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Missouri Government News for Week of Feb. 2, 1998


Another riverboat gambling lawsuit is heading to the courts.

With one gambling industry lawsuit still in the courts, they plan to file yet another one Friday.

The industry's association plans to challenge the tax imposed on the gambling boats that is used to pay the state costs of regulation.

See our newspaper story for details.


Death-row inmates could trade their kidneys for life under a bill proposed in Missouri's legislature.

Legislation was filed in Missouri's House this week to provide an opportunity for death-row inmates to save their lives by offering their kidneys or bone marrow for transplant.

The idea was quickly called "off the wall" by the Senate Crime Committee chairman who said he would support the bill only if a heart donation was required for a death sentence commutation.

See our newspaper story for details.


The governor may have lost a critical vote in his effort to restrict any ban on partial-birth abortions.

The senator whose vote sustained the governor's veto of a partial-birth abortion ban last year has sponsored legislation this year nearly identical to the bill that had been vetoed.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Betty Sims, would allow a partial-birth abortion only when necessary to save the mother's life.

The governor insists that the bill also include an exemption for protecting the mother's health.

Sims says she had voted to uphold the governor's veto last year not because she insisted on that exemption, but rather because she wanted a more medically precise definition of partial-birth abortion.

See our newspaper story and radio story for detail.


The Capitol building undergoes special examination.

One day after a 300-pound chunk of the Capitol crashed outside the governor's office, administration officials decided to subject the stone to special examination.

Stone used in the 80-year-old buiding is marred in several locations by cracks and breaks.

But administration officials insist the building is safe.

See our radio story for more details.


More schools line up before the Senate Education Committee seeking desegregation savings money.

Schools in St. Louis County came before the Senate Education Committee to request that they get some of the money expected to be saved if the federal courts withdraw control over the desegregation case.

The committee is reviewing legislation that would guarantee extra funds for inner-city schools as an inducement for the courts to settle the cases.

See our newspaper story for details.


Competing tax-cut plans heard by a legislative committee.

The House Ways and Means Committee heard Tuesday night some of the dozens tax-cut bills that have been filed for the 1998 session.

Tax cuts have been made one of the top issues of the session because the state continues to collect more money than allowed under the Hancock revenue limit in the state constitution.

See our newspaper story for details.


The governor's office keeps hands off the sex-abuse charges leveled against the state prison system.

The governor's office said it was satisfied to let the Corrections Department itself investigate an employee's charges that women prison officers had to agree to sex to assure job advancement.

A special subcommittee has been appointed in the House to investigate the charges, but the subcommittee chair said she did not have a hearing scheduled on the issue yet.

For more information, see:


The Capitol is fallling down, literally.

A 200-pound chunk of stone fell off the top of the state's Capitol and crashed on a private porch outside the governor's office.

Nobody was injuried, although several of the governor's staff were startled by what one said sounded like an auto crash.

The governor was on the phone at the time and said he did not hear anything.

On the next day, administration staff began examining the building to see if a more extensive review of the was needed for the building that is some 80 years old.


Missouri tests its plans for a flue emergency.

The eyes of many national health experts will be on Missouri this Wednesday and Thursday as the state does a test of its flue-emergency plans.

The state was selected by the national Centers for Disease Control to test a national plan for dealing with a catastrophic flue outbreak.

See our radio story for details.


A legislative committee plans to investigate sex scandal charges involving prison guards.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday Morning that a subcommittee has been appointed to investigate a woman prison guard's charges that sexual favors are demanded from women guards to advance in the prison system.

The special subcommittee was appointed by Rep. Quincy Troupe, D-St. Louis, after the allegations were reported to his Corrections Appropriations Committee more than two weeks earlier.


Missouri's first lady makes her first appearance before a legislative committee, to promote daycare.

Jean Carnahan appeared before a House committee Tuesday night to promote her husband's proposal to have local schools provide daycare services.

Carnahan admitted after the hearing she had been a bit nervous in what was her first committee appearance in the 5 years her husband has been governor.

She had been active in the task force that developed the child-care recommendations.

For more information, see our radio story with digital audio and our newspaper story.


Missouri's secretary of state endorses a presidential primary.

The secretary of state told a legislative committee Monday that she favors holding a presidential primary in Missouri -- rather than using the traditional party-caucus system.

The last time Missouri held a presidential primary was 1988, in an effort to give a boost to the presidential campaign of Cong. Dick Gephardt.

This year, both Gephardt and Sen. John Ashcroft are exploring the possiblity of presidential campaigns.

See our radio story and our newspaper story for further details.


Earthquake insurance rate increases have prompted an investigation by the state Insurance Department.

After the Insurance Services Office, Inc. recommended earthquake insurance rate increases of up to 395 percent, Missouri Department of Insurance Director Jay Angoff has ordered a special investigation. Residential rate increases would average 43 percent statewide and average a 59 percent increase for commercial rates.