Jefferson City, MO – Union leaders in Missouri are not happy with a new health insurance plan for state employees. It replaces the current co-pay system with one that requires state workers to pay deductibles. Richard von Glahn is with the Missouri State Workers Union.
"We are frustrated because state employees are gonna be faced with higher out-of-pocket health care costs the Missouri legislature continues to choose policies that balance our revenue crisis on the backs of state workers," says von Glahn.
St. Louis, MO – A short video featuring an interview with Missouri Democratic Senate nominee Robin Carnahan combined with a photo of World Trade Center rubble has been removed from Republican Roy Blunt's YouTube site. The clip contains a radio interview, in which Carnahan says she would not try to tell New Yorkers whether or not a mosque should be built near the site of the 9-11 attack. When St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin asked Blunt about the video, Blunt objected to the question:
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed and vetoed several bills Wednesday, the final day for action on legislation passed during the 2010 regular session.
First, Governor Nixon signed legislation creating new ethics rules. It restricts money transfers between political committees and allows the Missouri Ethics Commission to launch its own investigations, instead of waiting for complaints to be filed by others. But it does not restore campaign contribution limits, which Democrats had been calling for.
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has been signing dozens of bills into law since the regular legislative session ended in May. But two controversial bills remain unsigned as the deadline approaches.
One of those bills deals with ethics. Provisions include restricting political committee-to-committee money transfers and allowing the Ethics Commission to launch investigations. The other bill would expand the information women must be told 24 hours before getting an abortion.
Kansas City, MO – Missouri Senate leaders are bypassing a committee that's blocking legislation to provide auto incentives during the ongoing special session.
Republican Chuck Purgason, chair of the senate's Fiscal Oversight committee, is blocking a vote on the House bill that contains both incentives for Ford Motor Company and tax breaks for underground data centers. So Senate leaders have crafted a separate bill that excludes the data centers. It's sponsored by Republican Luann Ridgeway of Platte County:
Jefferson City, MO – A lawsuit has been filed in Jefferson City that's designed to stop the August 3rd referendum on Missouri's participation in the new national health care law. The referendum was approved by the Missouri House and Senate this year, and it states that citizens cannot be forced to buy health insurance against their will.
Jefferson City, MO – Elderly Missourians who qualify for $250 rebate checks from Medicare are being warned to watch out for scam artists.
The checks that are being mailed out are legitimate, but seniors who receive them may be targeted by con artists. State Attorney General Chris Koster says recipients should not give out their personal information to anyone calling to ask for it.
Jefferson City, MO – Mental Health officials in Missouri are awaiting word if Governor Jay Nixon will cut their budget even more than lawmakers did this year.
Of the $484 million lawmakers cut from the state budget in April, nearly $26 million came from the Department of Mental Health, which oversees programs dealing with psychiatric health, drug and alcohol abuse, and Medicaid patients.
Jefferson City, Mo. – A final vote by the Missouri House yesterday has authorized a referendum for August over the state's participation in the new federal health care law.
The referendum states that citizens and employers cannot be compelled to take part in any public or private health care system. It's designed to challenge the new health care law signed by President Obama that requires most Americans to have health insurance or face fines.
GOP House Speaker Pro-tem Bryan Pratt (R, Blue Springs) strongly supported the bill.
Jefferson City, Mo. – A revised bill that would require insurance companies to cover some of the cost of therapy for children with autism has passed the Missouri Senate.
The bill mandates that health insurance companies provide up to $45,000 a year in coverage for kids with autism age 18 and younger. That's $10,000 a year less than the original Senate bill, and it drops those ages 19 and 20 from being eligible.
Jefferson City, Mo. – A majority of home care workers in Missouri have voted in favor of union representation. The results were announced today in Jefferson City, with about 60% of the state's home care workers voting to unionize. The workers provide various services for people who are homebound, such as transportation, shopping, cooking and bathing.
Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Senate has passed a bill that would outlaw K-2, a group of synthetic compounds that attempt to mimic the effects of marijuana. But the chamber also lessened the proposed penalties for possessing the compounds.
The version passed by the House would make possession of any amount of K-2 a felony. The Senate amended the bill to make possession of less than 35 grams a misdemeanor, the same as with marijuana.
Jefferson City, Mo. – With the state budget out of the way, Missouri lawmakers now have two weeks left to concentrate on other priorities. Bills addressing tax credits, ethics, consolidation of state agencies, and autism insurance all remain unfinished going into the homestretch.