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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of August 20, 2001

 


. MoDOT releases Interstate 70 study in anticipation of future reparis. (08/24/01)
JEFFERSON CITY - In anticipation of future construction projects, the Missouri Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration have released the first of a two-part analysis on the condition of Interstate 70.

The study recommends that officials widen the more than 200-mile corridor between Kansas City and St. Louis. The project would cost between $2.5 and $3 billion and would relieve congestion on the highway, MoDOT officials said.

Funds have not been set aside yet for the project.


. Top business leaders are expressing opposition to Governor Holden's proposal on repealing tax credits. (08/23/01)
JEFFERSON CITY - Officials with both Missouri's Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries attacked an idea floated by Gov. Bob Holden that business tax credits could be reduced to help balance the budget.

Holden suggested the idea at a news conference earlier this week when the governor announced some of the budget cuts he was making because tax collections have not grown as fast as originally predicted.

  • Get the radio story.
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    . Subpoenas may be sought for the Senate's investigation into the governor's union orders. (08/23/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder says he is considering seeking subpoenas to investigate government Holden's executive order about collective bargaining.

    Any effort to use subpoenas must be approved by the presiding officer of the Senate, the lieutenant governor.

    But Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell says he has not decided whether he would agree to Kinder's request.

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    . The House GOP leader says she is considering trying to get before the legislature's special session repeal of the governor's collective bargaining order. (08/22/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Catherine Hanaway, R-St. Louis County, said she had talked with the Senate's top leader about the possibility, but that no final decisions had been made.

    Hanaway would need support from Democrats to pull it off.

    It takes the signatures of three-fourths of both the House and Senate members to bring an issue before a special legislative session called by the governor.

    The legislature's special session begins Sept. 5.

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    . Bob Holden spares several welfare programs from budget cuts. (08/22/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday that Gov. Bob Holden will exempt several welfare and child-service programs from his ordered budget cuts.

    An unexpected decline in state tax collections has led the governor to ask agencies to prepare plans for cuts as deep as 18% of what the legislature had appropriated last spring.

    The House GOP leader, noting that revenue collections remain above last year, has questioned the governor's budget cut warnings.


    . The governor's efforts to change the prescription drug for the elderly runs into static. (08/21/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Tuesday that two GOP legislators are questioning the governor's proposal before the legislature's special session that begins Sept. 5.

    Bob Holden called the session to scale back the tax-benefit program for the elderly that has run over budget.

    But the Senate's only physican, Sen. Marvin Singleton, R-Joplin, was quoted as questioning whether a revised program would be put together in just a few weeks.

    Rep. Mike Reid, R-St. Louis County, was more blunt: "Basically, we're trying to balance the budget on the backs of seniors, and that's not right."


    . Democrats will boycot the Senate's investigation of the governor's union-fee order. (08/20/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The Democratic leader of Missouri's Senate says he will not submit the names of Democratic senators to serve on a special committee being formed to review the governor's union order.

    That order allows unions to seek fees from non-union state workers.

    Last week, Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder, R-Cape Girardeau, announced creation of the committee after discovering that sections of the governor's order were exactly the same as a draft proposal from top union.


    . Truck-related accidents concern I-70 drivers. (08/20/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - A Transportation Department study has found that concerns about trucks is one of the leading concerns of I-70 motorists.

    Data released in the study suggest drivers have reason for that concern.

    Trucks were involved in a higher percentage of accidents than on stretches of other Interstates in Missouri.

    The department has estimated it would cost $2.7 billion to add two extra lanes to the highway -- well beyond any funding increase that has been proposed for transportation in the state.