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Missouri Government News for Week of Mar. 1, 1999

Missouri's secretary of state announces she's not running for re-election.

Bekki Cook told reporters Thursday she has decided not to seek another term as secretary of state.

Cook said she want to be able to spend more time with her family in Cape Girardeau.

House Speaker Steve Gaw quickly announced his candidacy for Cook's job. On the Republican side, the son of former secretary of state, now congressman, Roy Blunt, announced he was thinking about the race.

See our newspaper story for full details.

Legislative interns comment on Monica Lewinsky on the eve of her TV appearance.

Legislative interns in Missouri's statehouse voiced harsh criticism of Monica Lewinsky on the eve of her national TV interview.

The interns say she's given their jobs a bad name.

See our package of radio stories for details.

Missouri's Senate votes to boost their retirement pay.

Without a vote to spare, Missouri's Senate approved a measure that would boost legislative retirement pay by one-third.

Last year, the governor had vetoed a legislative attempt to boost legislative retirement.

But this year, the Senate stuck the idea onto a retirement plan for all state workers that has been recommended by an administration task force.

See the Senate roll-call vote.

The House votes to put sex offenders on Internet.

The House gave preliminary approval to a measure to have the state publish on Internet registered sex offenders along with their photographs.

The measure, approved on a voice vote, faces one more House vote before going to the Senate.

In the Senate, legislation to require schools to emphasize abstinenance in sex-ed classes won preliminary approval.

House approves ban on partial birth abortion

The Missouri House gave preliminary approval to a bill to ban partial birth abortions.

The measure is similar to one the governor vetoed two years ago because it did not include an exemption for cases involving the health of the mother.

An amendment to include that kind of exemption was rejected overwhelmingly by the House by margin far greater than would be needed to override a veto.

For more information see:

Missouri's Senate approved letting adults ride motorcycles without helmets.

The Missouri Senate approved legislation that would exempt those over age 20 from the state law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets.

The measure has been pushed by motorcyclists for years, but has met stiff opposition from highway safety advocates.

The bill now goes to the House.

See the roll-call vote.

The Senate Transportation Committee votes to make driver's license photos private.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to the full Senate legislation that would block public access to driver's license photos -- while retaining public access to rest of the records.

But there is exception. The news media would be allowed access to the photos.

See our newspaper story and our radio story for details.

Bill Would Allow Parents to Check on Childcare Providers

A bill that would give parents access to background information on childcare providers moved one step closer toward becoming law. The bill would establish a database for information on childcare providers such as criminal records.

See our radio storyfor details.

Also see our newspaper story.

The Senate votes to reinforce the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

The Missouri Senate voted overwhelmingly to re-pass a law that refuses state recognition of same-sex marriages.

The measure would allow and recognize a marriage only if between a man and a woman.

The legislature had passed an identical law a few years ago, but it was struck down by the courts on a procedural basis unrelated to the actual contents of the law.

See the Senate roll-call vote.

GOP lawmakers voice concerns about legislation to register baby sitters and child-care workers.

House Republicans fought unsuccessfully Monday to reduce the scope of plan to register child-care workers including some baby sitters.

Twice, along almost straight party-line votes, the House rejected their amendments to exempt religious facilities from the bill's provisions. The House adjourned for the day without reaching a final vote on the measure.

See our newspaper story for details.

Also see the House roll-call vote.

Teacher organizations take opposite sides on collective bargaining.

A legislative committee reviewing the costs of legislation to give union rights to government workers became a forum for argument by the state's two major teacher organizations.

Supporting the legislation is the Missouri National Education Association. Opposing the bill is the Missouri State Teacher's Organization.

At issue is an estimate by legislative staff that the measure would cost government more than $60 million per year. The committee took no action on that estimate.

See our newspaper story for details.

Wilson Bows Out of Lieutenant Governor's Race

Missouri's Lieutenant Governor Roger Wilson is citing a rise in attack politics as the reason why he will not seek reelection. Senator Joe Maxwell says he will run for the state's number two position.

Wilson's announcement prompted Sen. Joe Maxwell from Mexico to announce he would seek the Democratic nomination for the job. Previously, Maxwell had said he was running for State Treasurer.

For more information, see: