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Missouri Government News for Week of January 6, 1997

Inauguration Moved Indoors

Gov. Mel Carnahan has moved Monday's inauguration to inside the Capitol and he canceled the morning parade.

The obvious reason - predictions the bitterly cold weather will continue through Monday and concerns about the safety of those in the inuauguration audience.

It will be the first time the inauguration has been held indoors since 1961 when Missouri inuaugurations were first held outside.

School-bus safety proposal unveiled by the governor.

Gov. Mel Carnahan has urged legislative approval of a proposal that would require school buses have devices designed to avoid children from being run over by buses.

The device keeps children far enough away from a stopped bus so as to be visible to the bus driver.

See our newspaper story for more information.

Pay hikes for lawmakers will be one of the first issues for lawmakers.

The top leader of the Senate promises that there will be speedy consideration of the plan to raise the salaries of legislators and judges.

A commission recommendation for the raises automatically will take effect unless rejected by the legislature by the first of February.

A Senate committee hearing on the issue is scheduled for next week.

See our newspaper story for more details.

Talk of taxes, pay raises and party squabbling marked the legislature's opening day.

Legislative leaders cited tax cuts, a pay-raise package for elected officials, health care coverage regulation and welfare reform as major issues before the 1997 legislative session.

The House began its first day of the session with a continuation of the party dispute that had dominated the chamber for the last two years.

We have a package of several stories you can review for further information:

House rejects GOP effort to put a black into a House leadership slot.

The House on its opening day defeated the candidacy of the only GOP black member for House speaker pro tem.

Last November, the House Democratic Caucus nominated a rural white to replace Rep. Fletcher Daniels in the post.

With the loss of leadership slots by Daniels and the Senate's former majority leader Jet Banks, a black will not hold one of the top legislative leadership jobs for the first time in several years.

See our radio story with digital audio for more information.

Legislative session begins Wednesday.

Taxes, legislative pay raises, welfare and managed care regulation are expected to be the dominate issues for the 1997 legislative session that begins at noon on Wednesday.

Lawmakers will elect their leaders on the opening. After that, it will take a week or so for the legislature to get its committee system organized to begin reviewing bills.

See the radio story for more information.

Black Republican considers race for House leadership.

Some Republicans are considering offering their only black member for a leadership job in the House where Democrats hold a majority.

The GOP opportunity was created last November when House Democrats nominated a white for the Speaker Pro Tem position now held by a black.

Check out the radio story for more information with digital audio.

Legislative committee proposes using driver's licenses to keep kids in school.

High school drop outs would lose their drivers licenses under a proposal offered by a Senate committee on school attendance.

The committee reported that more than one-quarter of Missouri's high school freshmen will fail to graduate.

See our radio story for complete details.