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Analysis: Gov. Nixon bucks special session
trend
By CHRIS BLANK/Associated Press Writer
November 15, 2009 | 4:07 p.m. CST
JEFFERSON CITY — Unlike nearly all his immediate predecessors, Gov. Jay Nixon has not ordered the
Missouri General Assembly to come back for a special session.
Among first-year chief executives over the last roughly 40 years, the patience to wait until next year has not been
common. Until this year, only one governor since 1965 — Republican John Ashcroft — has not called a special
session during his first year in office. Ashcroft took office in 1985 and didn't call a special session until 1989.
This summer, Nixon considered a special session to approve bonds for construction projects, but that did not
materialize.
Nixon spokesman Jack Cardetti said last week that the governor's office would try to get lawmakers to support
the idea when they return to the Capitol in January for their regular session.
"The governor has stated all along that it would take broad bipartisan consensus for the proposal to move
forward," Cardetti said. "During the next legislative session we will work to determine if that consensus exists, but
we do not plan to call a special session before then."
Missouri governors have had the authority to call the legislature into a special session since the 1812 territorial
constitution, and it can be a potent tool. Because the governor must set the issues to be addressed in a special
session, the chief executive has the power to limit the debate. But the governor cannot guarantee the outcome.
Political scientist George Connor said that makes special sessions a high-risk, high-reward proposition. They
give governors a chance to claim credit for good outcomes, but governors also face the blame when nothing
changes.
"It's a higher risk of late than it is a higher reward," said Connor, the chairman of the political science department
at Missouri State University.
Democratic Gov. Bob Holden called lawmakers into special session three times during his four years in office.
Eight months after taking office in 2001, Holden convinced the legislature to approve bills creating a prescription
drug program for seniors and changing a price discrimination law for livestock sales.
But two years later, back-to-back special sessions called by Holden were unsuccessful in getting Republicans to
eliminate four tax breaks to raise money for education.
Connor said the purpose for special sessions seems to have evolved with more emphasis on politics, finishing
work that could not be completed during the regular session and fixing mistakes in the bills that do pass.
In 2005, Republican Gov. Matt Blunt called a special session after the legislature failed to approve bills
restricting abortion. Blunt and Missouri Right to Life clashed over the legislation during the regular session, and
the governor expressed concerns that it could have inhibited stem cell research.
Blunt's detailed special session call in 2005 instructed lawmakers what abortion provisions to include and told
them specific provisions in other unrelated bills that needed to be changed.
But not every special session has been to shore up political support or fix errors.


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In 1993, Gov. Mel Carnahan called a September special session to deal with the year's devastating floods.
Carnahan, a Democrat, asked lawmakers to consider legislation to pay for the cleanup, approve bonds and
consider a constitutional amendment that would allow Missouri's budget reserve funds to be tapped.
"Our main focus is to provide Missourians with the help they need to get through this crisis," Carnahan said in
1993. "The special session is an important part of the process."
In 1973, Gov. Kit Bond ordered lawmakers back to Jefferson City to respond to the national energy crisis, to
reform state campaign laws and to complete a reorganization of the executive branch that was ordered by a
1972 constitutional amendment.
Bond, a Republican, said in his message to lawmakers that the issues were too important to wait, noting that the
executive branch restructuring needed to be discussed because uncertainty was making it difficult to set the
state budget. His full message took three pages to print in the Senate Journal that recorded the proceedings,
which started Dec. 3, 1973.
Other governors have been less wordy in telling lawmakers to get to work.
Democratic Gov. Joe Teasdale used less than 200 words to tell lawmakers that they were supposed to spend
money for capital improvements during a 1977 special session.
Nixon's decision to buck the trend illustrates the problems that he faces. Unlike other governors, Nixon's most
urgent situation — a financial crisis that has prompted repeated budget cuts — is not necessarily fixed by calling
lawmakers back to the Capitol. Plus, the GOP-led legislature is unlikely to automatically endorse Nixon's other
ideas.
So for lawmakers, that means a little longer break before starting again in January.




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Nodler resigns state post
JOPLIN GLOBE By Susan Redden

State Sen. Gary Nodler, of Joplin, on Friday announced he will resign his post as chairman of the Senate
Appropriations Committee as of Nov. 30.
The Republican lawmaker, who has served on the committee for all of his seven years in the Senate and as
chairman for the past two sessions, cited plans to run for Congress as a reason for his decision.
He said he would not be able to give “sufficient attention to the time demands” of both efforts, and did not want
the appearance that his candidacy would influence his actions as committee chairman. The committee’s public
hearings on the state budget start Dec. 7.
Nodler described the Appropriations Committee as “an island of bipartisanship,” adding, “I can’t imagine how you
could be engaged in the pursuit of a party nomination and continue to have a leadership role there.”
Later Friday, Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields announced the appointment of Sen. Rob Mayer, a
Republican from Dexter, as the new appropriations chairman. Mayer had been vice chairman.
Nodler said stepping down from the chairman’s post will give him the opportunity to be involved in a broader
range of legislative issues during his final session. He said he did not expect the decision would hurt legislative
priorities for the 32nd District. He said Sen. Mayer is a close ally “with a strong interest in priorities that have
been beneficial to the 32nd District.”
“If I wasn’t confident, I would have taken a different course,” he said.
He said he had been able to secure changes that have brought permanent funding increases for Missouri
Southern State University, Crowder College, Neosho and the Center for Autism at Joplin’s Ozark Center.
He also noted funding for new programs and buildings at the two colleges, plus money for construction of a new
crime lab near the Missouri State Highway Patrol satellite station in Carthage.
“I feel like I’ve made a difference and there are lots of things to feel good about,” he said. “But I don’t think the
region has received any exaggerated benefits. These are state priorities that need to be met, and the funding
flowed to the region because it has grown and its importance has increased.”
Nodler said Missouri is one of the few states that has kept a AAA bond rating despite revenue shortfalls caused
by the economic downturn.




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Mayer replaces Nodler as Senate
committee head
JOPLIN INDEPENDENT
Updated: 2009-11-13 11:51:20


JEFFERSON CITY - Senate Leader Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) today announced that he will appoint Sen.
Rob Mayer (R-Dexter) as the new chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the standing committee
that drafts the state's annual budget. Mayer will assume the chairmanship on Dec. 1, 2009.
"In light of Sen. Nodler's resignation as chairman, I am appointing Sen. Rob Mayer as chairman of the Senate
Appropriations Committee," said Shields. "Rob is an experienced leader when it comes to the budget process
and I have no doubt that he will build upon the bipartisan tradition of this important committee, as they work to
protect taxpayers and pay for the critical functions of state government in these difficult financial times."
Mayer will head the committee that meets regularly during the legislative session to discuss and craft the state's
spending plan, which is constitutionally due each year. Mayer began serving on the appropriations committee in
2004 and was appointed as vice chair of the committee in 2007.
"I consider it an honor to be named as chairman and appreciate Sen. Shields' trust in my understanding of the
challenges the state faces in preparing a budget this year, and in the coming years," said Mayer. "I will miss
working with Sen. Nodler, whose good work and leadership during his tenure allowed us to shape budgets that
protected Missouri taxpayers. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the professional staff and hope
to continue the bipartisan spirit of the committee as we work to craft a budget taxpayers can afford that still
provides for the critical state government programs that benefit Missourians, especially those in need."
Current Appropriations Chairman Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin) noted Mayer is well prepared to take the lead on
the committee, commenting that Mayer has participated in all aspects of the committee chair's roles, including
management meetings.
"Rob has been an equal partner in the appropriations process," Nodler said. "He is both prepared and has the
characteristics to be a strong leader when it comes to the budget during these difficult financial times."
During a press conference by phone Nodler wanted to made it clear that no one in Senate leadership has
encouraged him to step down, that he had made a personal decision based upon his earlier announcement last
summer to seek a Congressional seat. He said he was grateful for the confidence leadership has shown him.
“As a candidate for Congress, it would not be possible to give sufficient attention to both the time demands of a
campaign and the time demands of being chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee,” Nodler said. “I
also have a deep appreciation for the long-standing and strong tradition of the Senate Appropriations Committee
being the most bipartisan committee in the Legislature. Republicans and Democrats work together and that
carries through to floor unity to keep our budget recommendations intact throughout the process. Protecting the
tradition of bipartisanship is vital to the success of the budget process. As a candidate, it would be difficult to
maintain that tradition while I am involved in a partisan primary.”
While Nodler anticipated the move earlier in the year, his actual announcement has come after further
involvement in the Career Ladder Funding issue. He said he was satisfied that he had done everything possible
to move the issue along.



