Southeast Missouri schools prepare for drop in state funding by fjwuxn



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Southeast Missouri schools prepare for
drop in state funding
Monday, January 25, 2010
By Alaina Busch ~ Southeast Missourian
Area school districts are evaluating open positions as part of their efforts to brace for the possibility of lower state
support. As the state budget process begins, Gov. Jay Nixon's proposal could result in lower-than-expected state
aid for school districts.
The governor's budget proposal provides one-sixth of the funding increase called for in the state's financing
formula, the biggest source of state funding for schools. Under the formula, K-12 schools are set to receive a
$106 million increase in funding. Nixon recommended an $18 million increase to the $3 billion in formula funding.
Dr. Jim Welker, superintendent of the Cape Girardeau School District, said he is concerned but it is too early to
know how individual districts will be affected.
"I think at this point though we really don't have the information about exactly what that means in terms of total
dollars," Welker said.
The Cape Girardeau School District budgeted $6.4 million for the funding formula for the for its current $43
million budget. The district receives 18 percent of its revenue from the state.
In November, district officials held budget forums for employees to discuss cost-cutting measures in anticipation
of lower funding. Welker said the district is evaluating capital expenses and open positions.
"We'll have to scrutinize very carefully whether or not we'll have to fill those positions," he said.
The district used the majority of its federal stabilization money to purchase technology, eliminating some capital
expenses, he said. Proceeding with a five-year plan to increase teacher salaries is also in question, he said.
"Every time you have the possibility of losing a dollar, sure it does concern us," said Dr. Ron Anderson,
superintendent of the Jackson School District.
He said the formula money, $11.9 million in Jackson, mostly goes toward personnel costs, the biggest expense
for both districts. Jackson's $42.5 million budget includes receiving 37 percent of its revenue from the state.
In recent years, the district has looked at ways to lower energy usage, Anderson said. Open positions will also
be evaluated but he said the district is already a lean operation.
"We run a lesser expenditure per child than a lot of districts in the state," he said.
District officials will have a better idea of how state funding will look in May before they are set to finalize their
own budgets, he said.
"We don't know how the legislature is going to deal with the proposal," he said.
State Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, released a statement Friday voicing concerns about Nixon's
budget proposal.
"The governor has placed tax credits before education, and I believe those priorities are backwards," Crowell
said. "The greatest economic development plan is to invest in a student's education, which means the governor
should be focused on fully funding the foundation formula and full funding of higher education instead of tax
credits and tax diversions to big businesses."

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Crowell filed legislation that would subject tax credits to the appropriation process.
Nixon spokesman Jack Cardetti told the Associated Press that schools do not face the cuts that higher education
does. Nixon decreased higher education funding by 5.2 percent. In exchange for preventing larger cutbacks,
Nixon made an agreement with university presidents to freeze tuition.
"Getting more money is outside of the norm right now," Cardetti said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Parties at odds after State of the State

