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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of January 16, 2006

. Ballot wording for the stem cell research initiative proposal. (01/20/06)

JEFFERSON CITY - Cole County Circuit Judge Byron Kinder rejected arguments from opponents claiming the language for the ballot proposal was misleading.

The proposal would establish a constitutional right to pursue various forms of stem cell research.

Opponents argued the ballot title description -- that the proposal would ban human cloning -- was misleading.

. Robb chosen as vice chairman of budget committee (01/19/06)

JEFFERSON CITY - House speaker Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, tapped Ed Robb, R-Columbia, to be vice chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Robb, a former teacher and researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia, said he is honored to take on the post.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Lieutenant Governor Speaks Against Highway 40 Closing in St. Louis (01/19/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder wants the Missouri Highway Commission to examine the Highway 40 closing proposal in St. Louis.

    Kinder says more than 170,000 people travel the highway everyday.

  • Get the radio stories.
    . Missouri Senate passes Uliticare bill (01/19/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - A bill that brings $6.1 million to Missourians who are having trouble paying their heating bills passed with unanimous approval from the Missouri State Senate Thursday and immediately signed by the governor.

    The bill, HB 1015, is the first of the legislative session that passed both houses of the General Assembly. The bill now heads to the governor's desk.

    Sen. Chuck Gross, R-St. Charles, who handled the bill in the Senate, said the bill will add about 32,000 people to Uliticare, a program that assists low income Missourians.

    . New bill would eliminate junk mail for businesses (01/18/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Secretary of State Robin Carnahan says Missouri businesses in particular get too much junk mail from registering with the state.

    A proposed law would give business owners the option to not receive junk mail.

  • Get the radio stories.
    . Blunt fundraising dwarves opponents' (01/18/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - In campaign finance reports filed Tuesday with the Missouri Ethics Commission, Governor Blunt has raised more than $900,000 since October.

    That's more than double the amount raised by Democratic challenger Jay Nixon.

    Blunt raised $916,782 in cash and in-kind contributions during the three months ending Dec. 31, compared to Nixon's $397,638.

    Blunt's campaign reported coffers of more than $1.6 million at the end of 2005. Nixon's campaign reported $532,135.

    . Raising the stakes for those who rip off seniors (01/18/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Secretary of State Robin Carnahan says its high time for Missouri to get tough on those who steal money from seniors.

    According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, 75% of fraud victims are senior citizens.

    Proposed legislation would increase penalities for those who commit fraud against seniors.

  • Get the radio stories.
    . A former Republican U.S. House speaker wins praise for his Missouri proposals from Democrats (01/18/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - A top Missouri Senate Democrat said proposals offered by Newt Gingrich to the Senate could be a turning point in the partisan debate over Medicaid.

    Gingrich told a session of the Senate that Missouri lawmakers should look beyond Medicaid and seek ways to make the entire health care system more efficient and better.

    He said there needs to be more emphasis on prevention -- citing diabetes caused by over-eating and lack of exercise as a leading cause for rises in the Medicaid budget.

    . Alberta Slavin is back fighting utility companies (01/18/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The founder of Missouri's first consumer-advocacy group more than three decades ago as returned to Missouri's statehouse -- to help found another consumer organization.

    More than 30 years ago, Alberta Slavin founded the Utility Consumer Council of Missouri. Her consumer advocacy ultimately led to her nomination of the state agency that regulates utilities, the Missouri Public Service Commission.

    Slavin joined other consumer advocates in Missouri's statehouse Tuesday to announce the formation of a new consumer advocacy organization.

    . Anti-abortion groups rally at Capitol (01/18/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - About 150 anti-abortion activists met for song and prayer in the rotunda in advance of Sunday's 33rd anniversary of Roe V. Wade.

    Speakers discussed their opposition to stem cell research and cloning.

  • Get the radio stories.
    . Blunt calls for charges to be filed against Ameren. (01/17/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt called on Attorney General Jay Nixon to file either criminal or civil charges against the utility company for damages causeed by the Taum Sauk Reservoir spill.

    Meanwhile, a Democratic legislator said they planned to file a bill that would prevent Ameren UE from passing on to the rate payers the cleanup costs from the spill.