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Tobacco Bill up in Smoke

May 1, 2000
By: Phill Brooks
State Capital Bureau
Links: SCS HS HJR 61

Missouri's Senate held an unusual evening session in a failed effort to decide how to divide up the billions fo dollars in tobacco settlement funds. Phill Brooks has the story from Jefferson City:

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The Senate Democratic leadership gave up after more than five hours of near-fruitless debate.

In the end, the Senate's top leader charged Republicans did not want a measure passed.

It was charge not quite denied by Senate Republican Leader Steve Ehlmann:

Actuality:EHLMANN1
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Contents: [124K WAV file - Senate Republican Leader Steve Ehlmann argues that the proposed constitutional amendment to allocate tobacco settlement funds should be delayed until next year so it could be an issue in this fall's campaign for governor.]

At issue is a proposal that would require statewide voter approval that decide the areas for which the tobacco money could be spent.

Senate debate is expected to continue this week.

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