  The applause and standing ovations barely were finished before the political war of words began over Gov.
Jay Nixon‘s 49-minute State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate last week — an
address that also was broadcast around the state and carried on the Internet.
  Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder‘s 12-minute GOP response questioned several of Nixon‘s proposals and challenged the
way Nixon‘s administration ran state government during its first year.
  And just over an hour after Kinder finished, the state Democratic Party had released its own questions about
Kinder‘s comments.
  Debating jobs
  The governor emphasized jobs and the need to create more of them. He cited several examples of companies
that moved to Missouri or expanded existing operations.
  ―We ramped up financial incentives for businesses that offered good jobs and health insurance,‖ he said. ―And
we focused state resources on targeted, fast-track training programs to prepare a workforce ready to step into
those jobs.‖
  Nixon noted Missouri‘s doing better than many other states, as the national economy continues to falter.
  ―Missouri unemployment ran under the national average, but was still too high,‖ he said.
  Kinder also focused on the state‘s jobs situation.
  ―Just days ago we found out that Missouri lost another 2,600 jobs in December, adding to the thousands of
Missourians who have lost their jobs since Gov. Nixon took office,‖ he said.
   The Economic Development Department‘s news releases for the past year show Missouri lost a total of
61,300 nonfarm jobs in 2009, as the state‘s unemployment rate climbed from 7.3 percent in December 2008 to a
high of 9.6 percent last month, and the national rate hit a high of 10.2 percent in October.
   An e-mail from Missouri Republican Party spokesman Jonathon Prouty said: ―Obviously Nixon‘s plans have
not worked, because as Lt. Gov. Kinder noted, nearly 62,000 Missourians have lost their jobs since Nixon took
office‖ on Jan. 12, 2009.
  The February 2009 DED news release, reporting last January‘s employment numbers, noted that 11,500 jobs
were cut in that month, alone.
   And, the news release said: ―Since October (2008), employment has decreased by 32,500, accounting for
threequarters of the over-the-year (since January 2008) decrease of 44,500.‖
  Debating budget issues
  Nixon said the national economic troubles had forced deeper-than-expected revenue declines, ―the biggest
one-year drop in Missouri history,‖ forcing administrators to make mid-year cuts.
  ―We balanced the budget without raising taxes,‖ the governor said in his Wednesday speech.
  But Kinder said Missouri‘s budget troubles came from ―the governor‘s failure to act swiftly to address the
budget crisis.‖
  As for Nixon‘s proposed budget for the business year that begins July 1, Kinder and other Republicans
complain it isn‘t balanced as the state Constitution requires.

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   For example, Senate Majority Leader Kevin Engler, RFarmington, told constituents in his weekly ―Capitol
Report‖ newsletter: ―His plan ... relies heavily on one-time federal bailout dollars, and ... is based on an
assumption that the state may get extended stimulus funds, while he has already relied on stimulus funds and
raided the Rainy Day Fund to cash flow the current year‘s budget.‖
  At Wednesday‘s pre-speech briefing for reporters, state Budget Director Linda Luebbering acknowledged
Congress still has not OK‘d an expected six-month extension of the federal stimulus program.
  ―We have been told by several different people that it will happen,‖ she told a reporter Friday. ―If it doesn‘t,
we‘ll be ready to make more cuts.‖
  The state Constitution requires the governor to give lawmakers ―a complete and itemized (budget) plan of
proposed expenditures of the state,‖ along with ―the estimated available revenues‖ and recommendations for
making sure the state will take in enough money ―to meet the expenditures.‖
  Several Mid-Missouri lawmakers said Thursday it‘s too soon to complain about an unbalanced budget, since
lawmakers generally rewrite the governor‘s proposals.
  Democratic Party spokesman Ryan Hobart said the charge by Engler, Kinder and other Republicans that
Nixon used ―Rainy Day Fund‖ money is wrong.
  Nixon‘s administration — like previous administrations — has borrowed from the separate ―Budget Reserve
Fund‖ to meet the state‘s cash-flow requirements, he said, noting those transfers ―were repaid by May 15 of the
same fiscal year as required by law.‖
  Spending stimulus money
 In his speech Wednesday, Kinder said Nixon ―has already spent over 80 percent‖ of the federal stimulus
  GOP spokesman Prouty added: ―The Missouri Accountability Portal shows that 80 percent of stimulus funds
sent to Missouri have been spent.‖
  But Democratic Party spokesman Hobart countered: ―Under federal law, Missouri has three years to expend
Stabilization Funds,‖ with 11 percent spent in the last part of the 2008-09 business year, 53 percent slated to be
spent in the current fiscal year that ends June 30, leaving the final 36 percent to be spent in the budget proposal
Nixon announced Wednesday.
  Governor‘s office spending
  Also on Wednesday night, Kinder complained Nixon‘s office hasn‘t faced cuts the way other state agencies
have had to adjust budgets.
  ―He has not made the same sacrifices he is demanding from others,‖ Kinder said.
  Luebbering said the 2010-11 budget proposal does not make more cuts in the governor‘s office, although she
said there were cuts in Nixon‘s office this year.
  ―The governor‘s office needs more resources to manage during these very challenging times,‖ she explained.
―Keeping that fiscal management intact is critical at this time.‖

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January 24, 2010

Kinder camp denies involvement in robo
calls against Democratic senator
Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder's top political consultant said Sunday neither he nor Kinder were directly involved in
a robo call campaign targeting Democratic state Sen. Frank Barnitz.
Residents in Barnitz's south-central Missouri district received automated phone calls last week from a political action
committee — that spent tens of thousands in 2008 helping Kinder get re-elected — about Barnitz sponsoring the
nomination of former state Rep. Bill Ransdall to the State Tax Commission.
Consultant David Barklage said he couldn't take credit for the robo calls, but that he was aware they were going out.
"Did I execute the robo calls? No. But I certainly was aware of them," Barklage told the News-Leader.
In November, Nixon appointed Ransdall to the State Tax Commission on a temporary basis. His appointment now
needs the approval of the Republican-controlled Missouri Senate.
The robo calls sought to tie Barnitz to the State Tax Commission's recent controversial decision to change farmland
valuation in 2011, resulting in a 29 percent increase in taxable value on the state's most productive land and about a
25 percent decrease in valuation on less productive land. Ransdall voted for the re-valuation plan.
But Barnitz, a farmer, said he opposes the tax commission's plan and has vowed to "yes" vote for a resolution in the
Senate rejecting the tax commission's re-valuation plan.
Better Leadership for Missouri PAC, a continuing committee, was basically dormant for most of 2009 and reported
having just $667.38 in cash on hand at the end of June.
In the past, Better Leader for Missouri has paid Barklage's firm, Strategic Communications Group, for public relations
and political strategy work, but Barklage said Sunday the committee is no longer a client.
Barklage, who runs the Senate Republican majority's campaign committee, said the treasurer of the Better
Leadership for Missouri committee informed him of the calls. Kinder had no prior knowledge of the calls targeting
Barnitz until it was detailed in today's Springfield News-Leader, Barklage said.
He said Better Leadership for Missouri paid for expenses to help Kinder get re-elected in 2008 and also spent money
helping other Republican candidates.
"It's a PAC set up to support Republican leadership. Peter was one of them," Barklage said.
Barnitz, a moderate Democrat from a heavily Republican district, will be heavily targeted this year by conservatives in
his re-election effort.
"He is definitely a top target," Barklage said.
Related Article:
January 24, 2010

Political Notebook: State Tax Commission nominee, Frank
Barnitz under fire
Group linked to Kinder sending out robo calls.
Chad Livengood
A political action committee with ties to Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder's campaign apparatus is sending robo
calls to constituents of state Sen. Frank Barnitz, targeting Barnitz for supporting Gov. Jay Nixon's nominee to the
State Tax Commission.

