NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of March 1, 2004
|.||A glass ban on Missouri streams clears the House. (03/04/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's House passed and sent to the Senate a measure that would prohibit glass food containers on Missouri's waterways.
Critics charged the measure applied only to smaller boats, exempting higher income people with big boats.
|.||House Speaker Catherine Hanaway backed a new bill aimed at fighting Autism. (03/04/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - At a press conference Representative Roy Holand announced a new bill prohibiting vaccinations with mercury preservatives from being given to children under eight. House Speaker Catherine Hanaway gave her support to the bill and said it could reduce autism in children.
|.||One of the first bills going to Gov. Holden is designed to protect your identity (03/04/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The House and Senate gave final approval to a bill that would make identity theft a crime punishable by jail time.
The bill sponsor says it aims to bring the state law up to speed with internet fraud.
|.||Water Patrol could make arrests on dry land under bill passed in Senate Thursday (03/04/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A bill sent to the house Thursday expands the powers of the water patrol including the authority to make an arrest when a crime is committed in their presence.
|.||Senate passed bill to prohibit adult billboards one mile from highway (03/04/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would prohibit sexually-oriented signs from being within one mile from the highway. If a business is less than one mile away, they are allowed two exterior signs.
|.||Activists rally for gay rights (03/03/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Over 200 gay rights activists crowded the Capitol Wednesday to speak out against legislation affecting the gay community.
Activists came out in record numbers to sound off against a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution limiting marriage to a man and a woman. The proposed amendment passed the Senate last week.
|.||Medical marijuana advocates speak in favor of a bill to legalize the drug in Missouri (3/4/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - State House Health Policy Committee members heard witnesses speak in favor of a bill to legalize medical marijuana in Missouri.
State Representative Vicki Walker told health policy members the use of marijuana for AIDS, glaucoma, cancer and multiple schlerosis patients could greatly reduce their pain, nausea and loss of appetite.
But state Representative Bryan Pratt says advocates have not considered all possible downsides of the bill.
He says legalizing medical marijuana could send a negative message to Missouri children--that taking drugs like marijuana is acceptable.
|.||Award recipients express need to preserve Missouri's historic tax credit (03/03/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - More than one hundred people showed up at the ceremony held at the Capitol rotunda. Recipients say the tax credit program is crucial for the state.
|.||PROMO Members Hold Annual Rally at State Capitol (03/03/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Lawmakers say that there's a need to more narrowly restrict the definition of marriage.
Gay rights supporters say the House and Senate have better things to do with their time than restricting marriage.
|.||UM system officials testify in favor of $190.4 million bond (03/03/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Leading University of Missouri system officials testified in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday afternoon, encouraging senators to approve a $190.4 million bond issue for buildings. The UM leaders are angling for parts of a bond that would fund various life-science related construction projects.
|.||Businesses get discount for timely payments -- but maybe not much longer (03/03/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri businesses currently receive a discount for filing and paying their employees' withheld state income tax on time.
A bill in the Senate would eliminate the discount and bring in an additional $18.4 million a year to the state.
|.||Lawmakers hear a tearful plea for requiring safety standards for rock climbing walls (03/02/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The tears were shed by the close friend of a woman who died last year in Columbia from a rock climbing wall fall.
She testified Tuesday night before a House committee that is considering legislation to establish state regulation of climbing walls.
|.||A top legislative leader proposes putting "in the year of our Lord" on college degrees (03/02/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The measure is sponsored by the House Republican Leader, Jascon Crowell.
The measure would require "A.D." or "Anno Domini" or "in the year of our Lord" be included with the date listed in a college degree.
|.||House Health Committee considers bill to require hospitals to report to the state cases of infection (03/02/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The measure is sponsored by Rep. Robert Schaaf, a family physican who says he's seen lots of hospital-acquired infections.
The bill comes as nationwide there are reports of growing hospital infection rates.
|.||House begins debate on a bill that would limit liability lawsuits (03/02/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The bill would eliminate pain and suffering damages and put a cap on other damages.
Proponents argue the state is losing physicans because of rising medical malpractice insurance costs because of malpractice awards.
Gov. Bob Holden vetoed a similar measure last year, saying it went to far in providing limitations for all types of liability lawsuits.
|.||Bill to prohibit UM president from occupying campus chancellor position heard (03/02/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Two members of the Senate Education Committee voiced support for a bill to prohibit the president of the University of Missouri system from occupying the position of a chancellor of an individual campus. The bill was heard Tuesday by the committee.
Last year, University President Elson Floyd had raised the idea of consolidating his position with that of the Columbia campus chancellor.
|.||State Senator to bring up chancellor's salaries in Senate (03/02/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Republican Sarah Steelman says making the names of private doners to the University of Missouri will prevent possible conflicts of interest. Private donations have recently been used to pay for raises in chancellor salaries.
Steelman says she plans to resume debate on the measure next week.
|.||Statewide survey finds schools need more money. (03/02/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A statewide survey reports more than twenty percent of schools say they need more taxpayer money to keep school programs and teachers. The tax increase would appear in 113 districts on the April ballot.
The survey was conducted by the state Education Department.
|.||Missouri's Senate sends the House a gay-marriage ban constitutional amendment (03/01/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - By a vote of 26 to 6, the Missouri Senate voted to amend the state constitution defining marriages as a union only between a man and a woman. Senator Ken Jacobs says the amendment will not be enough to prevent couples from other states from being recognized if they move to Missouri. But Senator John Loudon says that despite its impact, the state had to take a stand on the issue.
|.||Senate leaders propose a revamped elderly prescription drug program (03/01/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The two top leaders in Missouri's Senate announceed Monday they will file legislation to restructure the state's program that provides prescription drug coverage for lower-income elderly.
The two say the bill will fill a gap in the federal drug-assistance program that takes effect in 2006.
|.||Local schools are using reserve funds to avoid budget-cut damages (03/01/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - While Education advocates have been warning of dire consequences from near stand-still state fund for education, local schools have been able to tap into a fund that education advocates say should rarely be touched.
That fund, known as a district's "reserves," is designed to help a public school district survive a year, maybe two or three, of financial difficulty.
But as time marches on, and those funds are used up, districts creep increasingly closer to a term that Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education called "financially stressed"
|.||Hanaway files for Secretary of State (03/01/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, R-St. Louis County, filed as a candidate for Secretary of State Monday in the presence of her husband and two children.
Hanaway said she will focus on the future of Missouri with election modernization and job growth.