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Missouri Government News for Week of Nov. 30, 1998

It costs the gambling industry $10 million to keep their boats in moats.

The gambling industry reported it spent nearly $10 million on the boats-in-moats issue passed by Missouri voters in November.

That means the gambling industry spent $11.65 for every "yes" vote cast.

Opponents, on the other hand, were able to raise only about $320,000, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state Ethic Commission.

Carnahan and third-graders decorate capitol tree

About 50 third-graders from Vienna, Missouri took a field trip to Jefferson City and helped Governor Carnahan decorate the capitol Christmas tree. They had spent more than a month making their own ornaments, and within seconds had jammed the tree full of construction paper stockings and pine cones.

Some of the students suggested that next year, Governor Carnahan cut down one of the big trees in front of the Capitol and bring it into the dome. The Governor considered their proposal, but politely turned it down.

See our package of radio stories for details.

Proposal filed to let Missourians decide the fate of the tobacco money.

Three GOP Senators filed legislation this week that would put on the statewide ballot the question of what to do with the tobacco settlement money.

The administration predicts the state will get more than $200 million per year under the national agreement.

The legislative proposal would let voters decide whether the legislature should be free to spend the money, of it should be covered by the state's Hancock revenue lid that would trigger a refund of the money.

See our newspaper story for details.

'99 Legislature to face partial-birth abortion ban, again

Republican Senator Peter Kinder (R-Cape Girardeau) is co-sponsoring a bill along with Senator-elect Sarah Steelman (R-Rolla) that would ban partial-birth abortions. The legislature has faced this issue for at least the last three years. In 1998, it never saw a vote, but in 1997 a similar bill very nearly withstood a veto by Governor Carnahan.

Kinder says he expects this year's version will pass with strong bipartisan support. He says that would put tremendous pressure on the Carnahan administration.

See our package of radio stories with digital audio.

Missouri's campaign contributrer limits knocked off by a federal court.

In a 2-1 split decision, a federal appeals court has struck down a Missouri law that limits the total amount a political candidate can receive from any one contributor.

Under the law, a contributor could donate only slightly more than $1,000 to any single campaign.

The state attorney general said he would appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.