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Missouri Government News for Week of Sept. 6, 1999

The governor and legislative leaders consider a special session on abortion

Missouri's governor and Democratic legislative leaders held a private session at a Jefferson City country club to discuss Wednesday's veto session when lawmakers will take up the governor's veto of a partial birth abortion ban.

The governor's office and House Speaker both confirm that they have discussed the possibility of a special session to consider a revised bill.

Supporters of the original bill argue the special session idea demonstrates the governor realizes he does not have the votes to sustain his veto.

See our newspaper story for complete details.

Tobacco settlement delayed in appeals

Missouri settled with tobacco companies 10 months ago, but the state has yet to see a dime of the estimated $6.7 billion that was agreed upon under the settlement.

Lawsuits in Missouri, as well as less than 10 other states, have delayed the receit of the promised settlement.

Missouri counties are trying to redistribute funds for roads

The Missouri Association of Counties urged the Supreme Court to return tax money to counties for improvement on roads and bridges. The state is currently using the money for taxpayer refunds. The state says the taxes should contribute to the refunds.

Nixon Upset with Passage of Bond's Amendment

Attorney General Jay Nixon is not pleased with bill sponsored by Kit Bond and passed by the U.S. Senate. The bill calls for lead mining to continue in the Mark Twain National Forest, despite environmental controls.

Nixon's spokesman, Scott Holste, says that Bond is overlooking the environmental problems caused by lead mining. In effect, the bill allows lead mining to continue in the forest for the next year and a half.

Sen. Ted House says bill will not allow violence against abortion doctors.

Senate sponsor of the partial-birth abortion bill Ted House says that the bill won't allow violence against abortion doctors.

He says the governor's charges are part of a smokescreen to hide the real issue -- that the bill simply prohibits the killing of a baby while it is being born.

Blue-Cross argues before Missouri's Supreme Court for making itself profit-making

Missouri's Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday on the Kansas City-based Blue-Cross & Blue Shield plan to switch to a profit-making corporation.

The state Insurance Department had approved conversion, but it was thrown out by the courts which found the information used to win state approval had been false.

See our newspaper story for more information.

Both sides claim victory in the historic abortion debate.

Both sides claimed victory after the nearly two-hour face-off between the Catholic Conference lobbyist and the governor.

It was far from a debate, however. Most of the time, the governor refused to respond to questions for the Catholic Conferencee lobbyist.

For more information see our radio story with digital audio of the governor and our newspaper story.

Various health interests oppose online pharmacies

Various health interests say they support Attorney General Jay Nixon's temporary restraining order against Procare, a website that prescribes drugs.

Some pharmacists say the website doesn't properly warn customers about the dangers of mixing drugs.

Missouri Pharmaceutical Association CEO George Oestreich says getting dugs online from pharmacies is dangerous for people's health. Oestreich says people do not know which drugs are harmful to take together.

See our radio story and a second radio story for more information.

Change in Format for Governor's Talk with Abortion Rights Opponents

There's been a change in format for the upcoming debate between Governor Carnahan and opponents of abortion rights. Originally scheduled as a one-on-one debate, the discussion on Carnahan's partial-birth abortion veto has now become a forum.

Both Carnahan and Executive Director of the Missouri Catholic Conference, Lou DeFeo, will bring additional speakers to their discussion.

The two will debate each other in an unprecedented move by the governor, who has already vetoed a bill that would have made partial birth abortions illegal in Misssouri.

See our newspaper story and our package of radio stories for details.

Taxpayers won't pay a dime of the money embezzled by Martin Frankel

The Missouri Guarantee Fund, not taxpayers, will pay the claims of insurance companies bankrupted by Frankel.

According to House Insurance Committee chairman Ron Auer the money used comes from all licensed insurance companies in the state.

See our radio story for more information.