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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of January 13, 2003


. Missouri's Senate rejects the Salary Commission recommendations. (01/15/03)
JEFFERSON CITY - Without a single vote in opposition, Missouri's Senate passed a resolution to reject the Salary Commission's recommendations for pay raises for statewide elected officials, judges and legislators.

The pay scale automatically goes into effect unless rejected by both the Senate and the House -- which now gets the Senate-passed resolution.

Even if they take effect, the legislature can block salary increases by not approprating the funds -- as they did last year.

. Governor Holden Makes Case For His Budget, While Republicans Cry Foul (01/15/03)
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Bob Holden presented his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, using over $600 million in tax hikes to help make up for what could be a $1 billion deficit.

But, Republicans quickly criticized Holden's proposal as one that overtaxes Missourians and will further damage the state economy.

  • Get the table of the governor's tax proposals.
    . Missouri's governor says no change is needed in Missouri's death penalty law. (01/13/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The death sentence commutations by the governor of Illinois has not swayed the position of Missouri's governor.

    Gov. Bob Holden said he does not support repeal of Missouri's deaht penalty nor a moratorium on death sentences pending in the state.

    . Missouri's state auditor begins a new four-year term, but won't promise four years. (01/13/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - One of the most frequently mentioned possible opponents to the state's governor in two years was sworn into a second term as state office with the governor's prediction she'd stay on the job for a full four years.

    Gov. Bob Holden made the prediction in welcoming remarks for Clair McCaskill's inauguration.

    A full four years as auditor would preclude McCaskill challenging Holden for the Democratic nomination for governor in two years.

    Asked about the governor's comments, McCaskill declined to talk about her political plans -- saying it was too early to talk about politics.

    . The St. Louis area would lose highway funds under a new funding formula adopted by the Highways Commission. (01/10/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's Highways Commission adopted a new formula for allocating highway funds that would cost the St. Louis region about $25 million per year.

    The new formula is an implementation of the department administration's emphasis on redirecting resources to maintaining existing facilities and restoring public support.

    In recent years, the department and commission has come under severe criticism for failing to fulfill a new-highway construction program that been promoted as justification for a legislative-approved gasoline tax increase.

    . Missouri's legislative session begins by making history and issuing a warning to the governor. (01/08/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - History was made on the opening day of Missouri's 2003 legislative session when St. Louis County Republican Catherine Hanaway was elected as the first woman speaker of Missouri's House in the state's history.

    Hanaway, in her innaugural address, quickly issued a stern warning to the state's Democratic governor, Bob Holden, to not present lawmakers with a budget that is balanced by borrrowing money or raising taxes.

    Holden was unavailable for comment. His budget director has said that program and facility closings likely could not be avoided without tax increases.