NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of March 15, 2004
|.||Only faithful, married couples could adopt foster kids under new bill (03/18/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The bill states no child can be placed with an individual in a sexual relationship outside of wedlock. The bill's sponsor, Republican Jack Jackson, says he wants to insure that foster children are in two-parent homes.
|.||Senate to reimburse nursing homes annually. (03/18/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate passed a bill Thursday requiring an annuall recalculation of the reimbursements received by nursing homes, which could mean more money.
|.||Senate says stillborns get birth certificates (03/18/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate passed a bill Thursday giving birth certificates to stillborns.
|.||Missouri Legislators leave for spring break before finishing budget (03/18/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Speaker of the House Catherine Hanaway says the House is waiting until it receives numbers about how much revenue they are working with on the budget. The House plans to send a budget to the Senate after April 15.
|.||Senate approves committee on underage drinking (03/18/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate passed a resolution on Thursday to create the Joint Interim Committee on Underage Drinking to combat the state-wide problem.
|.||Missouri's House votes to restrict the state's child health care program (03/18/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - More than 880 children would be tossed out of the state's health care welfare program under a measure approved by a straight party-line vote of Missouri's House.
The measure tightens the financial eligibility requirements for the program that provides Medicaid health coverage for the children of lower and middle-income famlies.
The measure also would allow Medicaid-coverage reductions to be made on an annual basis in the state's budget.
|.||Toll roads off the table for 2004 (03/17/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri voters shouldn't expect to see tollroads on the ballot in November. Lawmakers cite lack of support as the casue, but say it was good to educate voters on alternative fund sources for state roads.
|.||Bill proposed to restrict state contracts to companies employing U.S. citizens (03/17/2003)|
JEFFERSON CITY - If a Missourian from one of the state's nearly 245,000 households in the Food Stamp Program calls a toll-free number with questions, it is anwered by a call center employee 8000 miles away in Mumbai, India -- formerly known as Bombay.
Two years ago, eFunds, the company contracted for five years to manage Missouri Social Service's Food Stamp Electronic Benefits Program closed its call center in Wisconsin and moved to India.
Wednesday, a House committee heard testimony on a measure to ensure that if eFunds contract with the state is renewed, the company would have to employ citizens of the United States or persons authorized to work in the United States. The bill targets state contracts for services only.
|.||Missouri Democrats criticize Republican leaders' work during first half of session (3/17/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Democrats offered their critique today on how the Senate majority has handled the first half of the legislative session. Democratic Senator Matt Dougherty said he is particularly upset by the attacks the Republican leadership has made to Medicaid.
|.||Governor's proposal on sales tax refunds is dying in committee (03/17/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Bob Holden's plan to send excess sales tax to the state instead of businesses is dying in a committee -- and leaving Missouri businesses with millions of dollars in extra taxes paid by consumers.
Currently, although consumers pay sales taxes, businesses get to keep any refunds they can get from the state for overpayment.
|.||Under proposed legislation, Missouri would no longer contract state jobs outside the U.S. (03/17/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Lawmakers are working together on seperate bills that are similar. The bills prohibit the state from contracting jobs outside of the U.S. Lawmakers hope the bill will help keep jobs in Missouri.
|.||Bond pitches 'Parents As Teachers' to legislature (03/16/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Sen. Kit Bond spoke to the House and Senate about his proposal for federal funding for the 'Parents As Teachers' program.
|.||Jacob proposes legislation to add provisions to Missouri's conceal and carry (03/16/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The legislation would further limit where Missourians can carry a concealed weapon. Rep. Larry Crawford introduced the original legislation which faced legal challenges last month. He says the provisions drafted are enough.
|.||Some schools have been pocketing money for summer school (03/16/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A new bill heard by the Senate Education Committee would stop some schools that were inflating enrollment numbers when asking for funding for summer school. Those schools then didn't have summer school and kept the money.
|.||Cross burning would be a crime under a bill approved by the House (03/16/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Recent cross burning in Missouri has led to a bill that would make it a crime punishable by jailtime.
|.||A bill passed in the House to disclose donors for inaugural activities (03/16/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The bill approved by the House will hold inaugural donors to the same standard as campaign finance contributors.
|.||House passes bill to prohibit lawsuits about obesity (03/15/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A bill passed the House to block lawsuits about getting fat. The bill would ban consumers from suing the food industry because of weight gain. Opponents say the industry should be held responsible for their goods.
Supporters say the bill should only cover obesity.
|.||Republican lawmakers hold press conference in support of ban on gay marriage (03/15/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - CongressmanTodd Akin joined Republican state lawmakers in a press conference to advocate a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
The amendment's purpose is to allow Missouri not to recognize gay marriages from other states.
|.||Seasoned senators work for budget compromise -- even when that means breaking party lines (03/15/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The two longest-serving members of Missouri's legislature have crossed party lines to reach compromise on the budget, but the move has resulted in criticism from some party members. Sen. John Russell, R-Lebanon, and Sen. Wayne Goode, D-St. Louis County, have different constituencies but a similar approach to the appropriations process.
Term limits will force the current and former chairmen of the Senate Appropriations Committee out of the legislature after this session.
|.||Rep. Chuck Graham resigns from House Budget Committee (03/15/04)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, resigned from the House Budget Committee on March 10.
Rep. Theodore Hoskins, D-St. Louis County, was appointed to take Graham's place.