Fri April 13, 2012
Top Stories Of The Week
OSHA levied a heavy fine over an Atchison grain elevator explosion. Childcare, not services to the blind took the big hit in the latest Missouri budget proposal. Steve Bell recaps on those and other top stories of the week on the Saturday News Review.
School Board Election Results
When three races have only write-in candidates, the counting takes a while. And more than a week after Kansas City's school board election, the remaining three winners were announced: Curtis Rogers, Marisol Monterro, and incumbent president Airick Leonard West, who was already promoting teamwork.
As the board struggled with regaining district accreditation and the threat of a state takeover, a new proposal emerged: trim the board to seven members and add the mayor in an advisory capacity
Senate Budget Plan Clips Child Care
The Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee endorsed a budget for next year that does not include the governor's cuts to higher education – and drastically reduces the cuts the House would have made to a program for blind Missourians. But it includes big cuts to child-care programs, Medicaid and prison meal budgets.
Another Try At Work Comp Changes
The Missouri House passed another work comp revision bill with a provision from a bill the governor vetoed last month – it would make occupational disorders strictly the province of work comp, not the courts. Democrats say that would reduce compensation for those disorders to a minimal death benefit.
And At Saving The Photo ID Amendment
The House also passed a resolution changing ballot language a court struck down on a voter photo-ID constitutional amendment.
Former MO Governor Indicted, Pleads Guilty
Meanwhile, former Governor Roger Wilson pled guilty to charges of misappropriating $5,000 from a state-related work comp insurance company and laundering it through a law firm to make a contribution to the Democratic party. Wilson served briefly as Missouri governor after Mel Carnahan was killed in a plane crash.
Brownback Moves Ahead on Medicaid Changes
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback began the reorganization of state agencies involved in Medicaid in preparation for his plan to hire private contractors to manage the program this summer. Brownback reassured the public that his restructuring will not result in reeductions in Medicaid services or payments to providers. Democrats remained skeptical but don't have the votes to stop the privatization.
Plans Advance On Antioch Center Renewal
Hope for new life for the 50-plus-year-old Antioch Shopping Center in the Northland got a shot in the arm when the city council approved the latest developer's proposal for tax increment financing. The nearly $60 million deal involves city-issued bonds, a TIF and a Super-TIF.
OSHA Finds Bartlett Grain Responsible For Deaths
OSHA slapped $400,000 in fines on Bartlett Grain over the Atchison grain-elevator explosion last Fall that took six lives. The agency said the company was guilty of “willful violations.” Bartlett officials denied that and said they will contest the fines.