NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of October 2, 2006
|.||A Missouri House member is injured in Iraq (10/06/2006)|
Rep. Jason Brown, R-Platt City, was shot while on patrol in Baghdad, according to a family spokesman.
Brown has been serving a one-year tour of duty in Iraq, starting in April.
According to the spokesman, Brown was shot in the lung and will undergo surgery.
|.||MU's service learning director says interns OK at the State Capitol (10/05/2006)|
Missouri's state Capitol internship program is safe and professional according to Director of Service Learning at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Anne-Marie Foley.
Foley says that she's never heard of any sexual misconduct in her nine years of running the program.
She hopes the recent sex scandal at the national level doesn't discourage students from using the program.
|.||Missouri's Supreme Court gets a "show-and-tell" from one of its own judges on the voter ID case (10/04/2006)|
Retired Supreme Court Justice Charles Blackmar held up his expired driver's license in court asking attorneys if it would be sufficient documentation to vote if the court ruled the new voter id law to be constitutional.
"I don't drive, I have a drivers license, and its got a pretty good mug shot, most people would recognize it as me from this, but since I don't drive, I didn't see any reason to renew my drivers license although this would seem to identify me pretty well-this wouldn't qualify would it? This wouldn't qualify as a proper photo ID." said the 84-year-old retired judge who was sitting in for another judge who had stepped aside on the case without explanation.
The court gave no indication when it would rule on the law that would require a valid government-issued ID to be able to vote in November.
The court also heard arguments appealing a lower court decision ordering the tobacco tax increase on the ballot, after the Secretary of State had concluded the petition campaign failed to collect enough signatures.
|.||Third-party candidates for state auditor say they provide important alternatives at election time (10/04/2006)|
Terry Bunker is 46, in a wheelchair, and running for state auditor this November. But he's not a Democrat or Republican. He said he never has been. He's a Progressive.
Charles Baum is the Libertarian Party candidate for state auditor.
Both candidates say their disillusionment with the two-party system is what drove them to run for office.
|.||Blunt's administration cleared in a federal investigation (10/04/2006)|
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the U.S. Justice Department has concluded its investigation into the Blunt administration without charges being filed.
Several news organizations had reported that there was federal investigation into the administration's awarding of Revenue Department branch office contracts.
AP quoted a written statement from U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins that the investigation and had concluded without indictments returned and that "at no time was Governor Blunt a target, subject, or witness in the investigation nor was he implicated in any allegation being investigated."
|.||Missouri is now the first state to use the online Amber Alert system (10/04/2006)|
Governor Matt Blunt signed an executive order that will inform state employees of Amber Alerts more quickly.
This order puts Missouri as the first state to use wireless Amber Alerts by state officials and employees.
|.||Governor Blunt honors all involved in the rescue of Baby Abby (10/04/2006)|
Governor Matt Blunt signed a proclamation honoring all of those involved in the successful rescue effort in the recent Baby Abby kidnapping case.
The Governor also discussed the updates to the Amber Alert system that the state will be enforcing.
Sheriff Gary Toelke also expressed his thanks to his team and all those who worked on the case.
|.||Local election authorities will have to reprint ballots if the Missouri Supreme Court rules against the Tobacco Tax Initiative. (10/03/2006)|
Secretary of State spokeswoman, Stacie Temple says the tobacco tax is already on the ballot; however, if the Missouri Supreme Court rules against the tax, local election authorities would probably have to reprint the ballot.
Missourians Against Tax Abuse filed an appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court after Cole County Circuit Court Judge, Thomas Brown ruled to allow the initiative to be on the November Ballot. The Supreme Court will hear the case on Wednesday.
|.||Gov. Matt Blunt says AmerenUE needs to pay the state for damaging a state reservoir, not just the federal government. (10/03/2006)|
Blunt says Ameren Corp. has yet to pay the state for a breach in the Taum Sauk reservoir that released 1.3 billion gallons of water into a state park.
Ameren Corp. and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reached a settlement of $15 million, but Missouri is not expected to receive any of it. The money goes entirely to the federal government.
The company has already paid for much of the clean-up effort at the site since December.
The governor's spokesman says he expects Ameren Corp. to pay for all physical and environmental damages.
|.||The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday over 2 issues affecting voters this Novembers (10/02/2006)|
Six weeks before elections the issues of who gets to vote and what they will vote on has yet to be finalized.
On Wednesday the Missouri Supreme Court is scheduled to hear two cases that will affect voters at the polls: the voter ID requirement and the tobacco tax ballot measure.
|.||The people who will be most affected by Proposition B may not be voting in this year's election. (10/02/2006)|
A professor of political science at MU says that the less a worker makes, the less likely it is that he or she is registered to vote. But with Proposition B on the ballot this November, groups like Give Missourians a Raise are canvassing to make sure that low-wage workers are registered.
GOP consultant John Hancock says that, regardless of Democrats' efforts, Proposition B will have little affect on voter turnout this year.
|.||Governor Matt Blunt gives Foley's donation to charity (10/02/2006)|
After Congressman Mark Foley's accusations of improper e-mails to under-age Congressional pages and prompt resignation Governor Matt Blunt passed on his campaign contribution.
The contribution money will be going to The Boys and Girls Town of Missouri.
|.||Recent school shootings don't have a state-wide effect on safety of Missouri schools (10/02/2006)|
The Missouri Department of Education is allowing local school districts to deal with school security.
A State wide affect would cost money that the department doesn't have.
|.||Fall leaves less than spectacular in some Missouri regions (10/02/2006)|
The recent drought in parts of central and southwestern Missouri will affect the beauty of changing fall leaves.
Color will appear says Department of Conservation Forestry Fields Program Supervisor, Justine Gartner, but it will be drab.