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Missouri Government News for Week of April 13, 1998

A Senate filibuster blocks action on legislation to give tax deductions for private and parochial school costs.

For the third day in a row, extended Senate debate blocked action Thursday on a tax-cut bill that includes tax breaks for the parents of kids in private and parochial schools.

That provision is being pushed strongly by GOP legislators and the Catholic Conference. Opponents argue, however, that the provision violates the state constitutional ban against government support of religion.

On Wednesday, the Senate rejected efforts to take the school-cost deduction out of the bill.

For more information, see:

Tax breaks for developers stalls in House.

The House sponsor of legislation to provide tax breaks for business developments laid the bill aside after the House voted on an amendment to restrict a major existing tax-break law.

The amendment would prohibit retail stores from getting tax breaks under the tax increment financing program (TIF).

Several St. Louis lawmakers have complained about TIFs going to shopping center developments in higher-income areas rather than economically depressed areas that TIFs are supposed to help.

See our radio story for more information.

Also see the House roll-call vote.

Child tattoo restrictions approved by the House.

The House gave first-round approval to legislation that would require parental permission for a minor to get a tattoo or undergo body piercing.

The meausre was approved on voice vote. It will require a formal roll-call vote by the House to get sent to the Senate.

See our radio story for more information.

Also see the House 3rd reading roll-call vote.

House members are told the deseg bill passed by the Senate is enough to settle the St. Louis case.

The House Education Committee listened to more than five hours of testimoney Tuesday night on the Senate passed legislation designed to provide the grounds for a settlement in the St. Louis desegregation case.

Although it provides St. Louis schools less money than originally proposed, the bill got support from both the NAACP's attorney and the court-appointed settlement coordinator.

St. Louis School Board officials, however, testified against the bill. It would replace the board with a panel nominated by the governor.

We have a package of radio stories covering the various aspects of Tuesday night's hearing:

The state confirms that some Missourians will have to give part of their Hancock refunds to the feds.

Some Missourians will have to pay federal taxes next year on this year's Hancock refunds, according to both the state Revenue Dept. and the IRS.

Taxes on the refunds will be owed only by those who itemized their deductions on their federal returns in 1995 and 1996.

See our newspaper story for the explanation why.

Riverboat gambling petition language approved.

Missouri's Secretary of State approved for circulation the language of a petitition campaign to legalize "boats in moats."

The proposal, sponsored by several gambling boats, would reverse a state Supreme Court decision that requires gambling boats to be floating on the actual Mississippi or Missouri rivers.

State law requires that the form for a constitutional amendment petitition campaign be approved by the Secretary of State prior to circulation.

With approval, supporters of the proposal now have until July 3 to get the necessary signatures.