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Missouri Government News for Week of May 3, 1999

Lawmakers complete action on the budget.

Missouri's legislature went home to prepare for the last week of it's 1999 session by finishing work on the state's budget -- several hours before the 6pm Friday deadline.

See the detailed budget table.

House members vote to give themselves a retirement increase.

In a near party-line vote, the House voted for a legislative retirement increase similar to the proposal passed the day earlier by the Senate.

The legislative retirement provision is part of broad retirement bill for state workers.

On a tie vote, the House rejected an effort to remove legislators from the bill. The House also rejected putting a cap on legislative retirement benefits at 75% of the legislative salary.

We have three roll-call votes available:

Lawmakers vote to impose tougher restrictions on family planning funds.

Planned Parenthood received more punishment in the legislature Thursday. The Assembly sent to the governor a bill that would make it harder for Planned Parenthood to get family planning funds.

A day after the Senate, the House passed an increase in state employee's pensions, including lawmakers'. The partial-birth abortion debate will likely be settled this session rather than at the September veto session, both parties say.

See our complete newspaper story for details.

The Senate votes to give itself a retirement increase.

Missouri's Senate voted to give themselves a retirement increase -- one that could give long-time leiglsators more money than their actual legislative salaries.

On the same bill, the Senate rejected an amendment that would have blocked retirement benefits for future legislators.

The governor said he thought the proposal was too large.

A similar retirement boost for lawmakers was vetoed by the governor last year.

For more information see:

Legislature cuts off family planning funds

The House approved HB 10, an appropriations bill that includes a measure to severly restrict funds to family planning services--specifically Planned Parenthood.

That means even if Planned Parenthood stops providing abortions at most of its sites in the state, it would still not qualify for state funds.

See our radio story for details.

Bill requiring registration of juvenile sex offenders goes to Governor.

The bill, which passed the House and Senate, would give sex offenders under twenty-one ten days to register with county officers.

For more details, see:

The abortion filibuster ends with approval of a ban on partial birth abortion by the Senate.

What some are calling the longest filibuster in Missouri history ended at the stroke of midnight Tuesday night with overwhelming Senate approval of a bill to ban partial birth abortion.

The vote came when filibuster leaders conceeded they could not get supporters of the bill to agree to an exemption for cases involving the mother's health.

The bill got 27 votes -- four more than will be needed to override the governor's expected veto.

The filibuster consumed 50 hours.

See the Senate roll-call vote.

Senate Filibuster Talks On

The partial-birth-abortion filibuster cleared the 30 hour mark in a day awash with historical rarity and bizarre events. The Senate exercised its right to cloture after Jet Banks was nowhere to be found when his amendment came up for vote. Banks' car was later found parked at the Ramada Inn.

For more details, see:

Harlan sticks by health-care plan

Rep. Tim Harlan, D-Columbia, added the language of his health-care bill onto a Senate mental-health bill as an amendment Tuesday. An unfriendly reception by Sen. John Scott, D-St. Louis City, had all but assured the failure of Harlan's original bill.

The House's adoption of Harlan's amendment keeps his plan alive for another few days, but with only ten days left in the session, it too has little chance of final passage.

See our newspaper story for details.

The Senate rejects the governor's approach to a partial birth abortion ban.

By an overwhelming margin, the Senate rejected an amendment that would exempt from the proposed ban on partial birth abortion cases in which the mother's health is at risk.

That exemption has been demanded by the governor for him to sign the bill. He had vetoed a similar measure two years ago citing the absence of a health exemption.

But Monday, the Senate rejected the exemption by 23 votes -- exactly the margin that would be needed to override a veto.

Immediately after the vote, opponents resumed their fillibuster that by the end of the day Monday had consumed more than 27 hours.

For more details, see:

Missouri's Senate continues its on-and-off-again fillibuster on abortion.

A rare Sunday evening session of Missouri's Senate failed to reach a vote on a measure to ban partial birth abortion.

The governor continues to insist on an exemption for cases involving the mother's health -- a demand that bill supporters have refused, so far, to accept.

Besides breaking the fillibuster, bill supporters are trying to woo the support of one key senator -- Sen. Joe Maxwell, D-Mexico, who could provide the necessary 23rd vote to override the governor's near-promised veto.