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Nodler is able to take credit for Senate Bill 313 that was signed by the governor. The bill creates accountability
measures to accept, track and spend federal stabilization and stimulus dollars.
Missouri is the only state in the Midwest to have its AAA bond rating renewed by Standard & Poor's, Mood's and
Fitch Ratings, Nodler pointed out, and despite facing revenue shortfalls, he confirms that "the state is in a better
financial standing than most states across the nation."
The budget process begins with public hearings in order to hear testimony on the state's finances. The
committee's public hearings on the budget begin December 7, 2009. The budget bills are proposed by the House
Budget Committee and must be approved by the House before advancing to the Senate. The Senate
Appropriations Committee works independently from the House to develop its own recommended spending plan.
They amend the House budget plan to reflect the Senate spending plan. Once approved by the Senate,
differences are ironed out through the conference committee process. As chairman, Mayer would be one of five
senators to serve on every budget related conference committee. Once the House and Senate agree on a final
plan, it is sent to the governor. The General Assembly's constitutional deadline for completion of the state
operating budget is one week before the constitutional end of the legislative session.
As Senate Leader, Shields is tasked with naming all committee chairmen.
Farrah Fite, Senate Majority Caucus Communications Director, contributed to this article.




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State Sen. Nodler resigning as budget
panel chairman
The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Sen. Gary Nodler said Friday that he will resign as chairman of the Senate
Appropriations Committee to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest as he campaigns for Congress.
Nodler, R-Joplin, has led the Senate budget-writing panel for the past two legislative sessions and has served on
it all seven years he has been in the Senate. His resignation is effective Nov. 30. Nodler will no longer be on the
committee but will remain a member of the Senate.
Nodler is one of several Republicans seeking to succeed U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, who is forgoing a re-election bid
for his southwest Missouri seat to instead run for U.S. Senate in 2010.
“As a candidate for Congress, it would not be possible to give sufficient attention to both the time demands of a
campaign and the time demands of being chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee,” Nodler said.
Sen. Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, will move up from the vice chairmanship to lead the committee, said Senate
President Pro Tem Charlie Shields.
Another reason for resigning from the committee, Nodler said, is “so there can not be even the appearance of
political considerations compromising the integrity of our budget process.”
House Budget Committee Chairman Allen Icet, R-Wildwood, is running in a Republican primary for state auditor
next year. But Icet said Friday that he will not step down from the budget committee. He said House Speaker
Ron Richard asked him to continue because the state is expected to face additional budget shortfalls.
Icet said he doesn’t expect any conflicts of interest because of his campaign.
“Running for a higher office I don’t think has much impact on understanding what we as elected officials can do
and should not do,” Icet said. “Simply comply with the law and you’ll be fine.”
The legislative budget process typically begins in December, as the House and Senate committees hear public
testimony. The governor will make his budget recommendations to lawmakers in January.




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Tourism chairwoman signs off on Katie
Danner’s dual roles
By Virginia Young
Post-Dispatch Jefferson City Bureau
JEFFERSON CITY — The brouhaha over Katie Steele Danner’s two roles — and two salaries — in state
government appears to be subsiding.
The Missouri Tourism Commission chose Danner on Tuesday as its new executive director, at a salary of
$75,000. Then on Friday, word surfaced that Danner also would stay on temporarily as deputy director of the
Department of Economic Development. The agency will pay her the difference between her new salary of
$75,000 and her old salary of $110,000.
The news sparked a partisan feud, with Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon defending the arrangement and Republican
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder expressing outrage.
Nixon’s office said Danner would help new department Director David Kerr learn the ropes during an indefinite
transition period. Kinder said Danner should have told the commission of the arrangement. As a member of the
commission, Kinder had opposed Danner’s hiring, abstained on the vote and then proposed the $75,000 salary
level.
In the middle was Marci Bennett, a Democrat who replaced Kinder as tourism chairperson on Tuesday.
Bennett, who heads the St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau, was caught by surprise by news of Danner’s
dual roles. But after talking with Danner late Friday afternoon, Bennett said Saturday that she supports the
arrangement.
Bennett compared Danner helping Kerr to former acting tourism Director Bob Smith staying on to share his
“great institutional knowledge” with Danner. Bennett said Danner’s role in helping Kerr “should be concluded as
soon as the division transition is concluded,” or by July 1 at the latest.
In an e-mail to fellow commissioners, Bennett wrote:
“Katie assured me that she is 100 percent committed to getting to know the business of the Division of Tourism,
and has already been doing so, since Tuesday. She also is committed to helping David Kerr settle in on his new
position and give him the assistance he needs, temporarily. She assures me that she IS a full time employee of
the Division and her work for DED is temporary and will not take away from her duties and is looking forward to
the July 1 date we set for a review.”
The commission had already planned to review Danner’s performance and salary on July 1, the start of the fiscal
year. Bennett said she believes the maximum pay range for the tourism job is roughly $92,000.
Bennett said she has no doubt Danner will devote full-time to the tourism job.
“I can tell you, the woman never sleeps,” Bennett said. She said she has received early-morning calls from
Danner and ”she’s there ’til 7 or 8 o’clock at night. I think she’s capable of taking on her new responsibilities and
helping finalize her old ones.”
In her e-mail to tourism commissioners, Bennett offered to call a special meeting to discuss the matter if
colleagues object to it. She said that other than Kinder, commissioners “seem to be fine with it.”
Asked whether Danner or the governor’s office should have consulted her about the arrangement, Bennett said:
“Not really.”
Then she added: “It would have been nice.”




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Pinnacle brouhaha highlights power,
money, politics
By Tony Messenger
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
11/16/2009


JEFFERSON CITY — Reading about the curious case of Dan Lee reminded me of Sam Hamra.
By now you've likely heard about Lee, the now former chief executive of Pinnacle Entertainment, the casino
company. At a St. Louis County Council meeting this month, Lee flew in from Las Vegas and then flew into a
rage when Councilman Steve Stenger didn't vote his way.
Lee wanted Stenger to vote against a zoning change that could ultimately benefit a competing gaming company.
When Stenger didn't do the casino executive's bidding, Lee told the elected representative that he was making
the worst mistake of his political career.
The threat cost Lee his job.
Image-conscious publicly traded companies can't have their executives throwing their weight around so
recklessly.
It looks bad.
So, too, did it reflect poorly on state government in 2006 when Hamra, a businessman and lawyer from
Springfield, Mo., made a similar threat to then-Gov. Matt Blunt.
One of Hamra's businesses builds low-income housing, and Hamra, a generous political donor, sent Blunt a
letter suggesting he wasn't getting enough return on his investment.
Hamra had helped raise more than $400,000 for the governor, and in return, he wrote, Hamra expected a larger
share of tax credits being doled out by the Missouri Housing Development Commission.
Unlike Lee, Hamra owns his own company. So despite Blunt saying he was offended by such a letter, all the
threat earned the businessman was some unkind headlines. The stories made it look like he assumed public
bribery was just part of the political game.
In 2009, Hamra is still very active in the Missouri political game, and he's still seeking to influence those who
make decisions on the Missouri Housing Development Commission. The commission controls millions of dollars
in tax credits that developers often turn around and sell for profit on the open market.
In September, Hamra raised money for the MHDC's new chairman, state Treasurer Clint Zweifel. Zweifel has
been pushing changes to MHDC ethics rules that require more disclosure of possible conflicts of interest
between developers and those who make the decisions.
But Zwiefel's changes didn't address the issue of campaign contributions. He says that should be an issue for
the Legislature.
So Hamra, who isn't shy about how money should influence political decisions, continues to bring attention to
those who accept his largesse.
Gov. Jay Nixon has returned donations from the businessman.


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But Zweifel has no problem accepting about $4,500 in campaign donations from Hamra and his relatives.
The common theme in the Lee and Hamra examples is a simple one.
Powerful people — and corporations — spend a lot of money in politics trying to get a return on their investment.
Missouri lawmakers in both parties have been making noise about improving the ethical environment in the
state. More often than not, the word they use in suggesting changes is "transparency." In other words, as long as
donors and politicians are open about their relationships, voters can make fair judgments about the decisions
elected officials make.
Ultimately, that's the irony in Lee losing his job.
Like Hamra before him, he made his lobbying pitch in the public square for all to see.
What could be more transparent than that?




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More state budget cuts anticipated in
January
By DON NORFLEET
The Fulton Sun

JEFFERSON CITY -- More state budget cuts are expected to be ordered by Gov. Jay Nixon sometime in
January, Mental Health Director Dr. Keith Schafer said Thursday.
Schafer said more staff reductions are expected in the central office of the Department of Mental Health in
Jefferson City.
"But everyone in the central office affected by the cuts already have been notified. They are aware of their
situation," Schafer said.
Schafer said he did not anticipate staff reductions at the Fulton State Hospital. The department has plans to
replace the entire hospital with a new building but the state's economic downturn has put those plans on hold.
But Schafer cautioned that he could make no guarantees about employment anywhere in the department
because the situation is still uncertain. He noted that more budget cuts are expected to be ordered in two
months.
Schafer Thursday outlined various grim mental health budget reduction scenarios to the Mental Health
Commission.
Schafer said even with federal stimulus aid money, the Department of Mental Health is expected to suffer a 6.9
percent loss in funding in 2009, and a 4 to 5.5 percent loss in 2010.
State tax revenue is expected to become positive when the recession eases and tax collections improve in 2011.
Budget planners are predicting a revenue increase in 2011ranging from 4 to 6.5 percent and 4 percent growth in
2012.
But the big crunch is expected to come in 2012 when federal stimulus aid money runs out, Schafer said.
To help balance the current budget, Schafer said employees and spending in the director's office has been
reduced 10.11 percent, three times the percentage of cuts imposed on services provided by the agency.
"We are cutting bureaucrats first and services last," Schafer said.
Schafer said expenses also have been trimmed in the central office.
"The way things are right now, I as the director have no travel expense money in the budget. I can't travel," he
said.
In July Nixon ordered an additional $3.2 million cut in Department of Mental Health spending. Then in October,
the governor's budget office ordered an additional $6.6 million spending cut.
More spending cuts are expected to be ordered in January because state tax collections continue to plummet.
Even though revenue is expected to resume growing in 2011, total resources are expected to continue to decline
and total obligations are expected to continue to climb. The big crunch is expected in 2012 when federal stimulus
aid ends.




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Group fears solution to Mo.
unemployment debt
Megan Lynch Reporting
megan.lynch@cbsradio.com

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) -- In recent weeks KMOX News has been following Missouri's mounting debt for
jobless claims.
Now one employers' group has come forward with fears that proposed solutions may be worse than the problem.
Some experts predict Missouri's unemployment trust fund could go more than three-billion-dollars in the red over
the next few years.
The state's labor director has suggested it's partly an issue of chronic underfunding.
Jim Kistler, President and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors, rejects that idea, "You extract all these
taxes out of the system and then you build this huge fund that you then sit on... the danger there is that the
government generally finds a way to spend it."
The state's chamber of commerce says business may face higher taxes in the near future to whittle down the
debt faster. Kistler says first, he would like to see officials look for ways to tighten the system, "There are a
number of ways in which people double dip and I don't think that was the intent for unemployment."
Kistler is also proposing the state consider alternative -- lower cost -- methods of borrowing money to cover the
jobless claim debt.
Meanwhile, he's expressing little faith in a panel that's supposed to solve the problem.
KMOX News told you how the Missouri State Unemployment Council hasn't met in months -- it can't make a
quorum because it's waiting for the appointment of new members.
 "The council has been in effect for five years and they have yet to put forth a proposal as a council for anything
other than increasing taxes and increasing benefits."
Stay with NewsRadio 1120 KMOX and kmox.com for more updates on this story.




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Missouri Expands Program For Donating
Deer Meat
KSMU Written by Kristian Kriner
Friday, 13 November 2009
Governor Jay Nixon, along with members of the Missouri Department of Conservation, stopped at Bass Pro
Shops Friday to announce the expansion of the Share the Harvest initiative. Share the Harvest is a program
where hunters donate their deer meat to needy families in the area.
Share the Harvest
Several mounted deer are on display at Springfield's Bass Pro Shops. Photo Credit: Alex Crowder
Amidst the camouflage and rifles as dozens of mounted deer appeared to look on, Governor Jay Nixon took a
tour of the newly renovated Bass Pro Shops in Springfield.
Nixon was in town to let hunters know that they can donate their deer meat to local meat processors, so the
meat can be given to hungry families.
Several years ago due to limited funds, participants in Share the Harvest had to cap the contributions of deer
meat.
But Nixon announced today the program has been approved for about $200,000 in additional state funds so that
more families can receive the meat they need.
“Helping those in need is a value we all share. Generosity is what the Show Me State is all about. Share the
Harvest is one of the best examples of that Missouri spirit and I’m thrilled to be able to announce a significant
initiative today that will allow the program to provide nutritious food to more Missourians all across our state,”
Nixon said.
Conservation officials project that the additional resources will mean almost twice amount of meat processed
and delivered to families over the next three years.
Lonnie Lowry is the co-owner of J&L Custom Processing which is one of the meat processing companies that
participate in Share the Harvest in Greene County.
He says hunters bring in their deer meat and their company processes it and gives it to Crosslines to distribute.
“We usually just make strictly burger. We grind it for hamburger and package it in one pound packages for them
to distribute to the needy when the season is done. We get up in the thousands of pounds,” Lowry said.
Hunters can go online to www.missouriconservation.org to see a list of the meat processors involved in Share
the Harvest and the counties each processor is in.
Deer firearms season begins tomorrow in Missouri.
Nixon ended the press conference by saying that any deer he shoots over the weekend will be donated to Share
the Harvest.




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Agriculture officials to survey Missouri
farmers
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Agriculture officials will be surveying farmers to determine if expected yields
met expectations this year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agriculture Statistics Service plans to poll farmers during the
first two weeks of December about their production. That information is used for a series of federal
agriculture reports to be released in January.

The statistic service's Missouri field office says the results from the study are used to administer many
programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The individual data farmers provide is confidential.




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DNR pushes salvage yard action
Facility drains into creek in Callaway.
COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE By Jodie Jackson Jr.
Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Missouri attorney general’s office has been asked to force the owners of a Callaway County automobile
salvage yard to comply with the state’s clean water law and regulations.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Clean Water Commission have asked the office of
Attorney General Chris Koster to pursue legal action against Algiere Salvage at 1545 Old Highway 40 E. on
some 50 acres just east of the Boone County line.
The salvage yard has a permit that allows it to discharge storm-water runoff into a tributary of Cedar Creek.
DNR said in a news release Thursday that its inspectors had observed an unpermitted land disturbance site at
Algiere Salvage and that the site is not properly managed to prevent excessive sediment deposits from entering
the tributary.
After several unsuccessful efforts to seek compliance with the permit regulations, DNR officials presented their
case to the Clean Water Commission on Sept. 2, and the commission voted to give George Algiere, owner of
Algiere Salvage LLC, an additional 45 days to work with the department’s staff to resolve the issue.
Storm-water inspectors said excessive sediment deposits are harmful to aquatic ecosystems and pose a
potential threat to public and environmental health.
“To date, the department and Algiere Salvage have not been able to reach an agreement,” DNR said in a
prepared statement, adding that the case was being referred to Koster’s office “to compel compliance and to
seek an appropriate civil penalty for violations at the site.”
Delores Algiere, salvage yard co-owner, said yesterday she was not aware the situation was being referred to
the attorney general.
“I didn’t know anything about this,” Algiere said. “I don’t understand why they’re doing whatever they’re doing. As
far as I know, we’re doing everything they wanted us to do.”
DNR officials were unavailable for comment yesterday.
Algiere said she and her husband have owned the salvage yard for 20 years and have not had past problems
with DNR.
“I’ve been working it out with DNR,” she repeated. “I’ve still been talking with them.”
Algiere disputed DNR’s claim that sediment-laded storm water is entering the creek.
“We’re two miles from Cedar Creek,” she said. “I have no comment. I don’t know what’s going on.”
In situations where a storm-water permit holder is “unwilling or unable to cooperate” to comply with clean water
regulations, DNR said it reserves the right to refer the case to the attorney general for legal action.




