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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of Feb. 21, 2000


. Democrats Block Republican Voice (02/24/00)
JEFFERSON CITY - House Democrats have shut House Republicans out from an chance to alter a proposed plan on how spend the state's tobacco settlement funds.

By a straight party-line vote, the House voted to shut off debate -- a move that blocked Republicans from offering several amendments they had drafted.

An effort had been expected to include abortion-restrictions on the money and to give voters an option of deciding if taxpayers would get the money.

  • Get the radio story.
  • Get the roll-call vote.
    . Abortion debate in Senate over a specialized license plate bill (02/24/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Heated abortion debate ensued after Republican Rolla Senator Sarah Steelman proposed creating a special "Respect Life" license plate supporting the Missouri Alternatives to Abortion support fund.

    The bill's sponsor, Democrat Senator Danny Staples, killed the entire package of specialized license plates in protest after the Senate voted in favor of the "Respect Life" license plate.

  • Get the radio story.
    . Nixon Addresses Meth in Final Year of Term (02/24/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - With less than one year left in office, Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon says he will fight methamphetamine.

    Part of his plan addresses meth on the Internet. A packaged internet bill that includes Nixon's proposal has already passed the House.

  • Get the radio story.
    . Former attorney general testifies for death penalty moratorium (02/23/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Former Attorney General and U.S. Senator Tom Eagleton continued his busy day at the capitol by testifying in favor of a bill that would study Missouri's death penalty and place a moratorium on the death penalty. Eagleton says the death penalty isn't a deterrent to criminals.

    But, opponents of the bill say research is okay, but the state shouldn't stop executions while the study is taking place.

  • Get the radio story.
  • Check out HB 1887 and the bill's sponsor, Mike Schilling.
    . St. Louis politicians speak in favor of revitalization sales tax (02/23/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - For the second time in just two weeks, St. Louis Mayor Clarence Harmon and former U.S. Senators John Danforth and Tom Eagleton spoke in favor of a regional sales tax increase.

    The increase, if approved by city and county voters, would raise sales tax in St. Louis City and County by four-tenths of a cent. Harmon, Eagleton, and Danforth all say the tax is vital for the survival of downtown St. Louis.

  • Get the radio story.
  • Check out HB 1915 and SB 827.
    . Interstate 64 may be named after Rams QB Kurt Warner without the bill's sponsor talking to him (02/23/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The House Transportation Committee passed a bill to rename the St. Louis stretch of Interstate 64. The new name would be Kurt Warner Rams Road, but the bill's sponsor never spoke to the Rams or to Warner about the idea.

  • Get the radio story.
  • Check out HB 1922 and the bill's sponsor, Rep. Don Koller.
    . Representative says certain lawsuits should be shot down (02/23/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - At least one lawmaker says he wants to curb litigation against gun manufacturers, but may be unable to stop a pending lawsuit in St. Louis.

    Jon Bennett, R-St. Charles, says that state litigation against such industries as tobacco is on the rise, and fears gun manufacturers may be the next target. The city of St. Louis has already taken steps to hold the firearm industry accountable for gun violence. If passed, supporters contend that Bennett's bill may not hinder that lawsuit from going forward.

  • Get the radio story.
  • Check out HB 1671.
    . ERA supporters, opponents debate two resolutions (02/23/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Amber Clifford stood on the same marble steps of the Capitol that her mother did 27 years ago. Also like her mother, she is arguing for the exact same issue.

    About 30 people joined Amber and her mother in support of two resolutions that seek to adopt the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Myrna and Amber joined about 30 other people on Wednesday in support of two bills in the Missouri General Assembly that seek to adopt the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • Get the newspaper story.
  • Check out HJR 42 and SJR 43.
    . Missouri's House votes to end a death tax. (02/22/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's House approved a tax amendment that would eliminate for Missouri the old adage that government taxes you from birth to death.

    The House attached to an unrelated tax bill a provision to exempt from the state sales tax the sale of coffins, caskets, urns, grave markers and other merchandise used with funerals, burials and cremations. Also approved was an amendment to exempt the sale clothes with a value less than $500.

    The two amendments were attached to a bill that provided a sales tax exemption for fees for game-bird shooting and for bird feed purchases. The bill was given preliminary approval by the House. It faces a final House vote before going to the Senate.

  • Get the House roll-call vote on the death tax amendment.
    . House Committee Hears Pleas for Prisoners Serving Life Sentences (02/22/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The House Correctional Committee heard testimony on a bill aimed at giving hope to prisoners who are serving life sentences without parole.

    The committee heard testimony from nearly a dozen proponents of the bill. Sponsor Pat Kelley, said there must be an opportunity for prisoners with life sentences without parole to have a hearing.

  • Get the radio story.
  • Check out HB 1800.
    . House transportation leader responds to Washington protest (02/22/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri transportation leader says it's time for the U.S. to tap into its own oil supply.

    Representative Don Koller, chair of the House Transportation Committee, says something has to be done to stop the U.S. from being at the mercy of OPEC.

    Gas prices have been on the rise since OPEC cut its production of crude oil last year.

  • Get the radio story.
    . Victims of car accidents were upheld as examples of why stricter traffic laws should be passed (02/22/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Mothers Against Drunk Driving unveiled a billboard campaign to incite legislators to lower the legal blood alcohol content level for motorists.

    Gov. Mel Carnahan also came out in favor of a law that would allow police to pull over drivers who are seen not wearing a seatbelt.

  • Get the newspaper story.
  • Check out HB 1250.
    . Governor endorsed seatbelt proposal raises racial profiling concerns (02/22/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Republican Representative Carson Ross, the only black Republican legislator, says a new bill allowing police to pull over adults for not wearing their seatbelt could provide an excuse for racial profiling.

  • Get the radio story.
  • Check out HB 1250.
    . Missourians would pay for diet drugs (02/22/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri taxpayers would finance diet control drugs for recipients of publicly financed health care under a bill being considered by state lawmakers.

  • Get the newspaper story.
  • Check out HB 1911.
    . Carnahan won't change his opinion about death penalty unless evidence is found. (02/22/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan said he won't change his position on capital punishment unless wrong judgement in actual cases is found.

    Bills on death penalty are going to be heard Wednesday; one would abolish it and another would give a moratorium.

  • Get the newspaper story.
  • Check out HB 1226 and HB 1887.
    . Senate passes a bill to encourage businesses that sell alcohol to post a warning to prospective mothers (02/22/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The bill would order businesses to put up a sign warning pregnant mothers that alcohol may cause birth defects.

    However, there is not a penalty for businesses that don't put up a sign.

  • Get the radio story.
  • Check out SB 685.
    . House gives preliminary approval to bail bondsman licensing bill (02/21/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The House gave preliminary approval to a bill that would require bail bonding agents and private investigators to have certain qualifications and to follow certain procedures.

    Representative Don Kissell, who proposed the bill, says Missouri has had problems with untrained agents and the lack of outlined procedures.

  • Get the radio story.
  • Check out HB 1254.
    . Missourians in the hunt to restrict predatory loans (02/21/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY -Dozens of people spoke out against high-cost home loans Monday during a Senate hearing.

    Sen. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, is sponsoring a bill that would place several limitations and restrictions on these loans, also known as predatory loan practices.

    Proponents of the measure wore yellow buttons proclaiming "Stop the Sharks." Several lobbyists for the mortgage and banking industries spoke against the bill.

  • Get the radio story.
    . Missouri's GOP primary has a winner-take-all (02/21/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Although this is only the second presidential primary to be held in the state, it will be the first time that Missouri will be a winner-take-all for Republican contenders.

  • Get the newspaper story.