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More Prisons Proposed

January 22, 1997
By: Phill Brooks
State Capital Bureau

Concrete buildings with iron bars were the big winners in the 1997 legislative program presented by Missouri governor today (Wednesday). Phill Brooks has the story from Jefferson City:

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Missouri's governor has recommended construction of two new maximum prisons -- and expansion of two other prisons that are still being built.

The reason is the exploding growth in prisoners.

The governor says more people are being sent to prison than he or anyone else had expected:

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Contents: The governor says the prison population has been growing faster than he had been warned it would grow.

In the past year, the state's prison population has grown by more than 8 inmates per day -- every single day.

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Missouri's governor has called on state lawmakers to fund construction of new new maximum security prisons. Phill Brooks has the story from Jefferson City:

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It's an exploding prison population that's forced the governor to seek millions upon millions of your tax dollars for new prisons.

For the past several years, lawmakers have been throwing the book at criminals -- boosting penalties and thus filling prisons at a faster and faster rate.

The consequences are starting to cause some state officials to look for some alternatives -- including the Senate Republican Leader, Steve Ehlmann:

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Contents: [123K WAV file - The Senate GOP leader says at some point the state has to ask what's the limit for putting people in prison.]

The Democratic governor's asking similar questions. Mel Carnahan said he'll have a task force to examine issue.

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Missouri's governor has issued some words of caution in the legislative drive to regulate managed care. Phill Brooks has the story from Jefferson City:

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For all the issues the governor talked about in his legislative address, there was one huge issue noticeably absent.

It was the package of proposals to regulate managed health care and HMOs.

At news conference after his speech, Carnahan voiced concerns about the package of consumer protections the joint committee on managed care has recommended:

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Contents: [157K WAV file - The governor says managed care has been a success.]

Carnahan said that in some areas, he thinks the legislative committee has gone too far in it's proposals to regulate managed care.

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Missouri's governor emphasized computers for children in his state of the state address to lawmakers Wednesday. Phill Brooks has the story from Jefferson City:

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Mel Carnahan has been mentioning computers in schools increasing for the past several months.

Thus, it was no surprise that digital technology was at the core of his recommendations to the legislature for education:

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Contents: [78K WAV file - The governor tells lawmakers Missouri students must be computer literate before they enter the job market.]

Carnahan has recommended ten-million dollars for computers in public schools and another ten-million dollars to expand the Internet in Missouri.

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