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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of April 25, 2005


. A House committee votes down the school funding bill (04/28/05)

JEFFERSON CITY - The House Education Funding bill rejected a plan to rewrite the state's formula for distributing funds to public schools.

Metro area legislators complained the bill did not provide enough money for urban and suburban schools that have been hurt under the current formula.

A spokesman for the governor said Matt Blunt might call a special session if lawmakers did not get the bill passed by the end of the regulation session that adjourns May 13.

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    . Missouri legislature passes bill eliminating tickets for stolen vehicle tabs (04/28/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The legislature agreed on a bill that would help drivers whose vehicle registration stickers were stolen. They would not be ticketed for not having the registration tabs, and they would get free replacement stickers.

    The governor still has to sign the bill before it becomes law.

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    . Missouri's governor gets legislation to make cold medicine more difficult to purchase. (04/28/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Missourians would have to show a photo ID to purchase cold medicine like Sudafed that contains chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine.

    The Senate approved the final version Wednesday without opposition.

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    . State Deparments Import Indian Workers (04/27/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Contractors for two of the state largest department have imported Indian workers to develop software for the state.

    State officials admit ignorance of the practice while contractors refuse comment and one state labor leader expresses outrage

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    . Mercury-free vaccinations for children under 3 and pregnant woman voted do pass out of house committee (04/27/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The bill was voted out of the Senate April 13, adding an amendment allowing patients to refuse immunizations containing the substance.

    The committee removed the amendment, after deciding the bill could not proceed with such a stipulation.

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    . Senate Democrats advocate Middle Class relief (04/27/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Democrats say that current budget plans are not fair to the middle class.

    The Republicans say the budget plans are nothing more than a set of hard and inevitable choices.

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    . Fight over who pays for First Steps is closer to an end (04/27/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The House General Laws Committee passed Senate Bill 500.

    This bill will pass some of the cost onto both parents and insurance companies.

    . Eight Wheelchair Bound Protestors Chain Themselves to House Doors (04/27/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Eight wheelchair bound protestors chained themselves to House doors as a crowd of hundreds filled the halls in protest of Gov. Matt Blunt's Medicaid cuts.

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    . Nascar Driver Carl Edwards Visited The Capitol Wednesday. (04/27/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Nascar driver Carl Edwards visited the Capitol on Wednesday.

    Edwards, a native of Columbia, was a special guest of Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia.

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    . Seat belt bill encourages drivers to buckle up (04/27/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - A bill that would allow police officers to stop drivers solely for an unbuckled belt is working its way through the legislature.

    The bill passed the Senate and now goes to the House. If passed, the state could stand to receive a $17 million dollar incentive from the federal government.

    . Missouri's Senators dodge a vote on their own health care coverage. (04/27/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Pressure by by both Republican and Democratic Senate leaders caused sponsors to drop a proposal to eliminate tax-supported health insurance for state legislators.

    The proposal was offered as an amendment to the state budget, but was dropped after intensive lobbying against the amendment by Senate leaders.

    The House narrowly rejected a similar amendment earlier this month.

    The Senate also rejected an amendment to the budget to impose a limit on the growth of tuition charged by the University

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    . Tax on health care providers passes the House (04/26/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - A tax on managed care organizations passed the Missouri House. It would generate an additional $30 million in state revenue.

    The bill's sponsor, St. Louis County Rep. Allen Icet, says the intent of the bill is to expand access to Medicaid. The money the state taxes the health care providers is matched by the federal government.

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    . School counselor's sexual misconduct charges reversed (04/26/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Supreme Court reverses a St. Louis school counselor's sexual misconduct charges.

    The Court declared the law that delivered his fate unconstitutional.

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    . Governor Blunt says Jones will be executed (04/26/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Republican Governor Blunt ruled the execution should take place, despite a recommendation from a parole board that Donald Jones receive clemency.

    Jones was convicted in 1994 of killing his grandmother.

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    . Medicaid cuts signed into law (04/26/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Republican Governor Matt Blunt has signed into law a bill cutting the Missouri Medicaid rolls by nearly 100,000 recipients.

    Blunt maintains the cuts are necessary to balance the budget.

    A Senate budget committee has recommended restoring some of the cuts with a five percent cut to higher education funding.

    Blunt siad he was open to using his line-item veto power on budget items restoring money cut from some Medicaid services.

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    . The Missouri Lottery will cut their funding to public schools (04/25/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - Last year the Missouri Lottery gave more than 230 million dollars to public schools.

    This year they'll cut that amount by 15 million dollars.

    Missouri Lottery Director Jim Scroggins says the loss is due to declining lottery ticket sales and budget cuts.

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    . Missouri lottery games are threatened by online gambling. (04/25/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The popularity of online gaming is grabbing money from education.

    Due to decreased sales, the Missouri Lottery is giving state education fifteen million dollars less than year.

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    . Senate to take up budget (04/25/05)

    JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate takes up the budget this week.

    According to the Missouri Constitution legislators are required to pass the budget one week before the session ends.

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