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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of March 27, 2006

. Another plan for spending college loan sale profits is unveiled. (03/31/06)

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Senate's Appropriations Committee Chairman has filed legislation to spread the college-loan sale proceeds among a variety of health-care and higher education projects.

Included in the proposal is funding for health centers in the state to serve Medicaid and Medicaid patients.

The governor proposed earlier this year to sell the college loan program in order to fund a number of higher education construction projects -- most aimed at the health industry.

The House has passed a budget that would use some of the money to speed up the state's payment on its debt.

. Missouri's House and Senate approve a toll bridge. (03/30/06)

JEFFERSON CITY - On seperate bills, Missouri's House and Senate both approved measures that would allow a private company to operate an I-70 toll bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Louis.

The measures passed by overwhelming margins in both chambers.

Critics have warned the proposal would allow a foreign company to own and operate the bridge.

  • Get the House vote.
  • Get the Senate vote.
    . Seatbelts on school buses (03/29/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Lawmakers listened to testimony for and aganist a House bill that would force school districts across the state to put seatbelts on buses.

    People testified for two hours without any decisions made.

  • Get the radio stories.
    . Disability rights advocates rally at the Capitol (03/29/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Hundreds of disability rights advocates gathered at the State Capitol building on Wednesday to recognize the issues affecting disabled Missourians.

    Speakers at the event included Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, Sen. Chuck Graham, Sen. Pat Dougherty, and Rep. Charles Portwood.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Women's and abortion rights activists descend on Capitol to lobby (03/28/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - More than a hundred men and women descended on the Capitol to rally and talk to legislators on Tuesday.

    The activists targeted 11 bills, including one to change how sex education is taught in Missouri and another that would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill an emergency contraception prescription.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . A Senate Committee begins efforts to ease burden on Medicaid recipients (03/28/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The Pensions and General Laws Committee of the Missouri Senate agreed to package health care legislation and send it to the Senate floor for debate.

    SB 1091 and 1239 will be combined in attempt to create a Missouri Prescription Drug website in conjunction with the Dept. of Social Services. SB 1210, 1244, and 844 will be combined to curb Medicaid fraud in the state.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Common sense is urged when handling dead birds in the wild (03/28/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Andrew Forbes, wildlife ecologist for the MO Dept. of Conservation, says people, especially hunters, should use caution if they come across a sick or dead bird in the wild. The Spring turkey hunting season begins on April 24.

    Since no strain of the avian flu has been found in the United States to date, Forbes says no testing out of the ordinary has been done yet.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Two Bills to Curb Bullying In Schools Introduced (03/22/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Two members of the House have introduced bills that would require school districts to have policies on bullying.

    Each bill outlines minimum requirements for what these policies should include.

  • Get the newspaper feature.