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Better Leadership for Missouri, a continuing committee that helped finance Kinder's re-election in 2008, began
sending robo calls to Barnitz's constituents Wednesday evening saying the Dent County Democrat is supporting
a Nixon nominee who favors raising taxes on farmers.
Nixon's nomination of former state Rep. Bill Ransdall of Waynesville to the State Tax Commission is pending
confirmation in the Missouri Senate. As a constituent from his district, Barnitz is sponsoring Ransdall's
Ransdall began a temporary appointment to the tax commission in November.
In December, Ransdall and the other two tax commissioners approved a plan to raise valuation (and taxes) on
the state's most productive land by 29 percent and lower the taxable valuation of the least productive ground
nearly 25 percent.
Republican lawmakers have vowed to reject the tax commission's valuation plan -- scheduled to take effect Jan.
1 -- with resolutions from both chambers.
On Thursday, state Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, said on the Senate floor he will block Ransdall's
confirmation because Ransdall voted to raise taxes on some farmers.
Nixon, a Democrat, has said he doesn't support the tax commission plan. But with Ransdall, the tax commission
is now controlled by two Democrats and one Republican -- raising the question whether Nixon should have done
something to stop the tax increase (and decrease) on farmland.
Barnitz, a farmer from Lake Spring, said he also opposes the tax commission's land re-valuation plan.
"I'm in favor of the resolution to stop the increase," said Barnitz, who is up for re-election this year.
Kinder's campaign used the Better Leadership for Missouri committee in 2008 to route tens of thousands of
dollars in over-the-limit campaign contributions that had to be returned after the Supreme Court tossed out a law
lifting contribution limits in 2007.
Kinder, of course, is viewed as Nixon's likely Republican opponent in 2012, should the governor choose to run
for re-election.
For the past six months, Better Leadership for Missouri has reported limited activity in Missouri Ethics
Commission reports.
At the end of June, the committee had just $667 in cash on hand. Expenses for the robo calls against Barnitz will
likely be reported in April after the first quarter ends.
The committee's treasurer, Chris Holloway of Lee's Summit, did not return a phone call seeking comment.
In the past, the committee has hired Kinder's political consultant, David Barklage, who also could not be reached
for comment.
The Missouri Republican Party was unaware of the robo calls until the News-Leader inquired about them, a
spokesman said.
But MRP Executive Director Lloyd Smith said Barnitz should expect to be targeted by conservatives this election
"No one should be surprised that Frank Barnitz's conservative credentials are being challenged," Smith said in a
statement. "Barnitz is out of touch with his district, and we expect that conservative groups will continue raising
concerns about his record."
But Barnitz said "it's a mile long" stretch for the PAC tied to Kinder to assert he's supporting a tax increase by
carrying Ransdall's nomination on Nixon's behalf.
"But they're proven in the past that they don't have to tell the truth," Barnitz said of robo calls.

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‘Stacked taxes’ bill advances
By St. Joseph News-Press
Monday, January 25, 2010

A House committee has advanced a bill that could end the uncertainty over certain sales taxes in St. Joseph and
other municipalities.
House Bill 1442, sponsored by state Rep. Tim Jones, R-Eureka, would specify in state law that cities such as St.
Joseph could continue collecting ―stacked taxes‖ that had previously gained voter approval. The law follows a
court ruling in 2008 that the city of Iberia, Mo., near Lake of the Ozarks, had illegally stacked two capital
improvement taxes.
The ruling had cities, which previously relied on the Department of Revenue‘s assurance that it was legal to pass
multiple taxes of the same type, worried that they would have to stop collecting and repay tax revenue.
St. Joseph city officials feared the city would be forced to give back $33.25 million it has collected on separate
general sales taxes of 1 cent and one-half cent.
The House Special Standing Committee on General Laws passed HB 1442 out of committee last week on a 13-
0 vote. The bill says cities such as St. Joseph could continue to collect stacked sales taxes and that the
combined rate of sales taxes adopted under city capital improvement programs cannot exceed 1 percent.
Those testifying in favor of the bill last week included the Joplin city attorney and a representative of the St.
Joseph Area Legislative Coalition.
Senate race spending
Candidates for Missouri legislative races don‘t file for election until Feb. 23, but the money is starting to roll in.
State Rep. Dr. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, has raised $83,015 in his campaign for the 34th District Senate seat,
which covers Buchanan and Platte counties. That‘s more than three times as much state Rep. Martin Rucker, D-
St. Joseph, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat.
―I think it‘s going pretty much as expected. The session takes up most of my time now,‖ Dr. Schaaf said. ―I feel
like I‘m on track.‖
Mr. Rucker reported that he has raised $25,675, including almost $23,000 during the last quarter. The amounts
were based on electronic filings made with the Missouri Ethics Commission on Jan. 15.
―Whether they are helping me call voters or knock on doors, I appreciate all they have done,‖ Mr. Rucker said of
his supporters. ―This year I will need them more than ever before, and the response in the community has been
very positive. Now, it is time to continue to build momentum for the campaign throughout 2010.‖
The only other candidate to file a campaign finance report was state Rep. Jason Brown, R-Platte City. He
reported raising $77,000 but has announced he is now running for the county commission.
In the Feb. 2 special election to fill the District 27 House seat in St. Joseph, Democrat Pat Conway has raised
$1,875 and Republican Jason Gregory filed paperwork indicating his contributions have not exceeded $500.
Medical marijuana
State Rep. Dr. Rob Schaaf reinforced his maverick reputation when he signed on to a bill that would legalize
medical marijuana.

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Dr. Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, said House Bill 1670 has no chance of passing, but he signed on to send a message.
Dr. Schaaf said he believes President Barack Obama has already circumvented the law by approving a lax drug
enforcement approach in states with medical marijuana laws.
He also said, as a physician who has been involved in hospice care, the chemicals in marijuana are cheap and
effective in dealing with pain.
―Legalizing medical marijuana is not the same as legalizing marijuana for recreational usage,‖ he told St. Joe
Dr. Schaaf added that he might not vote for the bill.

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Prescribing a solution: Law enforcement, law makers
propose requiring prescription for pseudoephedrine
products to curb meth production
Monday, January 25, 2010
By Erin Hevern ~ Southeast Missourian

An increase in the incidents of manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine in 2009 has convinced the
Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force that lawmakers need to do more than move pseudoephedrine, a key
component in making the drug, behind the pharmacy counter.
After a drop in the number of meth labs seized from 2005 to 2008, people seeking pseudoephedrine seemed to
find a way around the law and began buying the legal amount at multiple pharmacies, according to Kevin Glaser,
director of the drug task force.
Glaser said they seized 146 meth labs in 2009, a dramatic increase from the 42 labs busted in 2008.
Task force officers also saw a jump in the incidents of methamphetamine possession and distribution -- from 85
cases in 2008 to 348 in 2009.
A more strict change to the law may bring the numbers back down, said Glaser, and keep them down.
A bill filed by Rep. Scott Lipke, R-Jackson, would require a doctor's prescription to purchase medicines
containing pseudoephedrine, which is most commonly used to treat ear and sinus infections. The bill is aimed to
keep the decongestant out of the hands of individuals who plan to abuse it, yet still available to those who need
"We've got to do something that stops the sale of that product," Glaser said. "We'd like to see the law go
statewide, that is what's going to be most effective."
Vic Heisserer, a relief pharmacist for Horst Pharmacy of Jackson, said the law, if passed, may not be handy for
some, but it would be in the public's best interest in the long run. The law as it is written now isn't working to
counter the use of methamphetamine, he said.
"The person that's buying the medicine, they write down their license number themselves. They can give a false
name," Heisserer said. "I do know that it's being abused."
While a more rigid law may inconvenience some, Lipke has said anyone that needs the medicine will not be
denied it.
Glaser said much of the opposition for the bill stems from individuals concerned they'll have to see a doctor each
time they need a cold remedy containing pseudoephedrine.
"If you're a person that absolutely has to have it, a doctor could write the prescription and it's good for a year,"
Glaser said. "We're trying to take the burden off the law-abiding people who are using it for legitimate purposes."
If people are willing to use Claritin or Zyrtec, medicines containing decongestants that don't have the qualities for
making meth and available without a prescription, a change in the law may be more adaptable.
"There's just so many other products on the market that will do the same thing as far as your cold is concerned
that don't have the qualities for making methamphetamines," Glaser said. "Why even mess with this one?"

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The Kennett, Mo., and Poplar Bluff, Mo., city councils have already declared their support of the passage of the
bill by passing a city ordinance making pseudoephedrine available only by prescription in their respective
And while city leaders in Jackson have had general conversations on the issue, Mayor Barbara Lohr said they
haven't begun to discuss it as a group. She said the city is supporting Lipke in his efforts to pass the bill that
includes the entire state of Missouri.
"That way it would be consistent throughout the state," Lohr said. "I think that it would help the entire state ... in
that it would reduce the number of meth labs in our area."
The city of Cape Girardeau has also not formally discussed the issue, according to city manager Scott Meyer.
City leaders are working through various other issues, but that's not an indication of whether they'll address the
issue of pseudoephedrine, Meyer said.
"What I know about the issue is, we do have a meth problem and whatever can be done to help that I think are
appropriate acts," Meyer said. "Statewide is a more comprehensive way to look at it."

