NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of February 28, 2005
|.||Senate GOP pushing Medicaid cuts to passage (03/03/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Cuts to Medicaid are on their way through the Senate, heading to committee next week. Senate Democrats say the Republicans are trying to push the bills through quickly to minimize public scrutiny of the proposals, which could cut tens of thousands of Medicaid recipients from the rolls.
Senate Republicans say the state budget can not be balanced until the cuts are passed. They say the Medicaid program is a drain on the state budget.
|.||"Murder Wall" arrives in Jefferson City (03/03/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A memorial honoring victims of homicide arrived in the state capitol today.
Attorney General Jay Nixon said the wall conveys the true impact of crime on our society.
|.||Senate and House to compromise on workers' comp next week (03/03/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - After the Missouri House passed a different version of the Senate's workers' compensation bill Wednesday, legislators will have to meet and hammer out their differences.
The conference committee could meet as early as Tuesday.
|.||State Democrats say fee office profits should go to schools (03/03/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - State Democrats have proposed a bill that would send profits from fee offices to local school districts. The bill would also remove the Governor's power to appoint fee officers. The proposed law would allow for competitive bidding for those posts.
Democrats say the current law favors campaign contributors, and is outmoded. Current law allows appointed fee officers to keep profits from fee collections. Fee offices collect money for driver's licenses, vehicle registrations, and tax payments.
|.||Proposed tax break to help consumers and keep jobs (03/02/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri residents may soon get a tax break when they go to buy a new car.
The House Job Creation and Economic Development Committee considered a bill, which eliminates all state level taxes for consumers on new cars made and sold in Missouri.
|.||Protestors gather in opposition to large farm corporations. (03/02/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Farmers and other rural citizens gathered at the capitol today to protest Senate Bill 187 and House Bill 376.
The bills would exclude larger corporations from state regulation and minimize local governement regulations, giving the state more authority.
|.||Workers' Comp bill passes House (03/02/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A reduction in the number of injuries covered under Missouri's workers' compensation law passed the House Wednesday.
The 90-66 vote broke mostly down party lines. The bill's sponsor, Sen. John Loudon, said he wants to work out its differences with the Senate version in a conference committee.
Get the newspaper story.
|.||Women's group lobbies against anti-cloning legislation (03/02/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Over 100 members of Hadassah, a Zionist women's organization, came to the Capitol Wednesday in support of stem-cell research.
|.||Committee delays vote on foundation formula (03/02/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A joint Senate-House committee expected to vote on a proposed fix to the formula used to distribute state money to local districts delayed the vote by at least one week.
The proposal would then be discussed in committee in both the House and Senate.
|.||SMSU name change bill passes (03/02/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - After a lengthy and oftentimes contentious debate, spread over several legislative sessions, a bill that would change the name of Southwest Missouri State University to Missouri State University was sent to the governor.
The bill would also change the name of three other schools and would change the name of a fourth if its board of governors votes to seek a name-change.
|.||Committee outlines changes to public school funding (03/01/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Legislators say the new formula for funding public schools will be based on the cost of educating students.
It considers special education programs, poor students, and those who speak English as a second language.
|.||Senate Democrats tout consumer protection plans (03/01/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Senate Democrats Tuesday announced a raft of consumer protection initatives. The bills include measures on personal privacy, credit card rates, and privitization of state services.
One measure would require companies to inform people when their personal information is stolen or misused.
|.||Union lock on public projects could end (03/01/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A Senate bill would open up construction projects using public money to contractors employing non-union workers. Republican sponsor John Loudon says current law is discriminatory.
Senate Democrats say union membership ensures workers are being paid a fair wage and are working in safe conditions. One Senate Democrat says the bill is an attack on organized labor, and could weaken wages and benefits for all workers.
|.||Senate Democrats to help identity theft, consumer protection and privacy issues (03/01/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Senate Democrats introduced a block of legislation today addressing identity theft, consumer protection and privacy issues. The recent scandal with ChoicePoint Inc. has many Missourians wondering about how their personal information will be kept secure.
Sen. Pat Dougherty, D-St. Louis City introduced a bill to protect the collection and use of personal information by companies like ChoicePoint. If fraud is detected, the companies would be forced to inform affected Missouri consumers. Sen.
|.||House poised to vote on SMS name change (02/28/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The House opened debate Monday on the name change for Southwest Missouri State.
A vote may come as early as Tuesday, when the time scheduled for debate is expected to expire.
|.||Families of Bellefontaine residents protest closing (02/28/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Families and friends of Bellefontaine residents held a press conference today opposing the impending closure.
A special house committee hearing was also held, with Department of Mental Health Director Dorn Schuffman testifying.
|.||Representative proposes compromise to SMS name change debate (02/28/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Representative Mark Wright filed an additional bill regarding the SMS name change.
The new bill clarifies the way money would be distributed to state universities and puts a cap on how much money schools can receive.
|.||Bellefontaine closure gaining Supporters, and Opponents (02/28/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Director of the Department of Mental Health Dorm Schuffman says Bellefontaine will be closed in an organized fasion, with patients being transfered to private community facilities.
Opponents of the closure say that patients of Bellefontaine will not receive the necessary forms of treatment and care outside of a specialized treatment center.
|.||House Rules Committee sends workers' compensation bill to House floor (02/28/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The House Rules Committee sent a bill narrowing the definition of who can receive workers' compensation in Missouri to the House floor.
The Committee voted to send the bill to the floor in a five to two vote.
The workers' compensation bill could be debated by the end of the week.