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Latest Missouri Government News as of May 17, 1996

1996 legislative session ends

Legislators concluded their 1996 session at 6pm Friday (May 17) without passing a tax cut.

The tax-cut proposal, approved earlier by the House, died in the Senate after last-minute objections by a Republican who wanted a bigger tax cut and a Democrat who wanted tax credits for maternity homes.

While failing on tax cuts, several other major issues did clear the legislature on what was one of the most frantic last days of a session in several years.

Bills approved on the last day included:

  1. A broad package of tax breaks for business.
  2. A limited abortion-regulation bill that provides stronger Health Department oversight of abortion facilities.
  3. Additional tools for schools to deal with violent students.
  4. A ban on same-sex marriages.

For more information on these and other stories from the end of the legislative session, see:

Legislature enters last day with no tax-cut plan.

Missouri's legislature enters the last day of its 1996 session with no agreement on tax-cuts. In fact, Senators were unsure even what bill to use as the vehicle.

The governor, who met with key legislators during the evening, expressed increased optomism.

On Thursday, the legislature did complete action on a measure to impose tougher regulation on large hog-raising operations. The Senate rejected a last-gasp effort to pass a lobbyist-gift ban.

Several other major issues also were pending on the last day of the session, although most needed only one or two routine votes to reach the governor's desk:

For more information on these and other developments, see our newspaper story.

Senate rejects women Senators' abortion compromise plan.

The Senate rejected a compromise abortion proposal by its three women members - two who support abortion rights and one who is opposed.

The women complained they had been excluded from the work in drafting the bill which affects women.

For more information, see:

House Democrats get $1,000 each from lobbyists

About three dozen lobbyists paid $1,000 each to attend a fund-raising reception for House Democrats.

For their money, the lobbyists got some food (along with beer) and got to meet with a few dozen legislators.

In other legislative developments Wednesday:

  1. The legislature sent the governor a measure to allow local goverment to ask the voters for approval of a use tax on out-of-state purchases to replace a use tax thrown out by the courts.
  2. The legislature also sent the governor a measure that will give police more authority to tow abandoned cars on the road.
  3. The Senate rejected a compromise to the abortion controversy that had been sponsored by the Senate's three women members.
  4. The House approved and sent back to the Senate a measure to expand the state's involuntary committment laws.

For more information on these stories, see:

Killer chickens get Senate attention as major issues wait on the sidelines.

A proposal to outlaw raising fighting-bird gamecocks prompted an oratory outrage from rural Senators who questioned what's wrong with chickens killing chickens.

The gamecock-fighting ban amendment, proposed to a broad anti-crime bill, was defeated by the Senate which spent most of its day on that bill and an economic development package for businesses.

With three days left in the session, the Senate still has pending the tax-cut and abortion bills.

For more information on killer chickens and other legislative matters, see:

Tax-cut bill scheduled for Senate debate

The Senate leadership plans to begin Wednesday (May 15) the long-delayed Senate debate on tax cuts.

Action had been delayed while private discussions were held in an effort to reach agreement on the various options that have been proposed.

But Senate President Pro Tem Jim Mathewson conceded that no resolution had been reached.

For more information, see our radio story.

Welfare-termination bill declared dead

The Senate sponsor of a welfare bill that would terminate major welfare programs over the next few years has declared the bill dead.

The measure, approved by the Senate, has been put into legislative limbo by the House speaker -- preventing the House from taking any action on the measure.

For more information see our radio story.

Another tax-cut idea emerges

The House has come up with another idea for cutting taxes -- toss the decision to the governor.

The House stuck that idea onto what had been a relatively minor bill previously approved by the Senate.

Under the House amendment, the governor would make the decision whether the sales tax on groceries should be reduced because state revenues exceeded the constitutional amendment.

The bill now goes back to the Senate which has pending another tax-cut proposal approved earlier by the House.

That bill would cut the grocery sales tax without requiring any action by the governor. A Senate committee has proposed as an alternative reductions in the state income tax for on pensions and for taxpayers with dependents.

Sex offender bill sent to governor

The legislature has sent the governor a measure that would put repeat predatory sex offenders under state supervision for the rest of their lives.

The proposal allows life sentences and for those who are released, they would be placed under state parole supervision for the rest of their lives.

In addition, the proposal makes the conviction records open to the public.

For more information see: