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Missouri Government News for Week of Mar. 15, 1999

The House rejects banning gambling campaign contributions.

By an overwhelming margin, the House defeated an amendment to ban gambling companies, their owners and their managers from making campaign contributions.

The amendment had been offered to a bill, subsequently approved by the House, to move the presidential primary from April to March.

Critics of the gambling contribution ban argue it would be a violation of First Amendment free-speech rights.

See the House roll-call vote.

A ban on partial-birth abortions clears the House.

The proposed ban on partial-birth abortions was approved by the House and sent to the Senate.

Like the measure vetoed by the governor two years ago, the House-passed bill does not provide an exception for cases in which the health of the mother is at stake. The governor has said he would sign the bill if it provided for a mother's health exception.

The bill passed the House with 129 yes votes -- far more than the 109 that would be needed to override the governor's veto.

See the House roll-call vote.

The House passes putting sex offenders on the Web.

The Missouri House approved and sent to the Senate a measure that would establish a state WWW site listing the state's registered sex offenders along with their photos.

The measure passed the House by an overwhelming vote, with just 18 no votes.

See the perfectionroll-call vote and the third-reading vote.

The Capitol cafeteria is closed by health inspectors.

Local health officials have closed down the Capitol cafeteria located in the building's basement.

The inspection report cited "critical areas concerning food." but provided few details.

See our newspaper story for details.

A tax hike for highway construction is declared dead for 1999.

The legislature's joint committee on transportation has abandoned any effort to boost taxes for highway repair and construction.

The committee chairman had said he was willing to sponsor a one-half cent sales tax for highway repair after the Transportation Department director told the committee it would take up to $1 billion to complete their 15-year highway construction plan.

But one day later, almost no support for the idea was voiced by committee members who said there simply was no public support for a tax hike.

A collective bargaining plan is rejected by Missouri's House.

On a largely partisan vote, the Missouri House rejected a plan to give more power to the unions of state and local government workers.

The bill's sponsor said he was not quite willing to drop the bill for the year, but agreed it was on "life support."

Collective bargain had been endorsed by the govenror this year, giving union representatives more hope for the proposal that consistently has met strong opposition from Republicans and rural legislators.

For more informaton see:

Missouri's Transportation Department says it needs $1 billion more for it's abandoned construction program.

The director of the Transportation Department said it would need about $1 billion per year more to compete it's 15-year construction program -- and then, only after 20 years.

The department's analysis was presented to the legislature's joint committee on transportation whose chairman said he would support a one-half cent sales tax increase for highway construction.

For more information, see:

Walter Cronkite has his bust added to the Captiol's Hall of Famous Missourians.

Former CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite was inducted into the "Hall of Famous Missourians," located in the state Capitol.

Cronkite's bust was placed near to other famous Missourians such as Mark Twain, Harry Trman and Gen. Omar Bradly -- whom Cronkite described as his favorite general.

See our radio story with digital audio from Cronkite and our newspaper story for details.