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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of October 20, 2003

 


. Missouri's law requiring Pledge of Allegiance in schools could change (10/23/03)

JEFFERSON CITY - A U.S. Supreme Court case in 2004 could mean changes for a Missouri law requiring students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance once a week in the classroom. The case will deal with the question of whether the phrase "under God" violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which separates church and state.

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    . Missouri's early childhood special education programs could be cut (10/23/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The state's department of education could cut back the number of children allowed in early childhood special education programs if their budget is cut. Children with disabilities would not be cut from the programs but children with moderate speech disorders would.

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    . Most Missouri voters still using punch card ballots (10/21/2003)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Residents of 37 Missouri counties, almost two out of every three people in the state, still use punch card ballots despite a federal law requiring them to be replaced in time for the 2004 presidental election.

    State election officials say they're waiting for the federal government to set standards for what is acceptable before they invest the millions of dollars needed to update voting systems across the state. The panel in charge of setting standards was supposed to finish its work at the beginning of October.

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    . Officials say MoDOT not completely to blame for poor road conditions (10/21/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri roads are among the worst in the nation and critics charge the problem lies with the misallocation of tax dollars. Federal highway statistics rank Missouri 48th for road conditions and critics say the blame rests on the Missouri Department of Transportation.

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    . Number of children needing state-sponsored health insurance grows (10/21/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - U.S. Census Bureau reports more Missourians are without health insurance.

    While some adults are struggling to pay for insurance, many parents are faced with the problem of covering themselves and their children.

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    . Former Gov. Roger Wilson endorses McCaskill for governor (10/20/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Roger Wilson announced he will endorse Claire McCaskill for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

    Wilson brushed off concerns about a damaging split among Democrats, saying the competition between Holden and McCaskill will help generate new ideas.

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    . Claire McCaskill gets mixed reviews from legislators (10/20/03)

    JEFFERSON CITY - While Claire McCaskill announced her run for governor, there are mixed emotions on behalf of Democratic legislators. Rep. Marsha Campbell says she is pleased that McCaskill has decided to run. She says it's about time Missouri had a female governor. Senator Harry Kennedy disagrees, saying that though he supports Claire McCaskill's work as state auditor, he believes she has poor timing. Kennedy says that Holden did the best with the economy he had, and that he never really got a chance to live up to his full potential.

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