First day of filing shows not much will change
From Missouri Digital News: https://mdn.org
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Lobbyist Money Help  

First day of filing shows not much will change

Date: December 1, 2008
By: Sarah D. Wire
State Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - The groundwork was laid Monday to make the 2009 legislative session a repeat of the 2008 debate over making it a crime to coerce an abortion.

Monday was the first day to pre-file bills for the 2009 session.

The abortion bill, a bill that got significant attention last year but did not pass, would require doctors to inform women about abortion alternatives.

During last year's session, the bill stalled on the floor of the Senate when Democrats threatened to filibuster. In 2009, Republicans will hold three more seats in the Senate, making a similar move more difficult.

The information doctors would be required to provide includes color photographs of a fetus, a video and information about whether a fetus can feel pain.

The bill would also make it a misdemeanor to coerce some one into an abortion.

The bill's sponsor Rep. Cynthia Davis, R- O'Fallon, said the number one reason women get an abortion is pressure from family or a spouse.

"It gives women a way out if they know they don't have to have an abortion," Davis said.

Davis said the bill is important for people on both sides of the abortion issue because "it's about choice." She said some women don't have a choice because they are being coerced into a decision.

Another bill filed for the session include banning welfare recipients from receiving help if they test positive for drugs. Recipients would only be tested if the Social Services Department has reason to believe they are on drugs.

"We do drug testing in a lot of other industries, I thought, if you want to earn public assistance you ought to be drug free," Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton-- the bill's sponsor, said.

The bill would impact those applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families-- a state program designed to provide financial assistance to families with children where the parent does not make enough money working to support themselves.

If the drug test is positive, the recipient can be declared ineligible for the program for three years. Child eligibility would not be affected.

A similar bill was filed in the House of Representatives. Stouffer said if both chambers work on the same issue it can be refined and made stronger.

Another bill filed in both chambers would allow Missourians to vote early, starting three Wednesdays before election day. 

The bill's sponsor in the Senate, Sen. Rita Days, D-St. Louis County, said advanced voting has been on her legislative agenda for years but said she thinks voting problems in the November election might spur the bill through the legislature.

"We looked at the number of people who were disenfranchised by the long lines and problems when it comes to voting," Days said. "The time has come for us to open the avenue for people to vote in different ways."

Rep. Michael Frame, D- Eureka, proposed the bill the House and said he the amount of voters who turned out for the 2008 election will be enough incentive to propel the bill forward.

Other bills include:

Columbia's Democrat legislators pre-filed three bills Monday including: