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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for September 16, 2002

 


. Missouri cities oppose strengthening firefighters' bargaining power. (09/24/02)
JEFFERSON CITY - A constitutional amendment to strengthen the bargaining power of Missouri firefighters has drawn the opposition of city governments. While firefighters say the measure would merely give them the same rights afforded workers in the private sector, an association of Missouri municipalities said it would cost taxpayers a bundle.
. Another aide is leaving the governor's staff. (09/24/02)
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Bob Holden's deputy chief of staff, Deirdre Hirner, has submitted her resignation to beecome vice president of Drury University, accoring to the Jefferson City News-Tribune.

She is the fifth high-level official to leave the leave the governor's personal staff in recent months. Others who have resigned include his chief of staff, legal counsel, budget director and his chief spokesman.


. The latest Post-Dispatch poll shows the Carnahan-Talent race still in a dead heat. (09/23/02)
JEFFERSON CITY - Support for Sen. Jean Carnahan and Republican candidate Jim Talent remained within the margin of error in a Zogby poll published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch over the weekend.

The poll showed Carnahan with 48 percent and Talent at 40 percent -- within the 4.5 percentage point margin of error.

An earlier poll also showed also showed the two in a dead heat, but much closer.


. A former state budget director warns of long term budget problems for the state. (09/20/02)
JEFFERSON CITY - Former State Budget Director Jim Moody warned a meeting of the Missouri Institute of Public Administration that state government's budget problems will continue into the next fiscal year -- and, possibly beyond that.

In addition to being a former budget director, Moody also had served as the commissioner of the Office of Administration and director of the state's Social Services Department.

Moody, who now works as a lobbyist, said the state had cut taxes so deeply in recent years that an economic upturn would not solve the state's budget problems.


. Conservation Department to test 6,000 deer for chronic wasting disease (09/20/02)
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Dept. of Conservation will test 6,000 deer for chronic wasting disease (CWD) during this fall's hunt in response to outbreaks of the disease in southern Wisconsin and several western states.

Last year the state tested 72 sick deer reported by hunters and the public. None tested positive for CWD.

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    . Holden raises poverty level, tells departments to find money (09/20/02)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Bob Holden announced that state departments will have to prioritize existing funds in favor of Medicaid recipients. Raising Medicaid income guidelines to 80 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, he said his plan would benefit about 25,000 people who are eligible for the spenddown program. The announcement gave no indication of the benefits' cost. Spokeswoman Chris Kelly said the governor expects individual agencies to make the fund reorganization a priority.