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Voters may ‘regulate’ sex offenders
Monday, January 25, 2010

Matt Bartle doesn‘t care to critique the Missouri Supreme Court‘s recent ruling that two sex offender laws
couldn‘t apply to those convicted before the laws went into effect.
Instead, the lawyer and state senator from Jackson County intends to let Missouri‘s voters decide the issue —
possibly as soon as November.
This month, the Supreme Court ruled that a 2008 law prohibiting registered sex offenders from handing out
candy on Halloween and the 2004 law preventing convicted sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a
school or child-care facility couldn‘t apply to those convicted prior to the laws‘ passage.
Missouri‘s Constitution contains a provision that prohibits retrospective punishment. The court interpreted that
the laws added additional punishment, not regulation as prosecutors argued, on sex offenders.
So all of the sex offenders convicted prior to 2004 now can live wherever they choose in the state, at least for a
few months.
Mr. Bartle, chairman of the Missouri Senate Judiciary Committee, said he believes the next step for proponents
of those two laws is a constitutional amendment that would allow both laws to apply to all offenders.
―Let‘s just say we are not caught flat-footed here,‖ the Republican said. ―(This) doesn‘t leave us in a spot where
we don‘t know what to do. It‘s very obvious what the next step is.‖
Mr. Bartle sponsored the bill that required sex offenders to register in 2003 and saw the Halloween and 1,000-
feet bills come through committee, as well. He predicts the state Legislature will pass a joint resolution during its
current session, and believes the amendment could go before voters by November.
―It‘s not about extending the punishment for any of these people,‖ said Mr. Bartle, who said he thinks voters
would approve an amendment. ―It‘s about putting the rest of the community on notice.‖
Sue Rinne, director of Buchanan County‘s public defender office, said she would oppose a state amendment,
though she wouldn‘t side with or against either law. Instead, Ms. Rinne expressed her concern that the sex
offender registry, the starting point for these restrictions, doesn‘t differentiate between crimes.
―There is a scale in terms of sex offense,‖ she said. ―They are not all the same, and these statutes do nothing to
address that. ... All sex offenders are lumped into this big category.‖
Mr. Bartle does worry about putting the same label on all offenders — from child rapists to a 19-year-old who
had consensual sex with a 16-year-old. He acknowledged that legislatures can go ―way too far‖ with sex offender
registries, and believes Missouri should be careful in the coming months to create a prudent list that doesn‘t lose
its meaning.
―The public is worried about the pedophile,‖ he said. ―All we do is hurt the public if we make the list so large, it‘s
not really meaningful anymore. This is an area where we need to be very careful.‖
Mr. Bartle said the Senate was ―getting the categories right as we speak. We‘ll be fine with retroactive (laws) as
long as we have categories.‖

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Posted on Sun, Jan. 24, 2010

Missouri considers letting emergency
medical technicians report dangerous
The Kansas City Star
Missouri police officers, doctors and therapists can turn in dangerous drivers to state licensing authorities.
But paramedics — such as Scott Patton, who has talked a woozy patient out of driving right after a seizure and
treated a seriously injured child at a crash caused by a medical episode — cannot.
A proposed bill would change that.
House Bill 1538 adds emergency medical technicians to the list of professionals who can report patients with
physical or mental conditions that impair their ability to drive safely.
State officials can then review cases and decide whether to revoke or add restrictions to a driver‘s license.
In the last fiscal year, law enforcement officers reported 725 such drivers, according to the Missouri Department
of Revenue.
Of those, 137 reports were for drivers with dementia, 64 for loss of consciousness and 59 for mobility problems.
Relatives, medical professionals and license offices reported an additional 600 drivers.
The department does not have statistics on how many of those drivers‘ licenses were revoked, communications
director Ted Farnen said.
The proposed bill would not require EMTs to report dangerous drivers, but it would allow them to do so without
fear of being sued.
Kansas drivers‘ licenses law does not include EMTs.
Rep. Gary Dusenberg, a Blue Springs Republican and former state trooper, said he introduced the bill this month
to help make Missouri roads safer.
―EMTs are on the scene of many accidents out there on our highways and byways, and they run into people that,
because of their medical condition, probably should not have been operating a vehicle in the first place,‖
Dusenberg said.
―They should be able to report these people.‖
Patton, who has worked for Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust more than 20 years, expects to testify in
favor of the bill.
He especially was frustrated after a call last year where a still-faint seizure patient ―had every intention of getting
in her car and driving away.‖
All he could do, he said, was explain the danger and urge the woman‘s relatives to keep her away from the

