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Latest Missouri Government News as of May 3, 1996

Abortion Bill before Senate

The Senate Judiciary Committee has sent to the full Senate an abortion counseling bill the governor had warned just the day before he would veto.

The committee's action assures that abortion debate will dominate the closing days of the 1996 legislative session - as the issue did in 1995.

For more information see our newspaper story.

Legislature Enters Its Last Two Weeks

Lawmakers begin Monday (May 6) the final two weeks of the session with some of the major issues of the year unresolved.

The governor's call for a tax cut appears to be facing major problems in the Senate.

The bill cleared the House Thursday, leaving little time for Senate committee and chamber action.

Even if approved by committee quickly, the tax cut bill would be placed at the bottom of a list of dozens of other bills already waiting for Senate action.

On Thursday, the House gave final approval and sent to the governor a measure that would require health insurance policies to cover child immunizations and another measure that would remove the upper-age limit for school bus drivers.

For more information on these various issues, see:

Governor Vows Abortion Bill Veto

Gov. Mel Carnahan promised Thursday that like he did last year, he will veto an abortion-counseling bill working it's way through the legislature.

The Senate anti-abortion sponsor had dropped a provision requiring that a woman contact a private counselor before an abortion could be performed.

As an alternative, the state Health Department would advise women about private counselors.

But Carnahan said that change did not make the bill acceptable.

For more information, see our two radio stories with digital audio from the governor:

New Mom Hospital Insurance Bill to Governor

Legislation to require health insurance policies and HMOs to provide a minimum hospital stay for new mothers is on the governor's desk.

The House accepted changes made by the Senate earlier in the week and gave the bill final approval.

The measure would require coverage for at least 48-hours in a hospital after delivery.

For more information, see our radio story with digital audio.

Health Bills Clear Senate

Two of the major health-care bills in the 1996 legislative session were approved by the Senate.

Both bills impose coverage requirements on health insurance and HMOs.

One measure would require coverage for a minimum hospital stay after delivery by new mothers. The other would require coverage of child immunization.

Earlier this year, both bills had been approved by the House which now must review the Senate changes.

We have several stories you can review for further details:

Mandatory AIDS Testing Approved by House

The House has approved an amendment that would let any person seek a court order for an HIV test of another with whom the person had contact.

The amendment was attached to what had been a relatively minor Senate-passed bill.

For more information, see:

Aging Department on the Ballot

Missouri voters will get to decide this year whether there should be a separate department to handle programs for the elderly.

The proposed constitutional amendment was given final approval by the House Tuesday.

Click here to see the roll-call vote.

Income Tax Cuts Dropped in House

The House Ways and Means Committee Chairman dropped efforts to win House approval for cuts in the state income tax after he failed to stop members from adding amendments to the measure.

The proposal would have provided an extra tax deduction for an elderly dependent who lives in the taxpayer's home and exempted some private pension income from the income tax.

The committee chairman, Rep. Ken Jacob, said he had to drop the bill because the House leadership had not given him enough floor time to deal with all the amendments that he expected to be proposed.

For more information, see:

Senate Votes to Let Cities Regulate Cigarettes

Anti-smoking forces scored a major victory in the Missouri Senate Monday on legislation to toughen state laws regulating tobacco sales.

The Senate voted to remove a provision in the bill that would have barred local government from enacting their own, tougher ordinances.

For more information, see: