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

 


. Holden family opens house to public (11/30/01)
JEFFERSON CITY - The Governor's Mansion is celebrating their 130th anniversary this year. They will be opening the mansion for public candlelight tours. The theme this year is "Home for the Holidays: Trains, a Way of Connecting Families, Connecting Communities." The house will be decorated in train memorobilia from the turn of the century to the 1940s.
. Missouri in Recession (11/29/01)
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is officially in a recession, according to Economic Development Director Joe Driskill.

The recession, which reportedly began this past summer, is forecast by Driskill to hopefully recover by late summer 2002, although there is no definite end to the tunnel in sight, said Driskill.

Administration officials stated that more layoffs could be on the way.


. Joe Driskill, Director of Missouri's Departmnet of Economic Development, made it official; Missouri is in a recession. (11/29/01)
JEFFERSON CITY - Joe Driskill, Director of Missouri's Department of Economic Development, made it official; Missouri is in a recession. With somber current economic conditions come serious decisions to make here in the capitol about Missorui's economic future.
. Missouri's Public Commission seeks accelerated review of a court order that stalls efforts to require utility service for Missouri's lower income. (11/28/01)
JEFFERSON CITY - The state appeals court for western Missouri has scheduled a hearing for December 10 to review a PSC order expanding the rule that requires utilities to provide service during the winter to those who have not paid their bills.

The PSC change, that would include reconnecting to non-paying customers, has been challenged by two natural gas companies and was struck down by a circuit court earlier this fall.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Missouri economy now in worst shape in 10 years (11/28/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's economy, in terms of sales and employment, is the worst it has been in 10 years, Economic Development Director Joe Driskill is expected to announce today.

    The current mass numbers of layoffs and the dropoff in sales have only been seen in the recessions of the early 1990s and early '80s.

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    . Senator Betty Sims wants several medical issues to be discussed during the up coming session. (11/28/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Senator Betty Sims is concerned about several issues including medicaid, troubled children, and dentist shortages.

    During the next legislative session, Sims wishes to have bills go through that will help to fix these problems.


    . Department of Agriculture Audit Leads to Increase in Animal Rescues (11/27/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The state Agriculture Department reports that it is running out of money for its program of animal rescues.

  • Get the radio story.
    . Missouri's Transportation Director takes harsh criticism from the Senate Transportation Committee (11/27/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - During a Senate Transportation Committee hearing, Department of Transportation Director Henry Hungerbeeler was raked over the coals for hiring a Public Relations director at a $96,000 per year salary.

    The Senators said it is a poor decision when the state is facing budget problems and the Transportation Department is asking for more money for its budget.

    The new public relations director's salary is higher than many high-ranking state officials, including the lieutenant governor.

    Hungerbeeler says the new person is needed to help the department communicate with the people of Missouri, and he says the salary is so high because he is running the department like a business.

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    . A House committee decides against expanding the state's restriction on telemarketers (11/27/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - An interim committee concluded that not many changes were needed at this time to Missouri's No Call List. The general feeling among the representatives was that it is too early to make any changes to the law.

    About half of Missouri's households are now on the no-call list.

    Despite calls for expanding businesses and organizations covered by the list, the committee chairman said any major changes should be delayed to give more time to study how the law is working.

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    . Expensive hiring leads to questions from legislature (11/26/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The hiring of a media relations director by the Missouri Department of Transportation at a salary of nearly $100,000 has raised the ire of some state legislators.

    The move is expected to be questioned during the Senate Transportation Committee hearings of Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Turkeys in State Facilities (11/21/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - While most Missourians will be enjoying Thanksgiving with family and friends, thousands of others will spend the holidays in state facilities.

    But from prisons to mental health facilities, officials plan on providing full turkey dinners with most, if not all, of the trimmings.