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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of December 4, 2000


. Missouri lawmakers face $244 million uncertainty (12/07/00)
JEFFERSON CITY - Voters frequently tell their lawmakers to live within their means, but those means are uncertain for next year's legislators.

A ruling by a Cole County judge last month put $244 million of state revenue in legal limbo until at least next year when an appeals court will decide if the money must be refunded to state taxpayers.

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    . Missouri lawmaker proposes that birds have their day (12/07/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri lawmaker has proposed that state birds join former prisoners of war and Korean War veterans in having their own public holiday.

    The proposed bill by Sen. Stephen Stoll would designate March 21 as Bird Appreciation Day.

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    . State, local officials keep an eye on Internet sales (12/07/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Click, click...ka-ching. Another sale on the Internet, another sale lost at the local mom-and-pop or megamart. And another hit to local and state tax coffers.

    As if the $244 million to be refunded to Missouri taxpayers under revised Hancock Amendment rulings wasn't enough, tax collectors across the state have the Internet to worry about.

    A recent federal government report estimates more than $10.8 billion will be lost nationally in sales tax revenue by 2003 from Internet shopping. And with record numbers of people going online this year for holiday purchases, revenue collection could affect funding for basic government services.

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    . Maxwell attempts to keep peace while parties negotiate (12/07/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Democratic Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell has taken on the role of peacekeeper between Republicans and Democrats as the leaders of both parties continue to negotiate an agreement to share control of the virtually tied state Senate.

    Maxwell said he is researching how he could use his role as President of the Senate to determine how the Senate will be run until special elections take place Jan. 23, if the parties cannot come to an agreement by the beginning of the session.

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    . Lowering B.A.C. Will Increase Budget (12/07/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Sen. Morris Westfall is again sponsoring legislation that would lower Missouri's legal limit for blood alcohol content while operating a moter vehicle.

    The state missed a 3 million dollar federal bonus for not passing the bill last year.

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    . St. Louis Lawmaker Proposes an Early Voting Law (12/07/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - St. Louis Sen. Paula Carter is sponsoring a bill that would allow voters to vote a month before general elections.

    She says this bill would help prevent overcrowding at the polls.

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    . Holden names his top staff (12/06/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri government officials will hold the top slots on the staff of Missouri's next governor, Bob Holden.

    Holden announced he would appoint as the governor's chief of staff the person who has held the same position for him as state treasurer.

    And he announced appointment of the governor's current chief of staff as commissioner of administration.

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    . Missouri lawmakers have already pre-filed almost 100 bills for the upcoming legislative session (12/06/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - From supporting Missourians who defend the flag, to allowing urban schools to start before September 1st, almost 100 bills have been pre-filed for the upcoming legislative session.

    Among the bills are ones to make it legal to use force to stop someone from desecrating the flag and another to create an official day for birds.

  • Get the radio story on the bird-day bill.
    . Election confusion shapes the upcoming legislative session (12/06/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Voters may be unsure that any good can come out of the recent election confusion, but as the new Missouri legislature prepares to get down to business, election reform proposals are already surfacing.

    State Representative John Loudon says the reforms are in response to election problems seen across the state.

    . Winter weather may have caught some motorists off-guard, but not MoDOT (12/06/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Waking up to winter weather may have caught some motorists off-guard, but the Missouri Transportation Department was more than ready to handle the slick conditions.

    MoDOT spokesman Jim Coleman says crews are prepared to treat and clear the nearly 32-thousand miles of highway across Missouri.

    . Judge rules partial-birth abortion ban includes health exception (12/7/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Groups on both sides of the abortion issue said they have problems with Tuesday's ruling clarifying Missouri's ban on partial-birth abortions.

    St. Louis Circuit Judge Robert H. Dierker Jr. issued a ruling stating that the law applies only to partial-birth abortions, but physicians can perform such procedures if the health or life of the mother is at risk.

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    . Wilson makes it official, Jean Carnahan is Missouri's next U.S. Senator. (12/04/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Within just hours after the election returns officially were certified, Gov. Roger Wilson appointed Jean Carnahan to the U.S. Senate seat her deceased husband had won in the November elections.

    Wilson said he acted quickly so that Carnahan could attend orientation sessions for new members of the U.S. Senate.

    Carnahan will replace Republican John Ashcroft in January.

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    . Few attend NAACP rally for recount (12/05/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - While the battle for the White House may be galvanizing the country, it failed to draw much of a crowd for a Missouri NAACP rally on the steps of the statehouse Monday.

    Just eight members of Missouri branches of the organization attended the event to demand that "every vote be counted" in Florida.

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    . Study finds Missouri colleges among worst in nation (12/4/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - A recent report by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education found Missouri higher education institutions are among the nations worst, but not many top education officials are questioning the accuracy of the report.

    Several top officials, including Truman State president Jack Magruder and Southwest Missouri State president John Keiser say the report is not fair because it lumps all state instutions into the same category. Both claim there are major differences between all schools.

    Joni Finney, vice-president of the National Center says the reports are accurate and are based on information the universities themselves provided.

    On Thursday, a Governor's Conference on Higher Education will be held in Columbia to discuss the findings.

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    . Black lawmakers clash over Senate race (12/04/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Quincy Troupe and O.L. Shelton are veteran Missouri politicians from St. Louis.

    Both men wanted to run for the Senate seat vacated by Congressman-elect Lacy Clay.

    But, Troupe shifted his support to Patrick Dougherty, a white Representative, and Dougherty won the right to run for the seat.

    Troupe says Dougherty will represent blacks better in Jefferson City than Shelton would have.

    But, Shelton says that he'd represent all of his constiuents.

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