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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of February 26, 2001


. New money for life science research (03/05/01)
JEFFERSON CITY - A bill is awaiting debate in the Missouri Senate to provide money for life science research.

The money would come from tobacco settlements.

. A Bipartisan Proposal Would Set Up A Fund For Tobacco Money (03/05/01)
JEFFERSON CITY - House Republicans and Democrats have planned to create a fund that would hold one billion dollars of the tobacco settlement money.

Then, interest made from the fund would be spent on prescription drugs, smoking prevention and childhood education.

And the people will be able to vote on how to spend this money if the proposal goes through.

. The Senate votes to stop the St. Louis lawsuit against gun makers. (03/01/01)
JEFFERSON CITY - By voice vote, the Senate gave first-round approval to a measure that would prevent state or local government from suing gun manufacuters. The bill also would force St. Louis to drop its lawsuit against handgun makers.

The measure faces a final, roll-call vote before going to the House.

Opponents offered several amendments to soften the lawsuit ban. All were rejected by margins approaching 4-to-1 against.

. Holden taps four department heads (03/01/01)
JEFFERSON CITY - Mixing experience with outside leadership, Missouri Gov. Bob Holden nominated four cabinet members Thursday, bringing in two newcomers while keeping two officials from previous administrations.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Republican Senate begins cuts (03/01/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Charlie Hildebrand, a retired TWA employee of 40 years, went to his new job at Missouri's Senate on Thursday like any other day. It was his one-month anniversary working there.

    Hildebrand, 65, worked as one of several doorkeepers at the Senate, and he said he liked his new job and co-workers.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Holden announces contest to design commemorative quarter (03/01/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missourians will have a chance to design the state's commemorative quarter as part of a contest announced Thursday by Lori Hauser Holden, wife of Gov. Bob Holden.

    Missouri will be featured on the 24th commemorative quarter issued by the U.S. Mint as part of its recognition of states in the order they joined the Union.

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    . Holden still owes money for inauguration (03/01/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - After almost two months in office, Gov. Bob Holden still owes an estimated $320,000 for his January inauguration -- the most expensive in Missouri history.

    The event, which included four balls at the Capitol, cost almost $900,000.

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    . Gun legislation dominates attention in the statehouse Wednesday (02/28/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - A series of test votes has shown that there are far more than enough votes for Senate approval of a bill to force St. Louis city to drop its lawsuit against handgun manufacturers.

    The Senate adjourned without a final vote after defeating several amendments to restrict the lawsuit ban -- all defeated by margins of about 1-4 against.

    The debate began on the same day that hundreds of gun-rights advocates rallied in support of House legislation to allow private citizens to carry concealed weapons.

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    . Sexual orientation discrimination law faces uphill battle (02/28/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The campaign for gay rights came before a committee of Missouri's legislature. But supporters conceded it may be years before homosexuals gain protection from discrimination.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Civil rights for gays finds opposition in a House committee (02/28/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - A bill that would include sexual orientation in the state's human rights laws was met with opposition in House committee.

    The bill's sponsor says it's unlikely the bill will even make it out of the committee this year.

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    . The deaf support sign language education proposal(02/28/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - A bill in a Senate committee would allow university students wishing to take American Sign Language to receive foreign language credit.

    Deaf people expressed their support for the bill, saying that ASL deserves the same respect as foreign languages.

  • Get the radio story.
    . One legislator says its time to pay attention to sexist wording (02/28/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - One legislator told the House committee that property laws has offensive language that needs to be revised.

    The language in property and marraige laws is outdated and biased.

  • Get the radio story.
    . Nixon finds no illegal activity in natural gas probe (02/27/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Substantial increases in natural gas rates were not the result of criminal activity. However, Nixon called on lawmakers to change the regulatory system that exposed consumers to volatile gas prices.

    Lawmakers also considered allowing electric utilities to raise their rates based on the cost of natural gas used to fire their plants.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Bill could allow students to dive into summer sooner (2/27/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri public school students could be diving into pools a little earlier this summer under a legislative plan to let school districts skip making up those days lost because of wintery weather.

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    . The Senate passes .08% BAC legislation. (02/26/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - By an overwhelming vote, the Missouri Senate passed and sent to the House legislation to lower Missouri's drunken-driving level from .10% to .08% blood-alcohol content.

    The House had approved similar legislation in mid-February.

    Similar legislation has died in past year. This year, however, the state faces the loss of millions of dollars in federal highway funds if the lower level is not approved.

  • Get the roll-call vote.
    . Protestors urge life for Missouri's youngest death-row inmate. (02/26/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Death penalty opponents rallied at the state house urging the governor spare the life of convicted killer Antonio Richardson, who was convicted when 16 years of age.

    Richardson is scheduled to die March 7. Death penalty opponents argue he is mentally retarded.

  • Get the radio story.
    . One Missouri lawmaker questions having Mexican trucks in Missouri (02/26/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - With the U.S. close to agreement with Mexico on implementation of the NAFTA trucking provisions, one Missouri lawmaker questions the safety of allowing Mexican trucks to haul goods across the U.S. and Missouri.

    The safety questions are raised by St. Louis County Rep. Joan Bray.

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