NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of March 6, 2006
|.||Small town hit hard by tornado (03/13/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A tornado killed four and injured 26 in the town of Renick, which is 35 miles north of Columbia.
Town leaders say they had no warning. They say they've tried for years to get funding for a siren system.
|.||Governor Blunt authorizes National Guard to assist in tornado recovery efforts. (03/13/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Blunt issued an executive order on Monday.
SEMA can now request assistance from the National Guard in areas hit by tornadoes.
|.||The MOHELA board revoted on its plan to sell half its assets at a public meeting (03/10/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The board of directors for the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority held an open meeting to invite public comment on its plan to sell $2.4 billion in student loans.
Chairman of the board, Karen Luebbert, said the meeting was not called in response to a lawsuit filed by the attorney general, who alleged that the board violated the state's open meeting laws.
|.||Lawmakers consider extending personal care assistance coverage (03/10/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The General Laws committee is considering a bill that would ensure financial aid for consumer-directed personal care assistance for disabled workers participating as non-Medicaid eligible clients.
The bill, SB 1108, would remove the sunset date of June 30, 2006 for personal care asssistance programs.
|.||Lawmakers lament possible changes to caucuses (03/09/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - As legislators take a look at two bills to curtail lobbyist gifts to caucuses, lawmakers are wondering about practicality -- and the motivations -- behind the groups.
Some say the bills don't even go far enough.
|.||Senate debates issue of photo IDs at polls (03/09/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate debated Thursday on the issue of requiring registered voters to have photo identification to be able to vote.
Senate Democrat Maida Coleman says this requirement would only make the voting process more difficult for the elderly and homebound.
|.||House speaker denies he accepted money for access (03/08/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Speaker Rod Jetton says the Kansas City Star article is "totally false and misleading."
The article says strip clubs gave a fundraising committee closely associated with Jetton cash last year to help protect the adult entertainment industry from an anti-porn bill.
|.||Missourians paid $800 million dollars in taxes they didn't approve (03/08/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - State auditor Claire McCaskill recently concluded an audit of Transportation Development Districts, or TDD's.
The audit found these TDD's were able to increase taxes within their boundaries without notifying the public.
|.||Growth in insect population has possible health effects (03/08/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - With the mild winter, Missouri is seeing a rise in the insect population.
This rise could lead to a rise in insect-carried diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
|.||Senator Gibbons says he wants to do a little house cleaning in Senate Committees (03/08/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A bill sponsored by Senator Michael Gibbons will cut certain committees and commissions in the Senate.
The committees that are on the chopping block include the Missouri Seismic Safety Commission and the Suicide Prevention Advisory Committee.
|.||Bill would extend availibilities for personal care assistance (03/08/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The General Laws committee is considering a bill that would ensure financial assistance for consumer-directed personal care assistance for those who are participating as a non-Medicaid eligible client.
The bill, SB 1108, would remove the sunset date of June 30, 2006 for personal care assistance programs.
|.||Higher Education Cap Would Freeze at Highest Funding Levels (03/08/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - House Speaker Pro Tem Carl Bearden, R-St. Charles, has introduced a bill that would freeze funding levels for
higher education and cap it at the highest appropriations levels.
|.||A package of sex offender legislation passed the first stage of approval in the Senate (03/07/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A bill that combines several of sex offender bills proposed by state senators passed its first stage of approval in the Senate on Tuesday.
The legislation increases sentences for many sex offenses and modifies the sex offender registry requirements among other initiatives.
|.||Higher education bill passes out of committee (03/07/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A new bill would cap education operating funds and transfer new dollars into scholarships.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Carl Bearden, R-St. Charles.
|.||Governor's Ethanol push causes causes conflict of interest (03/07/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Blunt's push for Ethanol was not intended to help Missouri lawmakers with their personal investments.
But seven state lawmakers are part of a few hundred farmers who invested in agriculture cooperatives, which are responsable for producing and operating ethanol plants in Missouri.
|.||Eminent Domain Amendment Fails (03/07/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - An amendment which would ban the use of eminent domain to seize land was struck down today in the Missouri House.
The Amendment was proposed by Democratic Representative J.C. Kussner.
|.||Noodlers love to get their hands dirty while fishing. (03/07/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Noodling is an ancient art of catching cat fish with out the use of poles or any tools.
Instead, noodlers use their hands and feet to catch catfish.
|.||Bill would extend availabilites to personal care assistance (03/07/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The General Laws committee is considering a bill that would ensure financial assistance for consumer-directed personal care assistance for those who are participating as non-Medicaid eligible client.
The bill, SB 1108, would also remove the sunset date of June 30, 2006 for the personal care assistance programs.
|.||House strikes down amendment to bar TIFs through eminent domain (03/07/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - An amendment that would have barred the use of property obtained through eminent domain for use in tax increment financing districts was overwhelmingly struck down in the Missouri House today.
The bill crafted by Rep. J.C. Kuessner, D-Eminence, was voted down 129-26.
|.||One Missouri lawmaker wants to give more money to stem cell research (03/06/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Republican Senator Matt Bartle is proposing a bill that would take money from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement and put it into stem cell research.
75 percent of the money would fund projects involving non-embryonic sources.
|.||Legislation may require more kids to sit in safety seats (03/06/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Representative Barbara Fraser wants to requre kids under eight years old or weighing less than 80 pounds to sit in a booster seat.
Current Missouri law requires parents to restrain children three years old and younger.
|.||Questions raised about a timely political contribution (03/06/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Kansas City Star reported over the weekend that strip clubs donated $35,000 to a fundraising committee with close ties to House Speaker Rod Jetton.
Strip clubs made the donation while lawmakers were considering the legislation that would crack down on the porn industry and potentially shut some smut shops down.
The bill died in the House after Jetton assigned it to an unfriendly committee.