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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of January 22, 2001

 


. Holden picks two more cabinet members (01/25/01)
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Bob Holden has nominated two new members for his cabinet -- directors of the Agriculture and Revenue departments.

For the Revnenue Department, Holden named the acting director, Carol Fisher. For the Agriculture, Holden named Lowell Mohler -- a long-term employee and top executive of the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Also on Thursday, Holden's choice for Administration Commissioner, Mike Hartman, was confirmed by Missouri's Senate.

Holden has yet to pick any of the other cabinet posts.


. Key state senators declare a gas-tax increase plan virtually dead. (01/25/01)
JEFFERSON CITY - In the aftermath of Wednesday's elections giving Republicans control of the Missouri Senate, the sponsor of legislation to increase taxes for highway construction conceded his bill is "shelved."

The incoming GOP chairman of the committee that controls the bill said he did not think Missourians wanted a tax increase. And the governor said without a consensus on a total transportation plan, he would not include a tax increase in his State of the State address to the legislature on Tuesday.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . The Senate voted to approve a resolution that allows them to raise their salaries (01/25/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The resolution seeks to limit payraises to the same increases of other state employees, but some Senators argued it does not limit their salary hikes.

    The leaders of the Republican Senators voted with Democrats to pass the resolution, which does leave any pay increase subject to appropriations.

  • Get the radio story.
  • Get the Senate roll-call vote.
    . Laclede Gas price increase approved by PSC (01/25/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Natural gas customers in the St. Louis-area will pay 29-percent more for gas in February and March after the Public Service Commission approved the company's request for a rate hike.

    Laclede says it is losing money because of the rising cost it pays for wholesale natural gas.

    The PSC passed the increase by a slight 3-2 margin.

  • Get the radio story.
    . Republicans take Missouri Senate (01/24/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Republicans took control of the state Senate for the first time in more than 50 years, after special elections were held Wednesday.

    Three districts held elections to replace legislators who left their seats for other offices. Republicans now hold a two-seat advantage over the Democrats in the upper chamber.

  • Get the newspaper story.
  • Get the radio story.
    . Senate stalls on pay raise proposal (01/24/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Members of the Senate stalled on a resolution that would reject a 5.5 percent increase proposed for each of the next two years.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Bill proposed to make charter schools accountable (01/24/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Lobbyists for Missouri public schools supported a bill to make charter schools follow stricter regulations.

    The plan proposed by Senator Mary Bland of Kansas City would withhold state funding from charter schools that do not meet state set standards.

  • Get the radio story.
    . Gas rate hike possible for eastern Missouri (01/24/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Laclede Gas Company, in a filing with the Public Service Commission, is asking for a 38-percent increase in the price it charges customers for wholesale natural gas it buys and then resells to consumers.

    The company says right now it's paying more for wholesale gas than it's charging customers.

    The five-member Public Service Commission will vote on the rate hike in a meeting Thursday morning in Jefferson City.

  • Get the radio story.
    . Holden and Nixon begin to review an unexpected 44-percent natural gas hike (01/23/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's governor has asked the attorney general to launch an investigation into natural gas prices in the state.

    Gov. Bob Holden's request came after the state Public Service Commission approved a 44-percent price hike on natural gas in western Missouri.

    The governor's request got a lukewarm response from the attorney general who said he would look into the matter.

  • Get the newspaper story.
  • Get the radio story.
    . Transportation Department backs tax hike (01/23/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The director of Missouri's Transportation Department has endorsed a $650 million package of tax increases to fund highway construction.

    At a hearing of the Senate Transportation Committee, the department's director testified for a bill that would increase the state gasoline tax by two cents per gallon and the state sales tax by one penny per dollars.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . A Senate Filibuster blocks a bill to reject payraises for themselves (01/23/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - In an angry and bitter Senate debate Tuesday, legislators delayed action on a resolution that would have rejected a raise for themselves.

    The resolution block a pay increase recommended by a citizens' commission from going into effect. The raise provides a 5.5% increase for the next two years for statewide elected officials, legislators and judges.

  • Get the newspaper story.
  • Get the radio story.
    . Missouri's attorney general called for legislators to toughen the restrictions on telemarketers that were passed last year by the legislature. (01/23/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Attorney General Jay Nixon proposed legislation that would remove some of the exemptions in the law passed last year that lets Missourians put their phone numbers on a no-call list.

    Telemarketers are prohibited from calling those numbers, although the law exempts several types of businesses from the no-call requirements. Nixon's plan would extend the no-call list to more types of businesses.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Special election Wednesday will decide balance of power in state Senate (01/23/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Three state Senate districts will hold a special election that will determine who will control the upper chamber.

    The races could give Republicans control of the Senate for the first time in 54 years.

  • Get the newspaper story.
    . Lawmaker threatens to remove members of Missouri Public Service Commission (01/22/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - A senior Democratic senator has pledged to seek the removal of members of the Missouri Public Service Commission if they approve a proposed natural gas rate increase in Western Missouri, including Kansas City and Joplin.

  • Get the radio story.
    . The Senate Rules Committee rejected a proposed pay increase for state officials. (01/22/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate Rules Commttee passed on to the full Senate a resolution to reject the pay-increase plan proposed by the Citizens' Commission on Compensation. The vote was 8-to-0.

    Under Missouri's constitution, the commission's pay recommendations for statewide elected officials, legislators and judges automatically take effect unless rejected by lawmakers by the end of January.

  • Get the newspaper story.
  • Get the radio story.