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Latest Missouri Government News as of March 29, 1996

This week's news summary was prepared by staff of Missouri Digital News.

Missouri News is a product of the State Government Reporting Program of the University of Missouri School of Journalism which is solely responsbile for its contents. Comments, suggestions or questions should be address to the program director, Phill Brooks, at:

House Approves English Only

The Missouri House gave first round approval to a measure to make English the state's official language.

Approval was overwhelming, by a 116-22 vote.

Proponents say the proposal is designed to prevent courts from ordering state or local governments to provide official documents in languages other than English.

Opponents argue the proposal is insulting to immigrants.

The measure faces one more vote in the House before going to the Senate.

If interested, you can see the HB 985House roll call vote.

Senate Defeats Concealed Weapons

In a suprise development, the Missouri Senate narrowly defeated legislation that would let private persons carry concealed weapons.

A split among concealed weapons supporters led to the defeat. Some supporters voted against the bill because of an amendment added earlier that would submit the proposal to Missouri voters.

The bill's sponsor said he would seek a reconsideration vote.

For more information, see:

Hog-Plant Regulation Clears the House

The Missouri House gave preliminary approval to a measure that would impose tougher environmental regulations on large corporate hog-raising facilities.

The measure, pushed by many rural lawmakers, faces one more House vote before going to the Senate.

See the newspaper story for further details.

Two Top Figures Decline 1996 Races

Just hours before the deadline for candidates to file for the 1996 August primary, two major Missouri figures announced they will not run for office.

Judi Moriarty, who was impeached and removed as Secretary of State two years ago, announced she would not seek election to her old job.

U.S. Rep. Mel Hancock, R-Springfield, announced he would not seek the GOP nomination for governor.

Both said they did not make a final decision about staying out of the 1996 races until the day before the filing deadline.

For more information, see:

Senate Votes to Put Concealed Weapons on Ballot

The Senate has approved an amendment to the concealed weapons bill that would submit the issue to Missouri voters for the final decision rather than the governor.

Critics in the Senate charged the amendment was an effort to let the governor off the hook from signing or vetoing the proposal - if it clears the legislature.

For more information, see:

New Opposition to Aging Department Suyrfaces

One of the state's leading welfare advocacy groups, the Missouri Association for Social Welfare, announced its opposition to the governor's plan to create a new Department of Aging.

The organization charged the plan, backed by the governor, was just an election year ploy to get votes from the elderly.

MASW joins a large number of Republican lawmakers who also have opposed the proposal.

For more information, see the newspaper story.