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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of October 6, 2003


. Sheriffs ready to issue conceal and carry applications (10/10/03)

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri sheriffs' departments have been creating conceal and carry applications ever since the legislature overrode the governor's veto.

The applications are ready for any citizen interested in obtaining a conceal and carry permit.

Sheriffs report that many phone calls have poured in since the override, mostly from citizens in rural areas.

. Concealed weapons law to put thousands of guns on Missouri roads (09/10/2003)

JEFFERSON CITY - The new concealed weapons law goes into effect Saturday, and with it comes the potential for thousands of handguns on Missouri roads, raising the posibility of violence, and forcing police to treat every routine traffic stop as if it's an encounter with an armed driver.

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    . Nixon files first lawsuits under new anti-spam law (10/09/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon filed the state's first lawsuits against companies violating the new anti-spam law.

    The law, which took effect Aug. 28, is aimed at limiting unsolicited e-mail. Under the new law, solicitors must label commercial e-mails with the phrase "ADV:" in the subject line.

    The suits, filed in St. Louis Circuit Court, seek injunctions to prevent both defendents from further violations, as well as a fine of up to $5,000 for each violation. One suit is against Phillip Nixon of Palm Beach, Fla. The suit claims Nixon sent five unsolicited e-mails without the proper labeling.

    The second suit names of Boca Raton, Fla. The suit charges that the company also violated the new anti-spam bill regulations.

    . Missouri ranks number one in bankruptcy rates (10/09/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The American Bankruptcy Institute issued a report this week which listed Missouri as the leader in the nation's bankruptcy rate per capita. This figure was nearly double the nation's average.

    State Chamber of Commerce officials said the state's government has the means to implement laws to correct this bankruptcy statistic.

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    . Missouri's latest abortion restriction law faces federal court action. (10/09/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Associated Press reports that a federal judge will issue an order blocking a law that would require an abortion be delayed for 24 hours after a physican is contacted.

    The measure, which was put into law when lawmakers voted to override the governor's veto in September, is scheduled to take effect on Saturday.

    AP quotes U.S. District Judge Scott Wright's clerk said a restraining order blocking the law would be issued on Friday, pending a full hearing scheduled for late January.

    . Missouri's concealed weapons law is challenged. (10/08/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - A St. Louis circuit judge has been asked to block implementation of the state's new concealed weapons law that is scheduled to take effect Saturday.

    The suit was filed by a group of opponents, including some legislators who had voted against overriding the governor's veto of the measure.

    . Planned lawsuit is dividing Missouri school districts (10/08/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - A planned lawsuit against the state's system for funding local schools is dividing Missouri's school districts. Although the lawsuit is being prepared by a group of more than 200 districts, other districts warn that a successful lawsuit could lead to deep cuts in state funding for school districts in areas of economic growth.

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    . Missouri's children gaining weight, state receives funds to fight the trend (10/08/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri will be getting federal funds to help reverse its growing childhood obesity rate. Approximately 21.5% of Missouri children are overwieght, eight points above the national average. Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services will receive $200,000 of a nation-wide USDA grant to promote healthy eating habits among children.

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    . 911 cell phone coverage inadequate (10/07/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - A tax that would have paid for enhanced 911 cell phone service in Missouri has been rejected on two occasions. Currently, a task force is looking at revamping the bill.

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    . MoDOT delays release of blue ribbon report (10/07/2003)

    JEFFERSON CITY - MoDOT is delaying the release of a harshly critical report that faults the department's leadership for many of the state's transportation woes. Members of the independent blue ribbon panel responsible for the report say they needed more time to polish the report. A preliminary draft of the report says MoDOT is overly centralized and lacks the vision, direction, and leadership necessary to lead Missouri's transportation infrastructure into the next century.

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    . Missouri voters can't follow California and hold governor recall election (10/07/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The state of Missouri does not have a state law that allows a governor recall election. Right now, a Missouri governor could only be removed through the impeachment process.

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    . State penitentiary makeover plan aims high (10/07/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Penitentiary may be the state's next tourist trap.

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    . House Budget Chairman Calls on Holden to Release Withholdings, Budget Director More Cautious (10/06/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - House Budget Director Carl Bearden, R-St. Charles, is calling on Gov. Bob Holden to release $240 million in withholdings because state revenue is up. State budget director Linda Luebbering said it is too early to consider releasing the funds.

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    . Holden moves to ban concealed weapons in state buildings (10/06/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Bob Holden announced plans to draft emergency rules to prohibit concealed weapons in all state buildings.

    The proposed ban drew criticism from Republican Rep. Larry Crawford. He questioned the governor's decision to prohibit concealed weapons in state buildings saying that state employees and visitors will not be safer as a result of the ban.

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