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January 25, 2010

Veteran directing Show Me Heroes
hiring program for businesses
Sarah D. Wire The Associated Press

Jefferson City -- When Lt. Colonel Alan Rohlfing left active duty for the Missouri National Guard last summer, he
had to look for a day job.
"That's when I started digging back in," he said. "For those that haven't been job hunting in the last few years, it's
changed a lot."
Rohlfing has been a guardsman and a civilian, an employer and an employee. He will use what he has learned
in each of those roles in his new job directing the state's recently launched veteran hiring program, Show Me
The Show Me Heroes program is designed to bring existing resources together to help connect veterans and
The recently started Web site asks employers to pledge to hire veterans and will have a list of open jobs in each
region. On Friday, there was one employer listed -- the state -- but Rohlfing said around 30 interested employers
have contacted him. These include small businesses, fast-food restaurants and auto repair shops.
Rohlfing, who served in both the Active Guard and Reserve and traditional National Guard over 24 years, said
the program will help showcase veterans' unique skills such as discipline, work effort and security clearance.
"A lot of time employers are not consciously aware of those things," he said. "They're all things that could be an
asset to an employer."
Rohlfing will be traveling the state talking with business owners, chambers of commerce and Rotary clubs.
Businesses that hire veterans can be eligible for tax credits and other benefits.

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                                  C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r M o n d a y , J a n u a r y 2 5 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 14 of 76

Posted on Mon, Jan. 25, 2010

MoDOT hopes Barrel Bob slows down
drivers through construction zones
Don‘t be alarmed if you see a 10-foot-tall man made of orange construction barrels close to the work zone near
the Paseo Bridge.
That‘s Barrel Bob. He‘s there to remind motorists to slow down and drive safely through the construction zone.
The Missouri Department of Transportation said that starting today, motorists can see him — along with a
message board — near Interstate 29/35 and Northeast Parvin Road.
Project director Brian Kidwell said in a release: ―Our crews are not as active during the winter months, and
motorists sometimes need to be reminded that they are still traveling through a construction site. We care about
the public‘s safety, as well as the safety of our crews, and encourage motorists to abide by the posted speed
Robert Ohl, a Clarkson Construction employee, created Barrel Bob.

Barrel Bob

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Midwest cities say new FEMA flood risk
maps are wrong
January 25, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST
DES MOINES, Iowa — More than a year and a half after a massive flood left a huge swath of eastern Iowa
underwater, the tiny farming community of Oakville is clinging to survival.
Many of the town's 400-or-so residents moved on after the June 2008 disaster, leaving local leaders desperate
to lure new faces to the community. But they say their efforts are being harmed by an ambitious government
initiative to update and digitize the nation's flood plain maps.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency started the $200 million-per-year project in 2004 as a way to
utilize advances in mapping technology to better identify areas susceptible to flooding. FEMA officials say the
new maps — some of which have won final approval and others which are still in their preliminary stages — will
allow for better zoning and help prevent future catastrophes like the flood in Iowa, which caused an estimated
$10 billion in damage.
But critics, including civic leaders, developers and home owners in several states, have complained that the new
maps are riddled with inaccuracies, seem arbitrarily drawn, and will stifle growth and hurt property values.
"Anyone building new construction, they are probably not going to settle here," said Oakville Mayor Benita
Grooms, who is critical of FEMA's proposed map for her town. "Why would they if they have to build their homes
up so high and pay $2,000 for flood insurance?"
Doug Boyer, whose home would be in the flood plain for the first time if FEMA's Oakville map gains final
approval, said it's inexplicable why FEMA extended the flood plain border to the center of Main Street in the
relatively flat town.
"The east side is in the flood plain and the west side is fine — it's odd that the water will stop at Main Street,"
Boyer said.
Garden City, Kan., has sued to prevent FEMA's proposed map for the city from taking effect. The map for the
first time designates areas around two decades-old drainage ditches as flood prone, even though the ditches
have never been a problem, said Kaleb Kentner, the city's community development director.
Should their challenge fail, the redistricting would force nearly 2,000 homes and businesses into a flood plain
and force property owners to buy expensive flood plain insurance, Kentner said.
The proposed digital maps for Linn County, Iowa, are almost unrecognizable, said county planning and zoning
director Les Beck. There is a stream that appears on aerial maps that isn't in the same place on the new digital
maps, he said.
"You overlay the maps and it's just not the same," Beck said. "It's in a different location.
And the new maps for Barre, Vt., predict that 20 percent more water would enter the city's business district than
the current maps predict, said Mike Miller, the city's planning director.
He said the maps will hamper redevelopment projects, and that the city is deciding whether to appeal to change
the maps.

