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Capitol Report

Jan 15, 2007

Montee begins MOHELA audit

Just hours after dropping the “interim” before her title, State Auditor Susan Montee waded into one of the thickest political issues facing lawmakers this session with her first audit: a review of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority. Montee had promised before taking office that her first audit would be focused on the Chesterfield-based loan […]

Jan 8, 2007

Senator blocks education appointee

A newly elected state senator has blocked one Gov. Matt Blunt’s appointees to the state Board of Education. Sen.-elect Jeff Smith, D-St. Louis, said Dec. 27 that he would not sponsor Donayle Whitmore-Smith for Senate confirmation proceedings. Blunt’s office has said previously that he would withdraw her nomination if Whitmore-Smith’s home-district senator would not back […[...]

Jan 8, 2007

Mo. plan seeks to expand health insurance to small businesses

At Fred Steinbach’s new advertising and public relations firm, it’s every man for himself, and every woman for herself, when it comes to health care. Although a 10-member team while at work, the employees are on their own when it comes to finding health insurance. Such is the case at many small businesses, where owners […]

Jan 8, 2007

Student loan deal could set precedent

Gov. Matt Blunt calls it an innovative way to finance the buildings where the college students of the future will be taught. Skeptics fear it could make it more difficult for those future students to find affordable loans. But there seems to be agreement on this: Blunt’s plan to siphon $350 million from Missouri’s student […]

Jan 8, 2007

Insurance department director retires

The man who has led the Missouri Department of Insurance since Gov. Matt Blunt took office in January 2005 announced his planned retirement on Tuesday. Dale Finke served as director for the past two years while the department gained responsibility for oversight of banks, credit unions and other financial institutions as well as professional registration. […]

Dec 25, 2006

Lawmaker who runs bowling company pulls back on bowling tax break

A state lawmaker who runs a bowling company has withdrawn his proposed legislation that would have given a tax break to bowling alley operators on materials purchased for their business. But Rep. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said Dec. 20 that the idea could resurface. Richard said he decided to wait and see what tax policy changes […]

Dec 25, 2006

Governor ponders MOHELA session

Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt is contemplating calling a special session for legislators to consider his plan to use student loan agency profits to finance college construction projects. Blunt’s office said Wednesday that the potential special session would start in January – the same time legislators convene their annual session that runs through mid-May. A special […]

Dec 25, 2006

Lawmakers push to overturn stem cell law

Two Republican lawmakers launched an effort Dec. 19 to repeal a voter-approved amendment protecting embryonic stem cell research in Missouri and replace it with a constitutional ban on a particular research method. Voters in November narrowly approved an amendment, 51-49 percent, that constitutionally protects any stem cell research allowed by federal law and bans attempts […]

Dec 25, 2006

Blunt taps Talent staffer as spokesman

Gov. Matt Blunt has chosen outgoing Sen. Jim Talent’s chief spokesman to take over those duties in the governor’s office. Rich Chrismer, 31, of St. Charles, was announced Thursday as Blunt’s deputy chief of staff for communications. He is to begin the job this week. Chrismer has worked for the past nine years as Talent’s […]

Dec 25, 2006

Nixon sues group home operator

Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon on Dec. 14 sued the owner and operator of a group home where 10 people died in fire, claiming the business had been secretly and illegally run by a man previously convicted in a Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme. The lawsuit seeks to recoup $689,491 in Medicaid payments made to […]

Dec 18, 2006

Nixon sues Utility for Taum Sauk breach

Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon sued Ameren Corp. on Dec. 13 over the Taum Sauk reservoir collapse, alleging the company endangered lives and caused millions of dollars in damage by placing profits ahead safety at the hydroelectric plant. A breach in its earthen walls in December 2005 sent 1 billion gallons of water rushing over […]

Dec 18, 2006

Gov. Blunt appoints charter school supporter to education board

Gov. Matt Blunt appointed a Kansas City charter school official to the state Board of Education on Dec. 14, his second nominee in recent months to embrace alternatives to traditional public schools. Blunt said he chose the Rev. Stanley Archie because he wants a “diversity of opinion” on the board that oversees Missouri’s K-12 public […]

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