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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of May 8, 2006

. Business praises the 2006 legislative session (05/15/06)

JEFFERSON CITY - The president of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce praised the 2006 legislative.

While the prior year was touted as the year for business, a number of issues backed by corporate Missouri cleared the 2006 legislative session including restrictions on unemployment compensation and authorizing a private toll bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Louis.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Missouri's legislature ends its session passing voting ID requirements but dropping Medicaid legislation. (05/12/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Passage of a bill to require a photo ID to vote was one of the few issues to clear the legislature's final day that was slowed down by a near filibuster by Senate Democrats in protest to the tactics Republicans used to get the bill passed.

    In addition to requiring photo IDs, the proposal also would eliminate the ability to cast a straight-party ticket.

    A Medicaid package to expand child health care and crackdown on Medicaid fraud died in the House where the leadership refused to take up the Senate-passed version of the bill.

    The House Healthcare Facilities Committee chairman had complained earlier the bill was too tough on doctors and other health care providers.

    As the legislative session entered its closing hours, a clear rift emerged among Republican leaders.

    The governor criticized the House for killing his medical and college building program. The House speaker indirectly criticized the governor for leaving the statehouse hours before the end of the session. The Senate Republican leader criticized House leaders for refusing to even debate the Medicaid bill.

  • Get the newspaper story on the GOP rift.
  • Get the story on Medicaid.
  • Get the photo ID House vote.
  • Get the photo ID Senate vote.
    . Missouri's legislative session finishes with the governor and House Speaker absent. (05/12/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's governor left the statehouse hours before the 6pm adjournment. A few hours later, the House Speaker left.

    The governor's staff first said they did not know where the governor would be when the session adjourned at 6pm, but later said he would be at home in Springfield.

    The House speaker left for his daughter's school graduation.

    Before leaving, each leveled indirect criticism of the other.

    The governor blaimed the Republican-controlled House for killing his college-building program.

    The House speaker said the Republican governor's presence during the closing hours of the session would have helped the legislative process.

    . Senate Republicans force a vote on the voter ID bill. (05/12/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Just before 1:30 Friday morning, Senate Republicans began passing a series of motions to shut off a Democratic filibuster in order to pass the bill that would require a government-issued photo ID to vote.

    It was the second time since Republicans captured control of the Senate that they had invoked the rarely-used motion to shut off Senate debate.

    The last time, in 2003, it was used to force a vote on the bill to legalize concealed weapons.

    The photo ID bill would cover the upcoming November elections. Democrats complained that was too soon.

    The measure now moves to the House for a final vote on the final day of the 2006 legislative session.

    In only six sessions in the past century, has the Missouri Senate voted to shut off debate.

  • Get the roll-call votes.
    . Missouri lawmakers send the governor three of the top issues of the legislative session Thursday. (05/11/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Lawmakers sent the governor measurees to require 10 percent of all gasoline contain ethanol by 2008, to expand disclosure requirements on campaign finances and to impose tougher penalities on child rapists.

    The ethanol and rape bills had been major issues in the governor's legislative program.

    The governor's call for tougher laws against Medicaid fraud remained hung up in the House Thursday.

    Other issues facing the 6pm Friday adjournment are bills to expand the state's "No-Call List" to cell phones and FAXes and stronger regulation of dams.

  • Get the newspaper story on the rape bill.
    . A virtual school program is sent to the governor (05/10/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's legislature has sent the governor a bill that would require the state Education Department to set up a virtual school program for Missouri students.

    The program would allow students to take classes online that aren't offered at their school. Mount Vernon Senator Jack Goodman sponsored the bill, and is extremely happy the bill was passed.

  • Get the radio stories.
    . Medicaid fraud bill will go down to the wire (05/10/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - After a House committee took out the harsher provisions of a Medicaid fraud bill (already passed by the Senate), the Missouri House will now offer a deal to the Senate, adding amendments to the bill that would make clear the intent to target Medicaid providers who deliberately scam the system, not those who commit small billing errors.

    The House will send it to the Senate later this week.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Bill banning Planned Parenthood from sex education draws criticism (05/08/06)

    JEFFERSON CITY - St. Charles Representative Cynthia Davis has proposed a bill that would prohibit abortion providers from sponsoring sex education.

    But some concerned citizens say Planned Parenthood and other services like it provides much needed information on pregnancy and STD prevention.

  • Get the radio story.