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Latest Missouri Government News as of May 10, 1996

Abortion & taxes dominate legislature's last week.

Missouri's legislature enters Monday (May 13) the final week of its 1996 session with tax cuts and abortion looming as the biggest issues.

Both issues have been approved by the House and are pending in the Senate.

The legislature adjourns 6pm on Friday (May 17).

For more details, see our newspaper story on the last week of the session.

Legislature finishes budget

Just a couple of hours before the constitutional deadline, Missouri lawmakers sent to the governor the final sections of the state's budget for the fiscal year that begins July.1

For several days, the final parts of the budget had been stalled in a dispute over whether the Health Department should be able to provide birth-control and pregnancy program funds to Planned Parenthood clinics.

As in past years, the legislature eventually adopted budget language which prohibits Planned Parenthood funding.

The constitution required the legislature to finish work on the budget by 6pm Friday (May 10).

Concealed weapons for non-married same-sex pigs proposed

As lawmakers frantically piggy-back ideas onto bills, one staffer has come up with a proposal that wraps into one bill almost every major issue of the session - same-sex marriages, pigs, concealed weapons, abortion, flood-control and more.

Click here to see what the staffer has drafted.

In other legislative developments Thursday,

Governor's sales tax cut idea is replaced with an income tax cut by Senate committee.

Only those with children and retired persons would get a tax cut under the tax proposal approved by the Senate Corrections and General Laws Committee.

The committee raising the income tax dependent deduction and also lowering taxes on private pensions. Both cuts would be phased in during a three-year period.

The governor had proposed an across the board cut in the state sales tax. The House replaced that with a cut in the sales tax on groceries.

See our newspaper story for further details.

Abortion dispute stalls budget

A fight involving abortion and Planned Parenthood has delayed legislative action on the state's budget to the last possible day.

At issue is funding to the Health Department for pregnancy and abortion-alternative counseling.

Several different approaches have failed in the House.

The constitution requires the legislature to complete action on the budget by 6pm, May 10.

See our newspaper story for more details.

Senate Votes to Ban Same-Sex Marriages

By an overwhelming margin, the Senate gave preliminary approval to a measure which would require the state not to recognize same-sex marriages.

The proposal was prompted by a case in Hawaii in which some lawmakers predict will lead to Hawaii recognizing same-sex marriages.

Without any reference to same-sex marriages in Missouri law, if Hawaii recognized a same-sex marriage, it automatically would be recognized in Missouri just as any other out-of-state marriage.

For more information see:

Elderly Bus-Driver Bill Vetoed

Gov. Mel Carnahan has vetoed legislation that would have allowed persons older than age 70 to drive school buses.

In his veto message, Carnahan wrote that he supported removing the upper age limit.

However, he wrote that he thinks there should be an annual examination of bus drivers 70 years of age or older.

Tax-cut inaction tops Tuesday's legislative actions

For another day, the Senate President Pro Tem let the House-passed cut in the sales tax on groceries sit in limbo.

By Tuesday evening, however, the bill finally was assigned to a committee -- but not the committee which normally handles tax measures.

Rather than the Ways and Means Committee, Senate President Pro Tem Jim Mathewson assigned the tax-cut bill to the Senate Committee on Corrections and General Laws.

In other legislative action Tuesday, the House completed action on part of the state's operating budget.

For more details on Tuesday's developments in the legislature, see:

Liquor Advertising Restrictions Defeated

The House rejected efforts by several black legislators to impose restrictions on alcohol marketing in minority areas.

The proposals were offered as amendments to a relatively minor bill involving auctioning of vintage wine collections.

For more information, see:

Major Flooding Not Concern of State Officials

Despite the heavy rains, state officials say they're not concerned about the possibility of major flooding in the state.

Local flash-flooding has been occurred due to heavy rains. In the St. Louis area, flash flooding has caused significant damage and one death.

See our newspaper story for further details.