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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of December 11, 2006


. Blunt names another alternative education proponent to the state Education Board (12/14/2006)

Gov. Matt Blunt named a founding board member of a Kansas City charter school to the Education Board.

Nominated is the Rev. Stanley Archie.

Earlier this fall, Blunt nominated a proponent of school vouchers to the state board -- a nomination that has come under attack by critics who charge it would be a conflict of interest to have an Education Board member who supports state funding for private education.

Blunt said the board should reflect a diversity.

Both nominations must be confirmed by Missouri's Senate.


. State officials epxress surprise by the University of Missouri president's resignation (12/13/2006)

UM System President Elson Floyd told Gov. Matt Blunt nothing about his plans to resign when he met with the governor just one day before the official resignation announcement,

Hours after Floyd's announcement, Blunt refused to talk with reporters -- walking past a group of the statehouse press corps without saying a word.

Only the day before, the two men met to discuss higher education issues.

Several legislators, House Democratic Leader Jeff Harris -- whose district includes the main campus of the University -- said he was surprised by the announcement.


. Chamber to push changes to health care and Prop B (12/13/2006)

Missouri Chamber of Commerce President Dan Mehan said that the top business-related issues for the next legislative session will be the implementation of a premium-offset program for small businesses, as well changes to Proposition B, which passed in November.

House Speaker Pro Tem Carl Bearden agreed that health care is an important issue for the legislature, but said that changes to the minimum wage statute will be delayed for future sessions.


. Several bill proposals are trying to end unwanted automated campaign phone calls (12/11/2006)

Senator Kevin Engler is proposing to fine campaigns that use automated calling without previous consent from each home.

The bill would not stop live people from calling different residences.