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Blind Senator's assistant is under fire

March 15, 2001
By: Aaron Cummins
State Capital Bureau

A day's worth of political bickering in Missouri's Senate ended with word that the job of the staff member assigned to help the state's only blind lawmaker is under fire. Aaron Cummins has the story from Jefferson City--

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OutCue: SOC

Kim Green has assisted Senator Harold Caskey for the past nine years.

Green is one of about a dozen Senate staffers whose job is under review after Republican leaders announced a plan to reduce the Senate's budget by 10 percent.

After hearing the news, Caskey was asked how he would do his job without an assistant.

Actuality:caskey1
RunTime: 5
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Contents: Caskey says he's done a lot of things in his life, even though he's been visually impaired since age 6.

At that point Caskey stopped the interview... overcome by his emotions.

President Pro Tem Peter Kinder says the staff reductions are a matter of fairness.

He says no Senators other than leadership positions have personal staff members that are paid out of the Senate budget.

From the state capital, Aaron Cummins, KMOX-News.


The job of the assistant of Missouri's only blind lawmaker is under fire, after Senate Republicans announced their plan to reduce the Senate's budget. Aaron Cummins has more from Jefferson City--

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Senator Harold Caskey is legally blind.

Caskey has an assistant to read bills for him.

But that assistant's job is one of a about a dozen Senate staff positions that Republicans want to eliminate.

President Pro Tem Peter Kinder says it is a matter of fairness.

Actuality:peter01
RunTime: 7
OutCue:
Contents: Kinder says the issue is that no other Senators have personal staff members paid for by the Senate.

Kinder says Caskey should have to hire the assistant out of his own office's budget--not the Senate's.

But, Caskey says he's disappointed because he wasn't consulted before a decision was made.

From the state capital, Aaron Cummins, KMOX-News.