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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of January 27, 2003


. House Committee approves bill to send gambling funds to schools (01/30/03)
JEFFERSON CITY - The House Education Committee will send a bill to the floor that would allocate gambling funds to schools in addition to the basic aid they receive. Some lawmakers say voters have expected this for a decade.

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    . Bill would make SMSU a part of the UM System (01/30/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The University of Missouri Curators would take over Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield under a measure introduced Thursday by Columbia's senator. Democratic Sen. Ken Jacob's proposal comes in the same week that Republicans introduced a bill to rename SMSU as Missouri State University.

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    . Columbia lawmaker proposes Southwest Missouri State become part of UM system (01/30/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Under a bill proposed by Democratic senator Ken Jacob, UM would add a Springfield campus with the addition of S-M-S.
    . Four-day school week has pros and cons (01/30/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Bob Holden has cited a shortened school week as a threat schools might face if his proposed $259 million budget cuts become a reality. But an October report from the National School Boards Association found that shortening the school week did not have an adverse affect in schools examined in the report's review.

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    . House passes Amber Alert bill to help missing persons (01/30/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missing persons in Missouri are one step closer to getting more help from across the state with a anew alert system passed by the state House today.

    The Amber Alert system, named for a 9-year-old girl from Arlington, Texas who was abducted and killed in 1996, will send out a state-wide message when a person is reported missing.

    . Republicans, Dems debate proposed $480 million bond issue (1/29/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - A day after Gov. Bob Holden warned of dire consequences to the state's schools if the legislature failed to approve his plan to issue $480 million in debt, Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for failing to work the state's budget riddle.

    In the Senate, the Democratic floor leader complained that the Republican leadership had not even introduced the bill to authorize the bond issue.

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    . Higher Education Leaders Make Case in front of House Committee (01/29/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - UM System President, Elson Floyd, along with Quentin Wilson, Missouri's Higher Education Commisioner outlined thier priorities for the state's colleges and universities.

    Both said raising participation in Higher education is a top priority.

    . Lawmakers Consider Lowering Caps on Malpractice Lawsuits (01/29/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Physicians say malpractice insurance rates have soared because of large jury awards in malpractice lawsuits. That's why doctors lobbied for a bill that decreases the cap on pain and suffering awards to $250 million.

    Victims of malpractice say caps should stay at the existing level because the threat of large penalties discourages negligence.

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    . The governor turns up the budget heat on legislators. (01/28/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Bob Holden a session of Missouri's School Board Association to lobby legislators to approve a $350 million bond issue to raise funds for the remaining five months of the current fiscal year.

    Without the money, Holden told the group he would be forced to cut funds to local public schools by $259 million and cut another $91 million from higher education.

    Republican legislative leaders promptly criticized the governor for failing to meet with them to discuss options for dealing with the state's budget problems. And, they questioned the constitutionality of borrowing money without voter approval.

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    . Holden to unveil budget cuts for education. (01/27/03)
    The Missouri governor's office announced Monday that the governor would unveil a detailed list of education budget cuts that would be made if lawmakers do not agree to a plan to borrow $350 million to balance the state's budget.

    Gov. Bob Holden is planning to withhold as much as $350 million in state funding for public schools and universities this year unless lawmakers agree to sell the state's share of the tobacco settlement as bonds, according to the governor's office and State Budget Director Linda Luebbering.

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    . .Legislators consider a measure to keep losers on the ballot. (01/27/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Sen. Chuck Gross, R-St.Charles, made a proposal for a bill that wants to prohibit the avoidance of candidate withdrawing deadlines because of low chances of winning.

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    . Private eyes tell lawmakers their business needs to be regulated. (01/27/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Several private investigators told a Senate committee the profession of Magnum PI needs to be regulated.

    Private investigators from St. Louis and Columbia voiced support for legislation before the Senate Governmental Committee that would license and regulate private investigators.

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