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Missouri Government News for Week of January 20, 1997

Carnahan rules out race for U.S. Senate in 1998.

Gov. Mel Carnahan said Friday morning that he has decided against running next year for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Kit Bond.

Carnahan said he concluded the campaign would require that he take divert too much time away from his efforts as governor.

In addition to the governor, Attorney General Jay Nixon has been mentioned as a possible candidate.

Nixon's office said no decision has been made on his candidacy.

Freshman legislator arrested for drunken driving.

Jefferson City police arrested Rep. Katerine Hollingsworth, D-Imperial, early Wednesday morning for drivng under the influence of alcohol.

According to the police report, she registered on her breath test an blood-alcohol content of 0.20%. That is twice the state's legal limit.

Hollingsworth has not yet been charged.

"I want people to know that I recognize that such behavior is unaccpetable," Hollingsworth told Associated Press. "There are no excuses and I offer none."

Pay vote delayed in Senate.

The Missouri Senate has put off until the final week action on a resolution to turndown a pay hike for itself, House members and judges.

The pay increases, recommended by a salary commission, automatically take effect unless rejected by the legislature by Feb. 1.

The House voted overwhemlingly to reject the pay hikes. But the Senate has been debating the issue off and on for the past week without reaching a final decision.

See our radio story with digital audio for more information.

Governor recommends smallest higher education budget increase for MU.

The University of Missouri would get the smallest budget increase of any of the state's colleges and universities under the governor's budget plan presented to lawmakers Wednesday.

MU would get a 3.5 percent increase while the rest of the schools would get increases ranging from 6.5 percent to more than ten percent.

For more information, see our complete newspaper story.

Also check out the higher education budget table.

Prisons tops governor's legislative agenda, managed care regulation left off.

Missouri's governor has urged lawmakers to fund construction of two new maximum security prisons and expand two other prisons that are still being built.

Mel Carnahan also renewed his call for lawmakers to cut taxes -- an issue that failed in the 1996 legislative session.

Left off the governor's legislative agenda was tougher regulation of managed health care plans which has been the focus of a special legislative committee investigation.

For more information, see:

Filibuster predicted in the Senate.

The Senate began debate on the controversial package of pay hikes for state officials, but there was no vote before the noon adjournment.

One senator who supports the legislative increases predicted there would be a filibuster to block a vote on the resolution to reject the pay boost.

But other lawmakers say there are enough votes to stop a filibuster.

See our radio story for further details.

Legislative pay plan rejected by Senate Rules Committee

The Senate Rules Committee approved Monday a resolution to reject the package of pay hikes recommended by the state salary commission.

The resolution, similar to one approved last week by the House, now goes to the full Senate for debate.

Last Friday, Gov. Mel Carnahan announced his opposition to the pay-hike package. Before, he had declined to take a position on the issue.

In the meantime, the Senate majority leader warned that if lawmakers reject the pay hikes, they technically may not be able to get any pay at all.

See our radio story for details on that issue.

House rejects fatter pay checks.

The House overhwhemlingly voted against a commission plan to raise the salaries of lawmakers and judges.

The resolution rejecting the pay hikes now goes to the Senate which must approve the resolution else the pay increase will go into effect - dispite the House rejection.

For more details, see:

Pay hike rejected by House Committee

The House Rules Committee has voted against the package of pay increases recommended by a citizens commission.

The pay hikes for lawmakers and judges automatically will take effect unless rejected by both the House and Senate.

The full House is scheduled to take up the issue Thursday morning.

Wednesday, salary commission members appeared before committees of both the House and Senate urging them to take the extra money.

For more information, see:

Managed care legislation introduced.

The legislature's committee on managed care introduced its legislative package Wednesday.

One member of the committee warned HMOs their "party is over" while business organizations mounted a PR campaign attacking the proposals.

For more information,

Education Top Theme for Inauguration

Gov. Mel Carnahan made education the dominate theme in his inaugural address Monday.

To emphasize the point, immediately after his inauguration, Carnahan met with a group of high school students from around the state.

Carnahan and the four other state officials re-elected last November took their oaths of office inside the Capitol - the first inauguration held indoors since 1961.

We have several stories you can review for further information: