NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of April 17, 2006
|.||A House-passed plan to cap higher education funding will be heard in Senate Committee next week. (04/21/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A week after Missouri's House passed a bill that would limit University of Missouri appropriations increases and tuition is scheduled to be heard in the Missouri Senate Education Committee Tuesday.
The bill is sponsored by the speaker pro tem of the House -- Rep. Carl Bearden, R-St. Charles.
The measure seeks to restrict the legislature from granting a state funding increase for a public higher education institution higher than the level of state funding institution had during the 2001-2002 fiscal year.
Funding increases above that level would be restricted in size and require the institution to meet various performance measures developed by the Higher Education Department.
|.||The Senate Gave First Round Approval to Legislation that Requires Voters to Show Government Issued Ids (04/20/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Democrats filibustered into the evening but ended up allowing a Senate vote.
The Senate approved the bill with a 23 to 10 vote.
Approval came after days of off-and-of filibustering by Democrats and opposition voiced by the Democratic Secretary of State.
|.||UMKC organization misused the universities name (04/20/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - According to a UMKC spokesman, the Institute for Human Development misused the universities name in a brochure.
The university was recently penalized $285,000 by the Missouri Senate for the organizations alleged use of taxpayer money towards political events.
|.||Senate continues to filibuster over voter registration (04/20/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's senate filibustered into the afternoon over the issue of voter registration and photo ID.
Under a bill sponsored by Senator Scott of Lowry City, voters under the age of 65 would be required to produce a photo ID in order to vote.
|.||Bill moves forward to fund adult stem cell research (04/19/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House voted to perfect a bill to fund adult stem cell research.
But much of the debate was about the more controversial embryonic stem cell research.
|.||US government wants to "depopulate" poultry with bird flu (04/19/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - US government officials say if bird flu shows up in US chickens or turkeys, they will kill the whole flock.
But Missouri Department of Agriculture Veterinarian Taylor Woods says Missouri's hot summer might actually be a help to fending off the flu.
|.||The Institute of Human Development at UMKC lost their state money for supporting a protest (04/19/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Supporting a Medicaid cuts protest during last year's legislative session cost UMKC's Institute of Human Development $285,000 in state funds; their entire taxpayer supported budget.
Kansas City area Republican Sen. Luann Ridgeway supported the measure in order to punish the agency for an illegal activity, using taxpayer money for political purposes.
|.||Illegal immigrants will not have the opportunity to higher education in Missouri (04/19/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A house bill will prohibit illegal aliens from being accepted to higher education universities.
The university registrar will be in charge of reporting to the House that the university is not knowingly accepting illegal aliens.
|.||Emergency fund is nearing a vote on the Senate floor (04/19/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate has taken on an emergency funding bill for situations, such as the Taum Sauk Dam breach, when the legislature is out of session and immediate funding is needed.
The fund was created in 1967 and the current cap on the fund is $150,000. SB 820 would increase the maximum amount to $850,000.
|.||Missouri's Senate votes to expand regulation of dams. (04/19/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Taum Sauk and other bodies of water regulated by the Federal Energy Agency would be brought under state regulation under the Senate proposal.
The measure was prompted by the Taum Sauk resevoir collapse earlier this year.
In addition, the bill brings smaller dams under state regulation that currently are exempt.
The measure faces one more Senate vote before going to the House.
|.||House Budget committee passes plan for MOHELA profits after taking out funds for a prison (04/18/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The House Budget committee dumped proposals to use the expected profits from a sale of student loans on initiatives unrelated to higher education before passing the billl that had initially put some of the money toward building a women's prison in Chillicothe.
The bill passed 19 to six.
|.||Missouri's House approves expanded lobbyist disclosure requirements (04/18/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - In a surprise move, the Missouri House brought up and perfected an ethics bill that would bar lobbyists from giving meals, entertainment and travel to most legislative caucuses.
But Democrats say they did not have enough time to bring up amendments they feel would have made the bill stronger.
Some democratic house leaders don't think the reform is tough enough.
They also say without a strong campaign finance bill, the skepticism of tax payers will continue to grow.
|.||Senate votes to hear further debate on auto emissions bill (04/18/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Tuesday, the Senate Transportation Committee heard testimony in favor of a House bill on auto emissions.
The bill calls for the decentralization of the current inspection program in the St. Louis area.
|.||Missouri Farm Bureau Unhapppy with Eminent Domain Reform (04/17/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The farm bureau says the bill passed by the House last week to limit eminent domain in the state is weak and does not do enough to protect home owners.
The bureau will now focus on the Senate to pass a more restrictive bill.
|.||Governor's office won't confirm FBI investigation (04/17/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - According to the Kansas City Star, the FBI's investigation centers on the Blunt administration awarding license fee offices to political supporters.
Neither the FBI nor the Governor's office would confirm nor deny an investigation is taking place
|.||The Kansas City Star reports another federal investigation into Missouri state government. (04/17/06)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Star reported Saturday in a front-page story that there is a federal investigation into the state administration's awarding of fee offices to handle various services of the state Revenue Department.
Fee office contracts are awarded to private companies to provide services such as driving license and license plate applications. Operators of fee offices are allowed to charge an extra fee for the services.
The Star's story did not name a source. On Thursday, the Star reported a federal investigation had been launched into lobbying activities in Missouri state government.