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Missouri Government News for Week of Nov. 4, 1996

Lawmakers pick leaders for 1997 session.

Top leadership in Missouri's House will stay the same, but there'll be a complete change in the Senate as a result of legislative party caucus sessions Thursday.

House Democrats re-nominated Steve Gaw for House Speaker and re-elected Gracia Backer as majority leader. Earlier in the day, House Republicans re-elected Mark Richardson as their leader.

In the Senate, Democrats picked Mike McKenna to replace Jim Mathewson as the Senate President Pro Tem - the Senate's most powerful position that Mathewson had announced he would not seek again. Elected majority leader was Ed Quick. Republicans selected Steve Ehlmann as their Senate leader.

The potential of another session of partisan warfare arose from the House side. While House Speaker Steve Gaw offered what sounded like an olive branch to Republicans, the re-elected Republican leader talk about standing up for party principles.

For more informatin, see our stories on:

Clean sweep for Democrats in Missouri Government.

Democrats won a clean sweep in maintaining control of state government in Tuesday's election.

Democrats won all five statewide offices on the ballot and retained control of both the Missouri House and Senate. In fact, there is almost no change in the party lineup for the two chambers.

The closest statewide race, as expected, was for Secretary of State.

The only major election loss for the Democrats was the 9th Congressional District, where Republican Kenny Hulshof narrowly defeated veteran Congressman Harold Volkmer.

For information on specific races, check out our election-return page.

Minimum wage and Aging Department defeated.

Missouri voters said no to raising the minimum wage, to eliminating a state sales tax and to creating a Department of Aging.

The minimum wage proposal was defeated Tuesday overwhemlingly by state voters. Also defeated was proposal backed by the administration and approved by the legislature to put programs for the elderly into a new Department of Aging.

By a wide margin voters approved extending for 10 years the 1/10 cent sales tax for conservation and parks.

For information on specific races, check out our election-return page.

Missourians head to the polls.

A relatively low turnout is predicted by the secretary of state in an election that, for the first time in the state's history, will have five statewide Missouri office holders seeking reelection.

Published polls have found the closest races to be those for lieutenant governor and for secretary of state.

Both incumbent Gov. Mel Carnahan and his GOP opponent, Magaret Kelly, voted early Tuesday morning -- Kelly in Jefferson City and Carnahan in his home town of Rolla.

Later in the evening, Carnahan will join his fellow Democratic statewide office holders for a election-night watch in St. Louis. Kelly's campaign will remain in Jefferson City.

Also at stake Tuesday is half the state Senate's seats and the entire House. To capture control of the House, the GOP needs a net gain of just seven House seats from 107 contested House races.

Seven statewide ballot issues also are before the voters. The most controversial would raise the state's minimum wage to the highest rate in the country.

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