JEFFERSON CITY - Saying they wanted to change the Senate from "a power-based legislature to a principle-based legislature," Republicans proposed Thursday to trim the Senate budget by 10 percent and eliminate some jobs. Among those expected to be fired was the assistant to Sen. Harold Caskey, D-Butler, one of only a handful of blind state legislators in the U.S.
Republicans also outlined plans to examine bills for compliance with a range of GOP positions, including their impact on the overall tax burden, constitutional rights and individual responsibility or freedom.
JEFFERSON CITY - An atheist in Christian County prompted a Columbia legislator to propose eliminating the "so help me God" clause from an oath taxpayers in poor counties must sign on their personal property tax forms.
Rep. Vicky Riback Wilson, D-Columbia, has sponsored a bill that removes the clause completely, making the law "consistent" between all areas of the state.
JEFFERSON CITY - Under a Senate proposal, Missouri schools would receive more money to teach English to foreign students. Several school boards agree that the growing number of Spanish-speaking students in Missouri requires more money from the state.
JEFFERSON CITY - Sen. Anita Yeckel, R-St. Louis County, introduced legislation designed to stop the mass production of methemphitmine in Missouri. The bill limits the amount of cold medicine that may be purchased at one time.
JEFFERSON CITY - Under a Senate bill, funding for a new Cardinals stadium would come in part from sales taxes imposed on ticket sales, money that currently goes to the state treasury.
Cardinals president Mark Lamping said the proposal will benefit the state by creating six blocks of new development, including housing, parking and a city aquarium alongside the new ballpark.
JEFFERSON CITY - The budget for higher education gained preliminary approval in the House Tuesday, gaining $500,000 more than Gov. Bob Holden recommended. The total allocation for the UM system was $458.7 million, a 3.8 percent increase from the last fiscal year.
JEFFERSON CITY - Warning of a grim future for Missouri's roads, the Department of Transportation is pleading with state lawmakers for more funding.
The state's roads, bridges and other means of transportation have taken center stage in state politics as Gov. Bob Holden has said Missouri's ailing transportation budget is one of the priorities for his adminstration.
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) is considering allowing commercial use of state rest areas. But, a bill in front of the Senate Transportaton Committee would deny such interests from taking control of those areas.
JEFFERSON CITY - Senator John Loudon of St. Louis County is pushing an idea to bring toll roads to cities and towns around St. Louis. He says that by allowing them, cities and towns would have the chance to build new roads regardless of if the area is in the state's road plans.
JEFFERSON CITY - Responding to criticism from some in the Senate, Missouri Gov. Bob Holden withdrew his nomination of a former Clay County sheriff to head the state Water Patrol. Bob Boydston, a Democrat who lost a November bid for reelection, had been scheduled to testify Wednesday before a Senate committee.
JEFFERSON CITY - St. Louis Senator Wayne Goode would create a commission to oversee reconstruction of the Capitol building, with members recommending ideas for restoring and preserving the Statehouse building.
And Goode says the commission would attempt to follow through with the Capitol's original construction plans, which fell short on funding.