NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of March 14, 2005
|.||Emotional debate marked the Senate's closing hours before spring break. (03/17/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate's Democratic leader questioned the Christian values of Republican members as the Senate debate a final vote on the bill to make cuts in the state's Medicaid health care program for lower income Missourians.
The Senate approved the measure on a near party-line vote -- on the second vote the Senate had taken on the proposal this week.
Senate approval came just before the Senate adjourned for the Easter break -- not to return until March 29.
|.||Missouri's legislature ends first half of session (03/17/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri legislature reached its halfway point passing two issues driven by business-lawsuit limits and workers' compensation restrictions.
Lawmakers return in one week to discuss Medicaid cuts and stem cell research.
|.||Gibbons says Medicaid must go (03/16/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri state Senator pushing a bill that would entirely eliminate the current Medicaid program by 2008 described the health care system Wednesday as spiraling out of control.
In an interview with MDN, Sen. Michael Gibbons (R-Kirkwood), promised to "move boldly forward" with a plan to reenvision the state's Medicaid program and begin again with a "clean slate."
|.||Mobile home legislation presented to Senate economic committee (03/16/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A top democratic leader said she's out to help Missouri mobile home residents.
Sen. Maida Coleman, D-St. Louis, presented a bill to the Senate economic committee on Wednesday that would impose new standards on both mobile home park owners and their tenants.
|.||Business wins big in Missouri (03/16/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Lawmakers achieved the two goals of Gov. Matt Blunt's pro-business agenda, passing bills that would limit compensation for injured workers and medical malpractice claims in state courts.
Both bills will go to Blunt's desk this week before legislators adjourn for their annual spring break.
|.||Dozens gather in protest of Medicaid cuts. (03/16/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - As dozens gathered on the South steps of the Captitol today to protest Medicaid cuts, Gov. Matt Blunt said those on Medicaid now shouldn't count on keeping their benefits.
The cuts passed through the Senate Tuesday night after a filibuster and are waiting debate in the House.
|.||Wireless Internet now available to the public in the state Capitol (03/16/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - For $300 a year, anyone who wants to access the Internet in the state Capitol now can.
Representative Mark Wright says due to past security concerns, this new wireless system is necessary.
|.||Senate gives first round approval to Medicaid bill (03/15/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - After more than 17 hours of debate, the Senate gave first-round approval to a bill that includes an amendment to end the Medicaid program in three years.
The measure passed by a 20-12 vote, with Sens. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, and Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, crossing party lines to vote against the measure.
Prior to approving the bill, the Senate adopted an amendment to terminate the entire Medicaid program, that serves one million Missourians, on June 30, 2008. The amendment's sponsor said he wanted to force the state to restructure the health care program.
|.||Democrats talk Medicaid into wee hours(03/15/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Senate Democrats extended their filibuster of the Republican Medicaid bill until after 3:30am.
They took the bill up shortly after entering morning session at 10:00am. The filibuster could continue through the morning session and into the afternoon.
|.||Senators debate Medicaid cuts in what some legislators say will be an all night filibuster. (03/14/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Republican Senator Jason Crowell says the Medicaid program will die without reform.
But, Democratic Senator Pat Dougherty says the cuts would kick thousands of Missourians off Medicaid.
|.||Rep. Cynthia Davis proposes bill to legalize midwifery. (03/14/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Cynthia Davis has proposed legislation to legalize midwifery.
Currently this constitutes a felony in the state of Missouri.
|.||GOP leader not worried about lags in budget process (03/14/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - An operating budget to match the spending outlined by Gov. Matt Blunt during his State of the State address has yet to reach House committee. Speaker Pro Tem Carl Bearden (R-St. Charles) says there's no reason to worry.
"We're not behind unless we don't get it done on May 6," Bearden said.
Last year the operating budget was already in committee by mid-February. State law requires a budget be passed by the last day of session, May 6.
|.||Joint committee works on work comp; GOP fine tunes its legislation (03/14/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Republican sponsor rolled out a new version of a fundamental rewriting of Missouri's workers' compensation law Monday. The measure treads the line between differing versions which passed the GOP controlled House and Senate in past weeks.
While maintaining the reduction of injuries which qualify for coverage, the centerpiece of the bill, the new measure finetunes the scrutiny put on the system's judges.
|.||Republican leader calls for Medcaid overhaul (03/14/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The President Pro Tem of the Senate says Missouri's current system fails on many levels.
He says he hopes Missouri will have a working Medicaid program in 16 months.
|.||Senator Dougherty to Filibuster (03/14/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Democrat Pat Dougherty says the medicaid cuts are cruel.
Opponents say tough choices needed to be made.