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Missouri Government News for Week of Nov. 18, 1996

Two state department directors call it quits.

Two department directors in the governor's cabinet -- both women -- announced Tuesday they were stepping down.

Announcing their intended resignations were the directors of the Health and Labor departments.

The Health Department director had been under criticism one year ago for deficit spending in a program to provide services to AIDS patients.

We have two stories you can review - one on the resignations of the two department directors and the other on the Health Department director's resignation.

Missouri's Supreme Court upholds the education tax increase.

The State Supreme Court rejected Republican arguments that the 1993 education tax increase should be submitted to Missouri voters or declared unconstitutional.

The court did declare the voter-referendum provision in the "Excellence in Education" law was unconstitutional. But the rest of the bill, including the tax increase, was not thrown out by the court.

We have serveral stories on the decision covering what has been a dominating political controversy for the last few years:

Insurance companies ranked by the state.

For the first time, Missouri's Insurance Department is ranking the state's top insurance companies -- covering insurance for auto, life, home, accident and health including HMOs.

The rankins, based on customer complaints, covers the state's 40 largest insurance providers.

For more information, see our two radio stories:

Legislative committee recommends tougher HMO regulation.

Patients would be given more powers under a package of proposals adopted by the joint legislative committee on managed care.

The committee recommended restricting when an HMO can refuse to provide emergency medical care and it also recommended banning HMOs from imposing gag orders on doctors.

For more information, see:

FBI Investigates charges of voter fraud in Missouri.

Just days after the November elections, stories have arisen that the FBI is investigating allegations of voter fraud in southeast Missouri.

According to the allegiations, people were paid to vote for a particular legislative candidate -- a charge disputed by the candidate.

See our radio story, with digital audio, for details.