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Highlights from the State of the State address

January 21, 1998
By: Ann S. Kim
State Capital Bureau

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

ECONOMY: Gov. Mel Carnahan in his State of the State address stressed that Missouri's economy is healthy and growing. During his tenure as governor Missouri has created more than 317,000 jobs, Carnahan said. He also noted that personal income rose 5.9% in the last year and that unemployment had reached a low of 3.5%. The strength of Missouri's economy makes possible other proposals, Carnahan said.

TAX CUTS: Carnahan's proposed Homestead Property Tax Credit would represent $100 million in tax cuts. Homeowners and renters with an annual income of less than $100,000 would be eligible. Most eligible households would receive a $70 credit.

EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION: Carnahan focused on children aged five and under in his proposed $56.6 million package. The proposal aims to increase availability of child care by adding 3,900 more child care openings geared toward parents moving off welfare and allowing public schools to create pre-kindergarten programs called "Jump Start."

CHILDREN'S HEALTH: Carnahan's budget includes a $151.9 million initiative to cover 90,000 of the 175,000 uninsured children in Missouri. Federal funds and hospital savings are to cover 90% of the costs.

EDUCATION: The Bridge Scholarship would provide some low-income students with $1,500 a year for 13th and 14th years of education.

CRIME: Carnahan emphasized efforts against methamphetamines in his remarks on crime. His proposal includes strengthened laws against the manufacture and trafficking of methamphetamines as well as increased resources for law enforcement and prevention programs.

SMUT: Carnahan proposed a $178,400 program to provide grants to local schools for software that would block students from viewing pornographic sites on the Internet.

The Missouri Budget, Fiscal Year 1999, and Foundations for a New Century, Fiscal Year 1999 are available on the Internet. The address is http://www.state.mo.us/oa/bp/bp.htm.