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Missouri Government News for Week of Feb. 9, 1998


A legislative plan to get the courts out of St. Louis and Kansas City schools is derailed.

In a surprise development, the Senate Education Committee rejected Thursday a bill designed to end school desegregation court orders by guarantee more money to city schools.

All the GOP members of the committee voted against the bill and two Demcrats did not vote.

See our newspaper story and radio story for complete details.


Legislation for government to help small business get health insurance coverage moves to the House.

The House Critical Issues Committee has approved legislation that would have the state offer to small businesses health insurance coverage for their workers.

Under the plan, health-coverage firms bidding for contracts to cover government employees would be required to make a similar plan available to small businesses and farmers.

See our radio story and our newspaper story.


The House approves legislation to make it easier to yank the licenses of criminal teachers.

The House gave first-round approval Thursday to legislation that would provide near-automatic loss of a teaching license for a teacher convicted of certain felony crimes.

The measure, part of the governor's legislative package, faces one more House vote before going to the Senate.

See our radio story for details.


The anti-meth bill clears the Senate.

Legislation to impose tougher penalties against methampetamine easly cleared first-round approval in the Senate with little debate.

The bill sponsor expressed surpise as the speed of Senate passage. It took less than one hour of debate. The leadership had planned on two days of debate.

See our newspaper story for more information.


Efforts to block extra fees for using ATMs is dropped.

Legislation to block extra fees for using ATMs was replaced Wednesday by the House Consumer Protection Committee with legislation that simply would require a notice when the extra fees are chargeed.

The bill's sponsor said he agreed to the change because it was the only way he could get a bill passed.

See our radio story with digital audio and our newspaper story for more information.


The Senate votes to cut back on auto-safety inspections.

The Senate gave preliminary approval to legislation that would scale back the law requiring a safety inspection of your auto every year.

The measure passed by the Senate would require an inspection only once every three years.

See our newspaper story for further information.


A House appropriations committee cuts funding for an anti-porn program.

The House Education Appropriations Committee cut the governor's proposed funding for buying software to keep kids from accessing porn Internet sites from school computers.

Committee members said they thought porn-blocking software was free or, at the least, would cost less than the governor's office estimated.

See our newspaper story for details.


The governor's tax-cut plans emerge from committee.

A $120 million package of tax cuts was approved by the House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday and sent to the full House.

The proposal provides a partial exemption of homes from the property tax as well as expanded property tax breaks for the elderly.

See our newspaper story for details.


The House leadership's efforts to find a middle ground on partial birth abortion is abandoned.

The House majority leader says she dropped plans to sponsor a partial-birth abortion bill after pressure from anti-abortion lawmakers.

Two versions of a partial-birth abortion ban have been sponsored in the House. Both are similar to the bill vetoed by the governor last year that contained no exception for cases involving the health of the mother.

See our radio story for details.


The St. Louis court-appointed desegregation settlement coordinator appears before the Missouri Senate.

Rural senators continued to voice opposition to a desegregation funding bill after the court-appointed settlement coordinator in the St. Louis case made a special appeal to the Missouri Senate.

In an unsual appearance, both the settlement coordinator, William Danforth, and his brother, former U.S. Senator Jack Danforth, spoke for nearly two hours before an informal session of all but five of the state's Senate members.

Before the legislature is a plan that would provide another $1,000 per-student in state funds to inner-city schools.

For more information, see our newspaper story.


Attorney General sues Blue Cross

Attorney General Jay Nixon file suit Monday against Blue-Cros and Blue Shield chargintg the plan over-charged members, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday.

There was no official announcement from Nixon, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Nixon's suit charges the insurancee company failed to give discounts to customers that the firm recieved from health-care providers.


County prosecutor begins investigation into prison sex-abuse charges.

The Cole County Prosecutor began Monday an investigation into charges by a former prison employee that other workers were forced to provide sex in return for job advancement.

In addition, the Public Safety Department is conducting its own investigation into the charges.