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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of January 15, 2007


. A solo filibuster stalls the Senate into the Friday morning hours (01/19/2007)

A 17-hour marathon filibuster by Sen. Matt  Bartle ended early Friday morning, when Bartle dropped his efforts to block the confirmation of a University of Missouri curator.

Bartle argued the nominee, Warren Erdman, would use his position on the university's governing board to promote human stem cell research.  Bartle is the legislature's leading critic of a form of human stem cell research called nuclear transfer.

With virtual no support and denied even a bathroom break until the very end, Bartle rambled on about a host of issues including even talk of trash as the Kansas City area Republican discussed his days driving a dump truck while attending college in Columbia.

But by about 3:30 am Friday morning, Bartle sat down and stopped talking -- allowing a Senate vote.


. Blunt calls for a managed-care system for Medicaid (01/17/2007)

Gov. Matt Blunt announced Wednesday that he will recommend that all Medicaid recipients be placed under a managed-care type system sytem for health care coverage.

Currently, less than half of Medicaid recipients are under such a system that requires referral by a primary-care physican to go to a specialist.

Under Blunt's plan, the person coordinating a recipient's medical care would not have to be a physican.

The governor's proposal was attacked by welfare advocates who said the first priority should be to restore the cuts in Medicaid that were made two years ago.


. The stem-cell research debate heads to Missouri's Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee Wednesday (01/16/2007)

JEFFERSON CITY - The legislature's leading opponent of stem-cell research has vowed to block the confirmation of a UM System Board of Curators' member, because the curator supports early stem-cell research.

Warren Erdman's nomination comes before the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee Wednesday morning. On the eve of the committee meeting, Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee's Summit, renewed his intention to fight the nomination.