 million tax cut.

With the GOP candidate for State Auditor at their side, Republican legislative leaders called for a $300 million tax cut -- saying the state continues to collect excess revenues.

The governor's office quickly called the proposal irresponsible.

For several years, Republicans have argued that the state administration under-estimates the amount of tax refunds due under the Hancock tax lid.

That lid limits the amount of revenue state government can collect and keep.

Lawmakers already have passed nearly $1 billion in tax cuts in an effort to keep revenue collections within the Hancock limit.

See our radio story for details.

Missouri's governor might attend Clinton's fund raiser.

The governor's spokesman says Gov. Mel Carnahan probably would attend the fund-raiser with Pres. Bill Clinton in St. Louis if he were invited.

Clinton is scheduled to attend the fund raiser in mid-October.

Last week, Carnahan told Associated Press that it was not the best time for Clinton to come to Missouri.

Welfare recipients protest state rules.

About four dozen welfare recipients and advocates rallied outside the Capitol Wednesday protesting state regulations implementing federal welfare reform.

The protestors complain that the rules -- such as a requirement that recipients be recertified for food stamps every three months -- impose an unfair burden.

The state Social Services Department says those rules have helped cut welfare overpayments by more than six percent.

Lawmakers sustain the governor's vetos.

Missouri's legislature upheld the governor's vetos of ten bills and various budget line-item vetos.

In fact, a motion to override was made on only one bill. And that effort was rejected on a straight party-line vote.

The short veto session is the last time lawmakers will meet before the November elections. Several Republicans predicted they have a shot at winning control of the legislature for the first time in more than 40 years because of the Clinton sex scandal.

Also on Wednesday, women lawmakers unveiled their "Capitol Cooks" -- a cook book of recipes from lawmakers and other government officials.

See our newspaper story on the predictions about the effects of Clinton's problems on the November statehouse elections.

Also seee our newspaper story on the cook book.

Veto session is the last time McKenna will preside over the State Senate

Senate President pro term Bill McKenna (D-Barnhart) says that this year's veto session should end Thursday. That will be the last day he presides over the State Senate. Term limits require he step down at the end of the year.

The state legislature said its formal good-byes to McKenna back in May.

See our radio story for details.

State Legislature to consider vetoed bills

The State Legislature meets Wednesday for its annual veto session. This year Governor Carnahan vetoed 10 bills, but Legislative leaders and a spokesman for the Governor say it is unlikely the Legislature will object to any of Carnahan's vetoes.

See our radio story and our newspaper story for details.

Legislative leaders predict governor's vetoes will be sustained.

Legislative leaders say they do not expect any of the governor's vetoes to be overridden when lawmakers hold their veto session Wednesday.

The governor vetoed ten bills this spring -- not major except for an effort to boost legislative pensions.

Last year, the Senate rejected an override effort on a partial-birth abortion ban by just one vote. This year, however, lawmakers did not pass any abortion restriction legislation.

See our newspaper story for details.

Top Democrats suggest Clinton stay out of Missouri.

Associated Press reports that both Gov. Mel Carnahan and Atty. Gen. Jay Nixon say that it is not the best time for Pres. Bill Clinto to visit Missouri.

Clinton had been expected to attend a campaign event in St. Louis on Oct. 16.

Nixon is seeking election to the U.S. Senate seat now held by Kit. Bond.

The state begins mailing out this year's Hancock tax refunds.

The state Revenue Department announced it had started mailing out about two million Hancock tax refunds from excess refunds collected from 1997. The department said $319 million wiil be refunded during the next few months.

The average tax payer will get a refund of about $76.

At the same time, the state budget director announced that next year's refunds will total $245 million. Those refunds, based on 1998 tax returns, would be mailed out in the fall of 1999.

The refunds are triggered by what is called the "Hancock Lid" in the state constitution that limits the amount of revenue the state can spend each year.