NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of March 28, 2005
|.||Budget filed with only five weeks until its deadline (03/31/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Republican budget increases spending for K-12 education while making cuts to social services.
Democrats said the cuts would hurt the state in the long run, without specifying where they think cuts should be made.
|.||Schiavo death inspires new Missouri legislation (03/31/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - On the day of Terri Schiavo's death, Missouri lawmakers are already trying to prevent similar cases in Missouri. Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O'Fallon, introduced a bill that would make it illegal to remove feeding tubes from patients in a vegetative state.
Under the bill, doctors would need written consent from the patient before removing feeding tubes. Sen. John Loudon, R-St. Louis County, sponsored a related bill in early March that would allow anyone to continue their guardianship for patient.
|.||House hearing on Medicaid cuts stretches into the night (03/30/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - A House committee hearing on the cuts to Medicaid proposed by Gov. Matt Blunt stretched into the night as legislators heard testimony from both supporters and opponents of the plan.
The hearing room was filled to capacity as Blunt's cuts, which could toss an estimated 100,000 people off Medicaid rolls, were discussed.
|.||Lawmakers taking control and time to introduce this year's budget/ (03/30/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Lawmakers are going beyond Governor Blunts proposed budget and are taking control in deciding cuts.
This process is taking longer than expected.
|.||Senator Wheeler says religion should stay out of the pharmacy (03/30/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Senator Wheeler says personal religious beliefs should stay out of the pharmacy.
The bill he is sponsoring would force pharmacies to fill prescription orders if the company carries the drug.
Private companies will still have the right to withhold certain drugs, like the morning after pill.
|.||Terry Schiavo-type outcome could happen in Missouri. (03/30/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Jerry Sill is a vice chairman of Missouri Bar Health and Hospital Law Committee. His spokesman says that the reason Mr. Schiavo was the one the courts listened to rather than Terry Schiavo's parents was because Mr. Schiavo applied and was approved to be her guardian.
In response to this controversy, radio advertisements have popped up telling Missourians how to create living wills.
|.||Blunt signs workers' comp bill (03/30/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Matt Blunt signed a fundamental rewriting of Missouri's workers' compensation law Wednesday. The changes will reduce the number of injuries which qualify for benefits and increase the scrutiny on the system's judges.
Blunt trumpeted the new law, which his Democratic opponents say will make life harder for injured workers, as a necessary reform to a program he said is costing Missouri business.
|.||The Senate Judiciary Committee votes to let cops bust drunken teens (03/30/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - While minors are prohibited from possessing or consuming alcohol, there is nothing that makes it a crime for a minor to have a positive blood-alcohol reading.
The measure approved by the Senate Committee would allow police to require a breath test of a teen who appeared under the influence of alcohol and to file misdemeanor charges if the test was positive.
That provision was included in the Judiciary Committee into a larger anti-crime bill that includes tougher penalities for repeat drunken drivers.
The measure now goes to the full Senate.
|.||House committee hears bioterrorism, trespassing bill (03/29/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House Agriculture committee heard a bill that would make it a felony to trespass and photograph animal breeding facilities without the owner's consent.
It would also make it illegal to infect livestock populations with diseases.
|.||Missouri senators vote to place tougher regulations on sexually oriented businesses in the state (03/29/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Walk into your local porn shop... and, soon, that step alone could cost you five bucks.
Missouri senators passed a bill that would require sexually oriented businesses to pay a five dollar admission tax for each person who walks through the door.
In addition to an admission fee, the proposal impose a 20% tax on the gross receipts of sex shops.
The proposal now goes to a House committee.
|.||Disabled Missourians protest Medicaid cuts (03/29/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - Hundreds of Missourians rallied at the state Capitol today to tell Governor Blunt and state Republicans their Medicaid cuts could cost the disabled their independence. They say the cuts could force disabled Missourians from their homes and into nursing homes.
Some protestors drove six hours to protest the cuts, which would eliminate the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities program.
|.||Blunt signs lawsuit limits (03/28/05)|
JEFFERSON CITY - In a series of news conferences across the state spanning two days, Gov. Matt Blunt signed into law the measure to limit liability lawsuits and lawsuit awards.
The bill is similar to the measure that had been vetoed by former Gov. Bob Holden last year.