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Missouri Government News Headlines

Griffin Quits

Bob Griffin is gone from the Missouri House.

Just a couple of weeks after he stepped down as House speaker, Griffin resigned his legislative seat after a short speech to the House.

Griffin had been speaker 15 years, longer than anybody else in the state's history.

His last few years had been marred by growing charges that he had concentrated too much power in his office and a continuing federal criminal investigation into his legal work with riverboat gambling.

For more details see Former House Speaker Bob Griffin resigns.

Abortion Bill Debated

The Senate Judiciary heard emotional testimoney on both sides of the abortion controversy.

The committee held hearings on a nearly identical version of the abortion-counseling bill that the governor had vetoed last year.

In a change from last year, an official from the state's Health Department appeared before the committee to present the agency's formal opposition to the proposal. For more details on developments with abortion during the week, seek:

House Approves Speed Limit Bill

The House has given preliminary approval to a measure that would retain the federally-mandated speed limits for urban and two-lane highways.

The House rejected an amendment that would have imposed a limit on trucks 5 mph. lower than the limit for cars.

Limits on rural four-lane highways would return to what they had been prior to the federal law - 70 mph. on Interstates and 65 on other four-lane highways.

The pre-federal-law limits will return for all highways unless the legislature approves lower limits. The govenror has recommended lower limits be retained for urban and two-lane roads.

A similar measure has stalled in the Senate.

For more details, see

  • House approves keeping part of the old speed limit law.

    Speaker's Legislative Program

    House Sepaker Steve Gaw emphasized legislative reform in his inaugural address to the House.

    Gaw creation of legislative committee to review lawmakers' travel expenses and creation of an ethics committee to review ethical charges against lawmakers.

    Gaw had delayed an inaugural speech when he was elected two weeks ago saying his election was so sudden and unexpected that he needed time to think about his speech.

    For more details see:

    Anti-Abortion Put in Favorable Committee

    The House version of the anti-abortion bill has been assigned to a committee controlled by abortion opponents.

    The measure would require women to contact a counselor before an abortion could be performed.

    The bill was assigned by House Speaker Steve Gaw to the House Children, Youth and Families Committee. The committee chair and a majority of the committee had voted for a nearly identical proposal last year that was vetoed by the governor.

    Gaw, who voted against the bill last year, said he would not use his powers as speaker to bury the bill in committee.

    For more details see: