NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of September 29, 2003
|.||One of the state's property assessment hearing officers is reassigned. (10/03/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The chief hearing officer who has been the subject of complaints from county tax officials has been reassigned to other cases by the state Tax Commission.
Bart Tichenor had been criticized by county official for consistently siding with businesses on property assessment appeals.
|.||State revenue report shows increases (10/03/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Revenue released a report saying that general revenue collection for the first quarter increased about eight percent from last year.
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|.||Illegal aliens may soon get a Missouri driver's license (10/03/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - With a new California law that will go into effect at the beginning of next year, illegal aliens can get driver's licenses. Missouri law states that all a person needs to get a Missouri license is a current license and another form of identification.
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|.||MODOT appealing court decision to allow Kl Klux Klan participation in Adopt-A-Highway (10/03/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission will appeal a court decision granting the Knights of the Klu Klux Klan permission to participate in Missouri's Adopt-A-Highway Program. On September 10, the distict court ruled the Klan must be allowed to participate. The Klan application was denied in April 2001.
|.||Missouri is recycling half its trash (10/02/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Department of Natural Resources says that almost half of Missouri's trash is being recycled.
But DNR officials say that even though Missouri is recycling more trash, it is also creating more waste than in the past.
|.||Kinder says his views on education distorted by governor (10/02/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder released a statement saying the governor twisted his views on education.
In a Kansas City Star editorial published July 28, Holden wrote that Kinder supports closing local schools through forced consolidation.
Kinder says this is not true.
|.||DOR insists California law can't subvert Missouri driver's licenses (01/10/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Department of Revenue officials insist that a new California law giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants won't allow illegals to get Missouri licenses.
Because Missouri requires additional documentation and verification, DOR officials say they're confident in the security of Missouri licenses.
Skeptics charge that this is false confidence, because with a California license, illegal immigrants can get by without needing a Missouri license.
|.||More than 1,700 job cuts in Missouri schools (10/02/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Education reports at least 1,700 certificated jobs in public schools disappeared this school year.
At the request of Gov. Bob Holden, the department sent out a survey to all school superintendents last month. The term certificated personnel includes teachers, administrators and all other professional positions during the current school year. The number is based on partial results, since only 442 of the 524 school districts in the state replied to the survey.
|.||Top Legislators Supporting Concealed Weapons Will Not Oppose Cities Prohibiting Guns on City Property (10/01/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Two Missouri legislators who support the new concealed weapons law will not try to keep local governments from instituting ordinances that prohibit guns on busses and other forms of public transportation. Rep. Larry Crawford, R-Centertown, the bill's sponsor, and Speaker Pro Tem Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, said that it is the right of local governments to pass such ordinances. They did, however, say that municipal restrictions on weapons will gradually be relaxed.
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|.||Top house democrat says he will resign his post and run for state treasurer in '04 (10/01/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Democratic floor leader Mark Abel says although he has one possible term left in the House, it was time to consider his political future.
Abel had been criticized by other democrats for not being a forceful leader in the House.
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|.||Small pox vaccinations in Missouri on hold (09/30/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri health care officials are waiting for the federal government's OK before starting the second phase of small pox vaccinations.
Currently, no one in Missouri is receiving small pox vaccinations.
|.||Planned strike could bring Amtrak trains to a halt (09/30/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Amtrak unions say they plan to strike on Oct. 3 if more funding is not pledged.
For Missouri residents, this could mean no more trips between St. Louis and Kansas City.
But Amtrak officials say they hope a temporary restraining order will keep the workers on the job.
|.||St. Louis County prosecutor endorses McCaskill for governor (09/30/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch has endorsed State Auditor Claire McCaskill for the Democratic Party gubernatorial nomination.
|.||Attorney general reviewing Medicaid court order (09/30/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri attorney general is reviewing a court injunction that is ordering the state to reissue dental and eyeglass care to Medicaid patients.
|.||PSC chair steps down (09/30/2003)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Public Service Commission Chairman Kevin L. Simmons said Monday that he'll resign the chairman's post, but continue serving on the commission.
Despite proding from Gov. Bob Holden and other leading Democrats, Simmons, the longtime Democratic activist and former aide to Gov. Mel Carnahan, said he's not planning on running for state treasurer on next year's ballot. Simmons' resignation is effective Nov. 3.
|.||What one judge ruled unconstitutional, Missouri practices in law (09/29/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Since July 2001 a loophole in Missouri laws has allowed charity organizations to make telemarketing calls to homes on the state's No Call list. However, last Thursday a federal judge ruled that it is unconstitutional under the First Amendment to block the speech of telemarketing calls, but not calls from charities. The Missouri law will not change because of the ruling.
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|.||Missouri nursing homes safe (09/29/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Federal law requires nursing home inspections once a year. Missouri conducts them twice a year, and has high safety standards for its facilities.
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|.||Program to keep children receiving mental healthcare in homes starts October 1 (09/29/03)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Several times a week, some parents in St. Louis County struggle with the decision of whether to keep custody of their child or seek the best mental healthcare for the child. Two of Missouri's government agencies are working to avoid that decision. On Oct. 1, the Departments of Mental Health and Social Services will begin pilot programs in two circuits to keep children requiring mental healthcare in their guardian's custody. The circuits used for the pilot include the counties of St. Louis, Audrain, Montgomery and Ward.
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