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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of February 23, 2004

 


. State Supreme Court upholds concealed carry legislation (02/26/04)

JEFFERSON CITY - In a 5 to 2 decision, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that most, but not all, Missourians can carry concealed guns.

In its opinion, the court state that the concealed carry legislation does not violate the state Constitution. But four counties -- Camden, Greene, Jackson and Cape Girardeau -- argued that the state violated the Constitution by funding the permit program. As a result, county officials argued they could not afford to issue concealed gun permits.

The court agreed, exempting the four counties from having to issue permits.

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    . Columbia legislators voice disappointment over state Supreme Court's ruling to allow Missourians to carry concealed guns (02/26/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Columbia legislators voiced disppointment over the state Supreme Court's ruling Thursday that would allow Missourians to carry concealed weapons.

    Sen. Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, who opposed the concealed carry legislation last session, said he disagreed with the Missouri Supreme Court's decision. In particular, he said he was concerned that the law allows people age 21 and older to carry a gun in a car.

    "To me that was the most dangerous provision of the bill and that remains in effect," Jacob said. He added that having armed drivers could lead to more serious road rage accidents.

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    . Holden vetoes bill allowing workers to opt out of union dues (02/26/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's governor vetoed a bill that would have blocked his order that all state employees pay union dues.

    Democratic Gov. Bob Holden vetoed a bill that would have blocked his 2001 order requiring all state workers to pay union fees.

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    . Some lawmakers want to lower speed limits on rural roads (02/26/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Growing concern over driving deaths has lead some state legislators to say we need to slow down the speed limit on rural Missouri roads.

    Sen. John Cauthorn, R-Mexico, is supporting a bill to reduce the default speed limit on rural county roads from 60 miles per hour to 50 miles per hour. Cauthorn says the current speed on these gravel roads is dangerous.

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    . State legislators argue whether to establish 9-1-1 tax (02/26/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - State legislators Thursday argued whether or not to mandate cell phone companies charge a 9-1-1 emergency tax.

    Democratic Sen. Wayne Goode from St. Louis County says cell phone companies should consider 9-1-1 phone service a cost of business. But Sen. Jon Dolan, R-St. Charles, says that is not the solution.

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    . Sixty Missourians show their support of the second ammendment (2/25/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - About 60 gun rights advocates gathered in the rotunda of the state capitol in Jefferson City, supporting the second amendment on conceal and carry laws. The state legislature passed the conceal and carry measure last fall and now awaits judicial approval.

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    . The Senate adopts a measure to form an independent mutual insurance company. (2/25/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate adopted a measure to form an independent mutual insurance company. Right now, only one company exists in the state to represent doctors against malpractice suits.

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    . Senate ban on sex-related billboards given preliminary approval (02/25/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate gave first-round approval to a measure to ban billboards near state highways that advertise sex-oriented businesses.

    The Senate vote came one day after the House had approved a similar measure.

    The Senate bill requires one more roll-call vote to go to the House.

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    . Same-sex couples cannot file joint state tax returns (02/25/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Same-sex couples cannot file joint tax returns in Missouri, according to the Department of Revenue.

    The Internal Revenue Service only allows same-sex couples to file jointly if the state where they live recognizes gay marriages.

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    . Senate gives first round-passage to gay marriage ban (2/24/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The gay marriage issue made its way to the Missouri State Capitol Tuesday. Some senators say allowing gay marriages could open up many more legal battles. President Bush is also trying to ban gay marriages.

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    . Holden and McCaskill officially file for gubenatorial race (02/24/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Both Gov. Bob Holden and State Auditor Claire McCaskill filed Tuesday for the Democratic nomination for governor.

    Recent published polls have found a statistical dead heat between McCaskill and Holden.

    The last Democratic governor to face a renomination challenge was Gov. Joe Teasdale in 1980. He won the primary against State Treasurer James Spainhower, but lost the general election to Kit Bond.

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    . Missouri's House votes to ban sexy billboards (2/24/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's House gave first round approval to legislation that would ban billboards advertising sex-oriented businesses from being located near state highways.

    Approval came on a voice vote. The measure requires a second, roll-call vote before it will go to the Senate.

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    . Senate gives final approval to tax credit accountability (02/24/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's Senate passed and sent to the House a measure to require more information from persons and businesses getting state tax credits.

    The bill's sponsor is the Senate's majority leader, Sen. Mike Gibbons, R-Kirkwood. He has said the legislature needs more information before it can decide with tax credit programs should be eliminated and which should be retained.

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    . State lawmakers get advance screening of "The Passion of the Christ" (02/23/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - More than 100 of Missouri's 197 state lawmakers saw an advance screening of the filming Monday night.

    The free tickets were provided to legislators by a Baptist Church in Jefferson City.

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    . Some representatives don't plan to file for the House again (02/23/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - As Missouri candidate filing opens Tuesday, some state representatives have decided they won't run again in the House.

    Term limits will force 15 representatives out of the House. Others will leave by their own choice.

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    . Missouri Children's Services Commission may consider state and private services to tackle child abuse (02/23/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - To address the issue of statewide child abuse and the ways to prevent it, the Missouri Children's Services Commission may consider coordinating state and private services.

    In its monthly meeting Monday, the commission heard Lucia Erikson-Kincheloe, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Missouri, explain how her organization can extend services and work together with the commission to tackle child abuse.

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    . House committee reverses MAP funding decision (02/23/04)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The committee adopted last Wednesday an amendment that would have taken $5.1 million in state money -- dedicated for funding MAP testing only -- and put it into a discretionary pot.

    From that pot, local school boards would have had broad control over how that money was spent.

    It was feared that those local school board choices would impact Missouri's compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which determines how much federal aid Missouri recieves.

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