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Capitol Report

Telephone companies due large refund

Like a phone call that gets more expensive with every minute on hold, Missouri governments have been racking up a huge taxpayer bill that someday will be due to the state’s telephone companies. Phone companies are owed a bundle because ...

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Lawmaker seeks apology for slavery

The state would formally apologize for permitting more than 140 years of slavery under a proposal that would make Missouri one of the first in the country to make such a move. The resolution, which details the history of Missouri ...

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House Speaker Jetton says repeal of sodomy laws led to chairman's ouster

Removing a state sodomy law similar to one already declared unconstitutional cost a lawmaker his chairmanship and prompted allegations from House leaders that their Republican colleague deceived them into voting for the measure. In a letter to the Southeast Missourian ...

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State considers guardians ad litem fund

Guardians ad litem suffer some of the same problems public defenders do: Their presence in court is required, but the funds to pay them are often lacking. A proposal by Rep. Ward Franz, R-West Plains, seeks to correct part of ...

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Wilson stepping down as chairman

Fresh off a pretty good election cycle for Democrats, former Gov. Roger Wilson announced Jan. 27 that he is stepping down as chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party. Wilson, 58, of Columbia, had served as party chair since August 2004, ...

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Lawmaker indicted for credit fraud

P>(AP) Democratic state Rep. John Bowman, of St. Louis, has been indicted with 16 others in a $1.2 million bank and credit card fraud scheme, the U.S. attorney’s office said. According to the indictment, unsealed Jan. 29, former Bank of ...

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Bill would limit employment, housing of illegal immigrants; add punishment

Citing lost opportunities for citizens and legal residents, two lawmakers have proposed punishing those who employ or rent property to illegal immigrants. The measure, sponsored by Sens. Chris Koster and Tim Green and filed Jan. 23, would require employers, landlords, ...

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Governor backs mandatory executions

Gov. Matt Blunt wants Missouri to create a mandatory death penalty for criminals who murder a police officer or prison guard, but experts on capital punishment believe the courts would strike down such a law. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled ...

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State could decide rules for farms

The state could have the last word in deciding the number and types of plants and animals farmers can raise. Those types of issues now often are decided at the local level, while the state oversight focuses more on water ...

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Workers' comp committee in Missouri House lacks a lawyer

The Missouri House revamped its committee system this year, and for the first time in recent memory, the committee that deals with workers’ compensation doesn’t have a single lawyer as a member. Lawyers – Democrats in particular – who previously ...

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House leader: End tax on Social Security benefits

House Speaker Rod Jetton said Jan. 11 that recipients of Social Security benefits should not have to pay state income taxes on them. “They’ve already paid taxes on this money once. There’s no point in making them pay it twice,” ...

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