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Appointed St. Louis schools board likely
to stay awhile
By David Hunn
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
11/16/2009


ST. LOUIS — People like Bill Purdy hoped change was afoot last week when the state's top educator
reconvened a panel to review the city school district's governing board.
Purdy, one of the school district's former board members, is among those who would like to see the St. Louis
Public Schools run again by elected leaders. For three years, he has impatiently watched as three appointed
board members held the reins.
Last Thursday, Purdy, and about 30 others, filed into the conference room at Harris-Stowe State University to
hear Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro announce she was reconstituting the Special Advisory
Committee on St. Louis Public Schools, again to be co-chaired by civil rights attorney Frankie Freeman and
former Washington University Chancellor Dr. William Danforth.
That panel's recommendation put the appointed board in place. This time, maybe, it would remove it.
"I cannot help but believe there's something behind the scenes," Purdy said. "That the state board is trying to get
out of this and return the board to local citizens."
But Purdy's wish, others point out, is unlikely to be granted quickly.
The Special Advisory Committee was first appointed in the summer of 2006, and reported its findings to the state
board of education that December.
The district, the committee said, was in shambles.
Academic improvement had largely halted. The district had met just five of 14 state standards on its most recent
Annual Performance Report. Finances had "declined drastically," ending 2005-06 school year $30 million in debt.
Surveys said that the public, and even the district's own teachers, had largely lost confidence in district
leadership.
"Despite efforts of the individual members, there seems to be little hope of succeeding with the current school
board," the report said.
The committee recommended, "reluctantly," that the state replace the elected school board.
Former Gov. Matt Blunt appointed local businessman Rick Sullivan as board president and CEO.
The three-member Special Administrative Board is now in its third year.
Critics of the appointed board can quickly rattle off failures over that time:
The loss of more academic accreditation points. A recent hard-nosed state review. Overspending. Debt.
But state officials point out quite the opposite — they notice small but noticeable improvement in district
finances, governance and academics. Improvement that needs more time, more stability, not less.
"It will take some time to produce significant results," Nicastro said Thursday. Still, she added, the state
department is pleased with the progress.


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Moreover, there is little political appetite for an immediate shift.
Sen. Rob Mayer, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said many legislators like the progress they see
from the appointed board, have been impressed by Kelvin Adams, the board's pick for superintendent, and don't
want to see change now.
"We believe that there's progress being made," said Mayer, R-Dexter, on Friday. "We'd hate to see that stop,
and put somebody else in, right in the middle of the stream."
"The time will come soon enough," he continued. "But I'd like to see more progress, academically and
financially."
Elected board President Peter Downs points out that the state has all the authority it needs under existing state
statute to reinstall the elected board. The fact that state leaders have instead decided to reconvene a panel
suggests the return to elected leadership may not be so automatic.
Committee members, for their part, would not guess at the work ahead of them.
"Look," said Danforth, "we haven't even met yet."
"I can't tell you what we're going to do."




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Lawmakers: Overhaul a threat to
freedom
Missouri, other states considering action to limit mandates.
Chad Livengood News-Leader

The debate in Congress over health care and insurance reform legislation may soon spill over into the Missouri
legislature.
That's because, if approved, federal health care legislation would likely have profound effects on the state of
Missouri's finances and its citizens.
Most notable is a proposed massive increase in Medicaid eligibility, which could leave state taxpayers on the
hook for some of the newly mandated costs in the future.
But some Missouri lawmakers say the federal legislation's main intent -- to decrease the number of uninsured --
is a threat to consumer freedom and choice.
State Rep. Tim Jones and Sen. Jane Cunningham intend to pre-file proposed constitutional amendments next
month for the 2010 session that would affirm the right of individuals to choose their own health insurance plans
and providers.
Across the country, at least 11 other state legislatures are considering action to limit or oppose possible federal
health care mandates on states and individuals, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Under the pending federal legislation, every American will be required to carry health insurance. If they don't get
it from an employer or qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, then they will be required to get insurance through an
exchange of private plans or purchase a plan from the government.
The proposed exchange would include private plans, but acceptable levels of insurance coverage would be
determined by a new federal agency.
"Basically, the government now writes the health care plan," said Jones, R-Eureka. "There's never before been
an instance where the federal government forces an individual to buy a product and basically tell them what to
buy."
Failure to carry health insurance could result in tax fines. And failure to pay the new taxes could result in
prosecution.
Jones and Cunningham want Missourians to pass a constitutional amendment opposing the federal mandate so
that consumers can choose what level of insurance they want to carry.
"I'm allowing individuals and businesses to continue to have their own choice in their health care and medical
services," said Cunningham, R-Chesterfield.
Jones said the matching resolutions will be dubbed the Health Care Freedom of Choice Act, modeled after
similar legislation that has already passed through Arizona's legislature. In order to go on the November 2010
ballot, both the House and Senate would need to approve either Jones' or Cunningham's resolutions by a simple
majority.




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The health insurance mandate is designed to reduce the number of uninsured. Roughly one in every eight
Missourians, or 734,000, do not have health insurance.
Advocates of the plan equate the mandate to carry health insurance to other forms of insurance, such as
automobile coverage.
"We actually think that's a good thing and it's not so unusual," said Amy Blouin, executive director of the Missouri
Budget Project, a fiscal policy think tank. "States already require people with a car to have car insurance."
But not everybody has a car or drives, Jones said.
"You have the freedom to not drive the car," Jones said. "Driving is a privilege, not a right."
Blouin said the legislation provides health insurance tax subsidies for families earning up to 400 percent of the
poverty level. A family of four with a household income of up to $70,000 a year could qualify for taxpayer
assistance to purchase health care through the exchange, Blouin said.
"They're not doing it in isolation of policies that help families actually achieve that," Blouin said of the mandate. "If
they were doing it without those supports, I'd have a different opinion."
Rep. Shane Schoeller, R-Willard, said he intends to support Jones' resolution when it's introduced in the House
in the next legislation session, which begins Jan. 6.
After a series of town hall meetings with constituents in the 139th District, Schoeller said he's heard loud and
clear that conservative voters want state officials to take whatever steps possible to oppose new federal health
care mandates.
"They're just solidly against the federal government getting involved in health care and other issues like that,"
Schoeller said.
Even if the Republican-controlled General Assembly passes Jones' or Cunningham's resolutions, voters would
have to decide whether to amend the constitution.
If the pending federal legislation becomes law and states passed constitutional amendments opposing the
mandate, the issue would go to federal courts to sort out, Jones said.
"You're going to have a constitutional showdown between the right of the state versus the right of the federal
government," said Jones, an attorney. "I don't think this works unless we get a large number of states to pass
this."
Medicaid expansion
The House bill passed last weekend would raise Medicaid income eligibility to 150 percent of poverty level, or
about $16,245 a year for a childless adult.
Missouri currently has one of the lowest Medicaid income eligibility requirements in the country, at 20 percent of
the poverty level, or $292 a month for a family of three.
Under the House bill, the federal government would initially fund the entire expansion for two years, then in 2015
only fund 91 percent of the cost, said Rachel Morgan, senior health policy specialist with the National
Conference of State Legislatures.
"The state will have to pick up that 9 percent from thereafter," Morgan said.
The expansion would cost the state $315.6 million more annually to run the Medicaid program and draw down
$2.13 billion in federal matching funds, according to the Department of Social Services.
The House version would open up the entitlement program to 291,000 low-income Missourians who are
currently ineligible, according to DSS.

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The Senate's most recent bill would increase Medicaid eligibility to 133 percent of the poverty level.
DSS estimates the Senate Finance Committee version would cost the state an additional $90.9 million annually,
adding 255,000 children, parents and childless adults to the Medicaid rolls.
Across the country, the cost to states of the mandated Medicaid expansion has raised the alarms of governors.
Until recently, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has been largely silent on where he stood on the issue.
But during a visit to Springfield on Monday to highlight an economic stimulus initiative, the governor said he
prefers the Senate version of the bill.
"We also have to make sure that it doesn't have ... an unfunded mandate that runs to the state that's so
expensive that it defeats the very purpose that it's there," Nixon said. "The Senate version has the better match
for the states than the House version."
Nixon noted Congress "is a long way" from the finish line on health care reform and the federal financial support
of a Medicaid expansion could change.
"But I would hope that they wouldn't burden Missouri taxpayers with additional responsibilities of too much
dollars to get this thing ultimately passed," Nixon told reporters.
The National Conference of State Legislatures notes that expanding Medicaid coverage isn't always the best
approach to increasing access to quality health care.
That's because not every doctor accepts Medicaid patients because of the lower reimbursement rate than
private insurers.
"If you dump a bunch of people into the Medicaid program, you're going to have a lot of people who won't be
able to find a doctor," Morgan said.
Some state lawmakers also fear that Congress could come back in later years and reduce the federal
government's share of the cost incurred through the expansion as a way to reduce the ballooning federal deficit.
But that's never been the case throughout the four decades of the Medicaid program, Blouin said.
"I think it's really unlikely that overtime our burden would increase," she said.
Could Missouri opt out?
Before the Democratic-controlled U.S. House passed its health care bill last weekend, Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid said he would include an "opt-out" clause in the Senate's new bill for states that didn't want to
participate in the new so-called "public option" government-run insurance plan.
But Reid has yet to release details of how individuals states would opt out of participating. It also remains
unclear whether states could be penalized by losing federal dollars for not participating in the public option or
other controversial elements of the legislation.
One proposal floated would allow states to begin opting out of the public option a year after it went into effect.
But letting a state's citizens enroll in the public option for a year only to turn around and get out of the plan isn't
seen as politically feasible.
"We'd be basically footing their bill and we'd be getting nothing back," said state Rep. Kevin Wilson, a Neosho
Republican and chairman of the House's Standing Committee on Health Insurance.
U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, a Springfield Republican who voted against the federal bill, predicts no state would
ultimately opt out of the program if the plan ever comes to fruition.
"Nobody really believes the opt-out is meaningful," Blunt said.


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Rep. Mary Still to hold hearing on payday
loans
COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN By Greg Mitchell
November 14, 2009 | 4:15 p.m. CST
COLUMBIA — Columbia residents won't see a groundbreaking for any new payday loan businesses within city
limits in the near future.
However, the question of whether Columbia payday loan businesses need any added regulation will be on the
City Council's agenda during the next six months.
In early November, the council passed an ordinance that imposed a six-month freeze on new payday loan
businesses. Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala said that the moratorium will serve as a time to figure out what
else, if anything, needs to be done.
The same question is being asked on the statewide level as well.
State Rep. Mary Still, D-Columbia, sponsored a bill that proposed interest rate restrictions on payday loans
during the 2009 legislative session. The bill never came up for debate, but Still said she hasn't given up.
She is holding what she called a "district hearing" at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Columbia Public Library, 100 W.
Broadway. Still said in a recent interview that she wants to find out specifics on how payday loans operate and
learn how other states are dealing with them. She also said that she hopes what she learns Monday night will
give her enough information to sponsor a better bill this upcoming session.
"It will be an opportunity to get good input so that maybe this year I'll have a hearing, and the speaker will assign
me a time so I can get the information I need to work out a law we can live with in Missouri that would help
protect poor, working people that often just get trapped," Still said. "These are people that work; they just don't
have a lot of money."
State Rep. John Burnett, D-Kansas City, will also be at the meeting Monday night. Bill Black, a University of
Missouri-Kansas City economics and law professor, is expected to speak, as are representatives from the AARP
and Better Business Bureau of Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois.




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Coexistence with Islam
Bond book sees hope for peace.
COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE By Janese Heavin
Saturday, November 14, 2009

To establish global peace with Islam, the United States should build better relations with Indonesia and other
parts of Southeast Asia, U.S. Sen. Kit Bond said.
“Traditionally, these have been our good friends, but unfortunately, a very dangerous terrorist organization also
operates out of Southeast Asia,” Bond, R-Mo., said.
Bond urges the United States to counter that threat with what he considers “smart power” in his new book, “The
Next Front: Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam.” He spent about an hour at the University
of Missouri Bookstore yesterday signing copies of the book, which he co-authored with Pulitzer Prize-winning
journalist Lewis Simons.
Bond began working on the book more than five years ago after unsuccessfully trying to convince his colleagues
in Washington, D.C., about the importance of partnering with Southeast Asia, considered a security threat since
the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. That region includes Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia, which is the
largest Muslim country in the world.
Bond suggests countering potential violence through goodwill efforts, such as offering educational exchanges in
the areas and promoting free trade and sharing modern agricultural practices.
Bond joked that the book came about after his wife, Linda, told him no one was listening to his message.
Originally, Simons — whom Bond dubbed a “far liberal” — turned down the offer to help him write the book.
“Lewis disagrees with me politically on everything,” Bond said, “but we agree on Southeast Asia.”
“The Next Front” hit bookshelves last month. About 25 people, including university students, administrators and
members of the community, lined the stairwell at the bookstore to get their copies signed.
Doug Clark of Columbia was one of the first in line. “I’m interested in reading about the subject and seeing what
his thoughts are,” said Clark, who described himself as a Democrat.
Niki Harris worked for Bond from 2000 to 2005 and now works as an academic adviser for the MU College of
Arts and Sciences. She just picked up her copy of the book and hasn’t yet read it but trusts that Bond’s advice
should be heeded.
“I think he has not only a technical understanding of what’s going on, he gets the realistic needs of implementing
a plan,” she said.
While signing copies for bookstore staff, Bond joked about his recent appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon
Stewart.”
Bond promoted his book on Monday’s show and, by all accounts, held his own against the Comedy Central host
known for taking jabs against conservatives. Bond came with his own barbs, quipping that he supports President
Barack Obama’s plan in Afghanistan more than the president does.
Bond said yesterday he went to Stewart’s studio prepared. “I try not to go into a battle of wits unarmed.”



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Bond, Blunt blast Obama over decision to try
terrorists in NY court
By Jo Mannies, Beacon Political Reporter
Posted 12:40 p.m. Fri., Nov. 13: U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, (left) and the fellow Missouri Republican
who seeks to succeed him next year -- U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt -- are both blasting the Obama administration's
decision announced today to try in New York courts some terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, including the
alleged mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Blunt called the decision "short-sighted,'' while Bond -- who appeared on cable news shows today -- accused the
administration of "political correctness." Bond also contended the trials will used by the terrorists to "spread their
venom."
Both Republicans have prominent roles in the debate. Blunt was a co-sponsor of the law setting up the military
tribunals; Bond is vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, among other administration officials, has replied by citing numerous other
times when U.S. federal courts successfully have handled terrorism cases, notably the 1993 bombing at the
Trade Towers.
Said Blunt in his statement:
“The Obama Administration’s decision to try 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City, a
short distance from Ground Zero, is short-sighted. The attack he orchestratedwas an act of war that resulted in
the deadliest attack on American soil in history.
“Terrorists cannot be treated as common criminals, and Americans should not be endangered by the presence
of these terrorists in New York City. These dangerous criminals certainly don’t deserve the protection of the
American court system."
“I worked hard to help set up the military tribunal process in 2006 in order to bring accused terrorists to justice.
As I’ve said all year, the president’s failed plan to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay must be re-evaluated
quickly, as should his administration’s handling of the trial of a man who orchestrated the deaths of nearly 3,000
people.”
Said Bond, in part:
“The Obama Justice Department has prioritized political correctness over protecting the citizens of this country,”
said Bond. “With today’s announcement, those who voted to support greater privacy and constitutional rights for
terrorists are now getting just what they asked for.”
The senator also "called it an insult to the memories of those who were brutally murdered on September 11th
that the perpetrators of these cowardly acts of terrorism will sit in a courtroom blocks away from Ground Zero
and reap the full benefits and protections of the U.S. Constitution."
Bond also brought up last week's shooting at the Fort Hood military facility, perpetrated by an Army psychiatrist.
"Last week’s massacre at Fort Hood reminds us that the threat of terrorism to our safety and way of life has not
abated and that we must not let political correctness interfere with our duty to keep Americans safe.”




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Kit Bond says less government creates
jobs
KRCG-TV By Mark Slavit
Friday, November 13, 2009 at 3:14 p.m.
COLUMBIA -- Missouri Senator Kit Bond says the President’s health care plan moving through Congress costs
too much, expands the role of government, raises taxes and cuts Medicare benefits for seniors.
Bond made his remarks before members of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.
The Missouri republican leader presented a slide-show that shared his views on recent government policies
including the federal stimulus, health care reform and cap-and-trade legislation.
Bond apologized for not having better news come out of Washington.
Bond blames Democrats for having non-partisan solutions to tough economic times.
“Unfortunately, what Washington is doing right now is imposing very significant costs on the economy, huge tax
increases, driving up the debt, taking over not only auto companies, banks and insurance companies, but
threatening to take over a sixth of the economy," Bond said. "This is scaring small businesses so they don’t want
to hire.”
Bond said Congress can help create more jobs by taking the focus off of big government and empowering the
private sector instead.
Columbia Chamber of Commerce officials invited members of Missouri’s congressional delegation from both
sides of the aisle to speak to their members.
Bond was the first to accept the chamber’s invitation.




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Rhetoric in Republican primary for
Missouri auditor heats up
By Tony Messenger
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
JEFFERSON CITY — State Rep. Allen Icet, R-Wildwood, took advantage of a bit of a strange interview given
by Thomas Schweich yesterday and announced today that he would serve out a full term as auditor if he were
elected.
Schweich and Icet are battling in a Republican primary for the right to face Democrat incumbent auditor Susan
Montee. Yesterday, in an interview with KY3’s Dave Catanese of Springfield, Schweich hedged on whether he
would serve a full-term and whether he would support Republicans facing election in 2012 who didn’t support
him in this year’s election.
See the interview here.
So today, Icet issued his own news release taking a shot at Schweich, without naming his opponent:
“After we win next year, I will work hard to reach out to all Republicans to build a consensus effort to take back
the Auditor’s office. I will not hold any grudges. My opponent seems to think the best way to unite our party is
through threats. That type of short-sighted, selfish thinking does not strengthen parties, it destroys them.”
The back-and-forth comes at a good time for Icet, as it might distract from the decision made by fellow budget
chairman Sen. Gary Nodler to give up his post while running for Congress. Icet is keeping his post as House
budget chairman. See my previous blog post on that topic.




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State mental health department
considers more Fulton security
Jefferson City -- Missouri's mental health director says his agency will consider a union request for more security
at Fulton State Hospital.
The mid-Missouri hospital houses about 500 patients with mental health issues.
The union for employees at the hospital says there's been an increase in patient assaults on staff.
The union wants the Department of Mental Health to buy wireless alarm devices that employees could carry and
press for help in emergencies. That could cost about $50,000.
Department director Keith Schafer says the request will probably be addressed in contract talks under way
between the state and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

-- The Associated Press




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Dems to gather Saturday to pick
nominee to replace El-Amin
By Jake Wagman
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
ST. LOUIS — Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: City Democrats will gather this weekend to pick a
nominee to replace a lawmaker who left office after pleading guilty to corruption charges.
This time, party leaders in the 57th House District will nominate a candidate in the Feb. 2 special election to fill
the vacancy created by the departure of former State Rep. T.D. El-Amin, who left office in September in the
wake of federal bribery charges.
Democratic committee members from seven wards will meet Saturday afternoon at Binions, a lounge on Delmar
just east of the Loop, to make the decision.
Because, of course, House districts are smaller than Senate districts, there hasn’t been the intense lobbying to
fill the vacancy left by El-Amin as there was following the exit of former state Sen. Jeff Smith, who earlier
admitted to federal conspiracy charges.
But, like the replacement for Smith — 28th Ward Committeeman Joe Keaveny – whoever takes El-Amin’s seat
will have to file immediately to run again to hold onto the post in 2010.
On Saturday, Democratic committee members are expected to chose from two names: Karla May, who ran for
the seat in 2006, and Hope Whitehead, a lawyer who was former director of the state Division of Liquor Control.
The district is reliably Democratic enough that whoever the party picks is all but assured of the seat.




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EDITORIALS … & Letters to the Editor
Our opinion: Bond deserves honor for
early education
ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS Monday, November 16, 2009

The public finds plenty of room to criticize plenty of government programs that fall short of their aim. Fair enough.
People notice when their tax dollars go toward programs that outlive their utility or never meet their objectives.
But people should also take note of programs that succeed and government leaders that steward them. Such is
the case with the Parents as Teachers program and U.S. Sen. Kit Bond.
Parents as Teachers began as a pilot project in a handful of Missouri schools in the early 1980s. Its intent was to
remedy a finding of kindergarten teachers that students came to their classrooms too often ill-prepared to learn.
The program meant to capitalize on the understanding that parents are the first teachers that children encounter
and that parents need the resources to become better at this role.
If young people arrive at the schoolhouse steps with a better foundation for learning, the ensuing years of class
work go more smoothly.
Mr. Bond, serving his second term as Missouri’s chief executive in 1984, had learned the lessons of early
childhood education from raising a son during his governorship. Earlier this month, he recalled, “As a new parent
looking for an owner’s manual to care for a new baby, (Parents as Teachers) was my lifeline.”
The senator made the remark during the 25th anniversary celebration of Parents as Teachers, where he was
honored. In 1984, Gov. Bond signed into law the Early Childhood Development Act, a measure that required all
school districts in Missouri to provide Parents as Teachers as a service. Through screenings, group meetings
and in-home visits, the program is meant to improve parenting practices, provide early warning of developmental
delays and increase school readiness.
As evidence of the program’s success, Parents as Teachers can be found in all 50 states and at least six other
countries. In Missouri, where the concept began, the St. Joseph program has 26 parent educators who serve
3,000-plus families with children up to age 5. Elsewhere in the region, the Parents as Teachers outreach in
Trenton, Mo., got the national organization’s 2009 Program of Merit commendation for its implementation of the
“Born to Learn” model.
Mr. Bond gets credit not only for fostering the program, but taking his support of early childhood education to
Washington. At the anniversary, the national Parents as Teachers president called him “a children’s champion,”
and the senator remains convinced that the investment made in young people pays greater dividends for the
nation. We agree with his assessment and thank him for the vision.




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11.15.2009 9:03 pm


Danforth-Freeman should define
stability for St. Louis schools
By Editorial Board
St. Louis’ civic dynamic duo — civil rights attorney Frankie M. Freeman and Washington University Chancellor
Emeritus William H. Danforth — has been pressed back into service on behalf of St. Louis Public Schools.
Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro has asked them for independent advice on the best way
to move the district forward.
The decision to do so is timely and wise. Dr. Danforth and Ms. Freeman’s advice, if it replicates the tenor,
soundness and incisiveness of their past recommendations, could result in St. Louis Public Schools’ best chance
in decades to achieve lasting stability.
Ms. Nicastro’s predecessor, the late D. Kent King, first asked Ms. Freeman and Dr. Danforth to lead a five-
member committee to study the district in 2006.
The committee’s recommendations have had a huge impact on the district. They led the state Board of
Education to withdraw the district’s accreditation in 2007. The city’s elected board of education was stripped of
authority in favor of a three-person Special Administrative Board appointed to run the district.
Last week, Ms. Nicastro asked Ms. Freeman and Dr. Danforth to continue their work; all of their committee’s
original members — Donald M. Suggs, publisher of the St. Louis American newspaper, attorney Ned O.
Lemekmeier and Michael M. Middleton, a deputy chancellor and professor of law at the University of Missouri-
Columbia — have agreed to continue their service.
The committee has been given broad authority to consider what comes next for St. Louis Public Schools. What
measurements — in terms of student achievement, financial stability and other criteria — will signal that the
district is ready to be returned to local control? Where should that transition lead? Should the district be returned
to a locally elected board of education? Or would the city’s children, and the stability of the district, be better
served by some form of appointed board?
Ms. Nicastro correctly emphasized that no one should expect quick action on state oversight. St. Louis Public
Schools’ progress — including any return to local control — is a long-term project.
She made clear that reconvening the Freeman-Danforth committee should not be seen as a slight to the Special
Administrative Board that is overseeing the district. She voiced “support and confidence in the board and
Superintendent Kelvin Adams,” but noted that, by its very nature, the SAB is not a permanent arrangement.
The Freeman-Danforth committee will present its findings and recommendations by next fall — leaving adequate
time before the state Legislature’s 2011 session to ready legislative proposals.
The committee’s meetings will be open — with plenty of notice to the public, and opportunities for all interested
parties to be heard. It could have a major impact on the district — this time for the long term.
Dysfunctional school board leadership was a huge factor in the intractable decline of St. Louis Public Schools.
Electoral politics have been driven by special interests, resulting in a see-saw of board control. Inattentiveness
and uncontrolled egos led to administrative and financial chaos, frequent turnover in superintendents and other
education leaders and a loss of public confidence.
The state takeover, and the appointment of the SAB, restored good order to the administration of St. Louis
Public Schools. The Freeman-Danforth committee’s central challenge is to recommend a permanent system of
stable governance for St. Louis Public Schools. All other progress and reform depends on it.




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Our opinion: Bennett up to task on
tourism board
ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS Sunday, November 15, 2009

School buses bearing unfamiliar names tipped off the community to visitors. They came to St. Joseph carrying
players for a state softball tournament last month. Accompanying them were carloads of parents and fans, most
of whom had to be lodged and fed during their time in this city. An event of marginal interest to local individuals
had a significant impact on the local economy.
That’s the potential of tourism, an industry of importance to Missouri. According to the U.S. Travel Association,
travelers to the state spent $11.8 billion in 2007, an outlay that also generated $1.8 billion in tax dollars. With this
at issue, St. Joseph finds itself appreciative that a local resident, Marci Bennett, was named last week as
chairwoman of the Missouri Tourism Commission. We believe she has the requisite knowledge and background
to effectively guide this panel during a tricky time.
Coming from St. Joseph, where she is executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ms. Bennett
has experience in the everyday workings of the tourism business. Within her realm rests attractions such as the
Jesse James Home, the Pony Express birthplace, the Glore Psychiatric Museum and many other sites that draw
people to this historic city. Despite the richness of these offerings, the director has a feel for the visitor slump that
a down economy can cause and the marketing needed to combat lesser times.
Beyond that, she understands that tourism in the state exists not just in the theaters of Branson, on the waters of
mid-Missouri lakes, on the fields of professional sports teams, on the stages of concert venues and on the rides
of theme parks. Instead, the tourism dollar spreads itself to cultural festivals, historic re-enactments, wine
tastings, dance competitions, agricultural events and a thousand other planned activities that can attract guests
to even the smallest towns of Missouri.
It all counts toward the state’s collective good. And tourism accounted, the travel association contends, for nearly
125,000 jobs in Missouri just two years ago.
Numbers might have fallen with the economic downturn, and that proves a challenge for Ms. Bennett and the
commission. Tourism might feel the pinch of people holding close to their available dollars. With the state budget
ailing, the tourism division has taken some fiscal cuts, meaning less money for promotion.
Such times require creativity and sound judgment. Ms. Bennett appears up to the task. She will bring some St.
Joseph wisdom to the state board’s leadership.




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UM navigates budget barriers
Student access to quality education is a main priority.
COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE BY NIKKI KRAWITZ
Sunday, November 15, 2009

As the chief financial officer for the University of Missouri System, I believe the Tribune’s Oct. 27 editorial “UM
funding: More money or less spending?” missed the mark in capturing the complexities of the university’s budget
and noting all the university has done to tighten its belt.
The editorial claimed university officials “focus first and foremost on the revenue side” of the budget and fail to
encourage “serious internal reallocation of spending.” It suggests a better approach would be one taken by
President George Russell several years ago that called for funding one-third of its costs through internal financial
reallocation, with the state and students funding the other two-thirds.
A little history about declining state support for higher education in Missouri reveals:
● Missouri higher education is underfunded when compared to higher education in other states. Missouri’s 8
percent enrollment growth between 2003 and 2008 was above the national average, but the state ranked 42nd
out of 50 states in appropriations per full-time-equivalent student, declining 9.5 percent. And even with large
increases in tuition, total educational revenues per student — state support plus tuition — declined 2.9 percent,
resulting in a rank of 47th.
● The story is even worse for the University of Missouri, where state support has declined as enrollments have
grown significantly, threatening the quality of educational programs. Full-time enrollment has grown by 25
percent during the past seven years while state funding per full-time student has declined 18 percent.
This decline has threatened the university’s commitment to providing affordable student access to a quality
education by shifting the cost of education from the state to students and their families. As a result, we’ve seen
loan indebtedness increase for students and the university’s ability to recruit and retain top faculty jeopardized.
How has the University of Missouri managed to educate significantly more students with significantly less
funding per student? Not by focusing first on revenues.
Since 1998, the university has relentlessly pursued expense reduction, revenue enhancement and strategic
reallocation — all documented on our Web site at http://www.umsystem.edu/ums/about/reports/.
The most recent report for the fiscal year ending in June lists $66 million in cost savings, including budget and
work force reductions and academic program consolidation. This doesn’t include two actions taken after June 30
that will generate considerable cost savings in the future: employee contributions to their retirement funds and
the use of Build America Bonds to finance critical building projects. In addition to cost reductions, revenue
enhancement generated $27 million from unprecedented enrollment growth, recovery of overhead costs and
entrepreneurial activities.
Contrary to the assertion that “reallocation will be avoided most diligently,” our online reports show our
campuses have continuously performed strategic reallocation. This year alone, $7.1 million was reallocated from
lower priorities — in part to address ranked faculty salaries, which on average are in the lowest quintile of peer
institutions, and in part to higher-priority programs and services. This means faculty positions in certain
academic programs were eliminated, and the savings then funded salary increases and new positions aligned
with our strategic priorities.


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The editorial reinforces a common misperception that significant resources are allocated to low-priority
programs. While hundreds of programs are listed in course catalogs, these courses often fulfill requirements in
multiple degree programs; eliminating a degree program might only cause one or two fewer course listings in the
catalog with no cost savings.
Academic programs are driven by student demand and marketplace needs. Our campuses continually look at
enrollments in courses and programs to determine viability. MU is not seeking new programs in performing arts.
MU is seeking resources to renew and expand the infrastructure to support existing programs in antiquated
facilities that are bursting with students. Just take a walk through the art classrooms or the music practice rooms.
It’s important Missourians understand their premier public research university has long been committed to
working with the state to provide a world-class education. We always frame our appropriations request as a
partnership among the state, students and the university — and we uphold our end by continuously looking at
the expense side of the budget. But realistically, when state funding in real dollars has decreased as it has since
the mid-1990s, there comes a point when the ability to find dollars from within is severely limited.
Our board and president have been clear that student access to a quality, affordable education is a top priority.
The university has a roadmap that charts our way in the form of campus strategic plans and accountability
measures for evaluating how well we’re doing. We continue to look for more efficient, effective ways to meet our
teaching, research, public service and economic development obligations at the highest level.
The challenges are complex, and the solutions are not simple. The support of the public is critical if Missouri
wishes to strengthen its economy by educating an intelligent work force that is a magnet for more
entrepreneurial and high-tech industries with better-paying jobs and all the socioeconomic and cultural benefits
that come with them.
Nikki Krawitz is vice president for finance and administration with the University of Missouri System.




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Missourinet
New State Tourism Director aims to do more with less
by Steve Walsh on November 15, 2009
in Politics & Government
Missouri’s new State Tourism Director has a clear idea of the task before her as she gets settled into her new
role: Promote Missouri as a fun and inexpensive destination and get the promotion done without spending a lot
of money. Katie Steele Danner says the Division of Tourism is going through what so many households in
Missouri are experiencing – the need to get the most out of every dollar.
“How can we do more with less?” asked Danner in an interview with the Missourinet.
Part of the promotion that involves doing more with less requires the state to target certain Missouri destinations
and events to locations throughout the country and beyond.
“We need to be very strategic is those destination marketing plans and bring the effort up to the next level,
utilize, obviously, the diversity of our state, and understand that some of the efforts that we’ll be making in one
geographic area won’t necessarily work in another geographic area,” said Danner.
The targeting can be done not only in markets outside the state, but inside the state, too. Danner says we don’t
always appreciate what we have.
“I grew up in the greater Kansas City area,” said Danner. “And there weren’t many of the households that we
knew that had ever taken the time to go and visit the Truman Library.”
The hope is that the economy will pick up and tourism will pick up at the same time. In the meantime, Danner’s
sales pitch to visitors focuses on both what we have to offer and how it can be had at a price that won’t break the
budget.
“We can continue that message that by coming to Missouri you can experience a lot of fun at a reasonable
price,” said Danner. “And we can help to make that fun affordable.”


Koster might seek more warranty regulation
by Bob Priddy on November 16, 2009
in Business, Crime & Courts, Human Interest, Legislature, Transportation
Missouri’s top prosecutor thinks Missouri has become the “silicon valley” for extended automobile warranty
fraud. The next step might be tougher regulation.
Some of the half-dozen companies sued for fraudulent extended vehicle warranty operations are described by
Attorney General Chris Koster as spinoffs of U.S. Fidelis, considered a giant in the vehicle warranty industry.
U.S. Fidelis was sued by former Attorney General Nixon last year.
Koster, who became Attorney General in January, says that suit has not cleaned up the industry which he says
is “still rife with fraud in far too many instances.”




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While he’s working in the courts, Koster also is considering some work on the issue with the legislature.
“For a long time the legislature did not police these waters, and then a couple of years ago they put in some
regulation. My personal feeling is the regulation has not gone far enough. I would like to talk to legislative leaders
and see if they would be interested in reexamining this. Police is made in the General Assembly. All we can offer
is good ideas,” he says.
Nixon’s complaint against U.S. Fidelis in March 2008 charged deceptive marketing and violation of telemarketing
laws. Koster made it a class action lawsuit last April..
Koster says companies that peddle these warranties need to understand they’re getting into dangerous waters
and need to be “on their toes” if that’s a direction they want to go.


Heart Gallery tours state to bring awareness to adoption
by Jessica Machetta on November 16, 2009
in Human Interest
The Department of Social Services is participating in a photo project that brings children in need of homes to the
forefront.
The Heart Gallery of America features kids from all over the U.S., and in Missouri, who are in foster care and are
in need of adoptive parents.
Amy Martin is the adoption program manager for Social Services’ Children’s division. She says 234 children
have been placed in homes through the Heart Gallery. There are more than 1,600 children in Missouri in need of
a permanent home.
November is national adoption awareness month.
Martin says the gallery of America has photos of single children … and sibling groups. The department strives to
keep sibling groups together if possible, and there are some children with special needs as well.
President Ford declared the first National Adoption Week proclamation. In 1990, the week was expanded to all
of November.
Missouri’s adoption exchange, at 800.554.2222, will direct those interested to the county of origin or the county
of the child’s residence.
There will be a proclamation signing this week at the Capitol; activities across the state will take place in St.
Louis County, Ozark, Liberty and others.


Missouri Congressman expects different health care bill from Senate
by Brent Martin on November 15, 2009
in Politics & Government
A Missouri Congressman who voted against the health care measure which squeezed its way to passage in the
United States House doesn’t believe the bill is going anywhere despite its passage.
Northeast Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Republican freshman, voted against the trillion dollar
health care bill which passed the House in Washington 220-to-215. Luetkemeyer says he listened to doctors in
his district before casting his “No” vote.


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“I’ve talked to many doctors around my district over the course of the last several months as we have debated
this issue,” Luetkemeyer says, “and many of them have said, especially the ones over 50 years of age, have
said, ‘If this goes in, I quit.’”
Luetkemeyer says the bill edges the country too close to government-run health care. He also worries about the
price tag, estimated at $1 trillion over ten years, and the method devised to pay for it. Medicare would be cut by
more than $400 billion over the next ten years. A 5.4% surcharge would be added to the income tax of
individuals making half a million dollars a year, $1 million for families.
The House version of health care legislation would require every individual to obtain health insurance. It would
require nearly all businesses to provide health coverage for workers or face a health care tax. Medicaid would
expand. It contains a public option in which people could get federal subsidies to buy insurance in the private
sector or join a new government-run insurance plan. Democrats say the plan will cover workers who currently
don’t receive any health care benefits.
Luetkemeyer says there are other ways to reach consensus on health care.
“I’m not opposed to health care reform. Let’s do it in stages. Let’s find what’s wrong with it and correct those
things. Let’s don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” Luetkemeyer says. “This approach is like trying to take
care of somebody with a sprained ankle by cutting their leg off. This is not the way to solve the problem.”
Luetkemeyer predicts the Senate will reject the House version.
“But the massive takeover of health care, the massive tax increases that are in this bill, the mandates that are in
this bill, I can’t see any of that coming back out of the Senate,” says Luetkemeyer, who believes the Senate will
work on its own bill, which will look much different than the bill approved by the House.
Missouri Republicans Roy Blunt, Jo Ann Emerson, Sam Graves, Todd Akin and Blaine Luetkemeyer all voted
against the measure. Democrat Ike Skelton also voted against it. Democrats Emanuel Cleaver, Lacy Clay and
Russ Carnahan voted in favor. Only one Republican in the House voted in favor of the measure.


Nodler resigns as Senate Appropriations Committee Chair
by Steve Walsh on November 13, 2009
in Legislature
Senator Gary Nodler (R-Joplin) will step down as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and will
leave the committee effective Monday, November 30th. Nodler, who has chaired the committee for the past two
sessions, made the announcement in a Friday morning press release and conference call with Capitol Press
Corps reporters.
Nodler, who is running for the congressional seat held by Congressman Roy Blunt (R-MO7), says he is stepping
aside to ensure there will be no appearance of political ambition influencing his actions. Furthermore, he points
out it would not be possible to give sufficient attention to both the time demands of a campaign and the time
demands of chairing the Senate Appropriations Committee. He insists he is not being forced out.
“No one in Senate leadership has, in any way, suggested or encouraged or urged me to make this decision,”
said Nodler in his conference call. “This is a decision I have come to entirely on my own.”
As for why he waited until now to step down, Nodler says he had hoped to resolve some of the issues regarding
funding for the Career Ladder education program.




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“There was one particular issue that I wanted to try to deal with before I left this position and that was the Career
Ladder funding issue,” said Nodler. “I believe that I have said and done everything that I can possibly do to move
that issue toward a resolution.”
Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) is expected to announce a replacement for Nodler
later in the day on Friday.
Download/Listen: Senator Gary Nodler conference call (12:00 MP3)
Update at 12:08 pm:
Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields has announced he will appoint Senator Rob Mayer (R-Dexter) as the
new chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, effective December 1st. Mayer was appointed Committee
Vice Chair in 2007.




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USA TODAY MISSOURI NEWS
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16 -- Williamsburg — A woman and her infant son died in a home explosion in
Callaway County. The house was destroyed in the explosion. The bodies of Amber Smith, 20, and Simon Smith,
4 months, were found in the debris. The state fire marshal's office is investigating.




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