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Josh deBerge, a FEMA spokesman based in Kansas City, said there are few substantial changes in the new
FEMA maps, and that any major changes were made because advances in mapping technology allowed for
better analysis.
"When home and business-owners know and understand their risk, they are more likely to take steps to reduce
their risk," deBerge said.
FEMA welcomes criticism of the digital maps and is open to making changes if a compelling scientific case can
be made, deBerge said.
"What we're looking for is evidence, a study or survey that would provide more detailed information that can be
incorporated," deBerge said.
Generally, it takes about 18 months from the time a preliminary map is released to when it takes effect. During
that time, FEMA holds community meetings followed a 90-day appeal process and a FEMA review of concerns
raised during the appeals process. Once an appeal is resolved, FEMA issues a letter of final determination and
provides the final map to the community.
If a challenge fails, communities may be stuck changing land use and development plans — a process that could
take up to six months before a new map takes effect.
Residents may have to pay thousands of dollars on surveys to prove they should be exempted from the maps,
and in some cases could be forced to elevate their homes.
John Bishop, a project manager for Illinois' Floodplain Mapping Program, which was contracted to work on that
state's digital maps, said Congress appropriated money for the re-mapping project but not for new engineering
He said one problem was that FEMA started with maps that are up to 20 years old, then put them into digital
form, making improvements where possible. In some cases, new land development has changed water flow and
runoff patterns since the maps were first drawn.
But he said most of the problems in Illinois have been corrected, and that the new maps will be more precise and
easier to correct once new data become available.

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Stem cell OK should be law, backers say
ST. LOUIS — President Barack Obama's 2009 executive order that lifted some stem cell research restrictions
should be codified into law so future lawmakers cannot undo it, a national stem cell research advocate said
Bernard Siegel, executive director of the Florida-based Genetics Policy Institute, told about 138 people gathered
for a stem cell summit here that more work is needed on the political front to keep stem cell research foes from
blocking scientific advancements.
When President George W. Bush ordered in 2001 the ban of federal funding for the creation of new embryonic
stem cell lines, it set research back years, Siegel said. But now science is riding a "tsunami of support," he said.
"Foes of this research are eventually going to lose," Siegel said. "Eventually. But in the meantime people are
dying right now. They're still suffering."
Siegel was the keynote speaker at the Hope Summit, sponsored by the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures,
a statewide stem cell research advocacy group.
Donn Rubin, the chairman, said the conference was meant to bring together people interested in promoting the
research, and help others learn more about it.
Embryonic stem cells are master cells that can morph into any cell of the body. Scientists hope to harness them
to create replacement tissues to treat diseases such as diabetes and help with spinal injuries.
Opponents say scientists should instead pursue cures using only adult stem cells, which are easily obtained
from sources such as human skin without raising ethical concerns.
In 2006, Missouri was at the forefront of the national debate when voters approved Amendment 2 which protects
embryonic stem cell research while banning human cloning.
"You guys are really legendary for winning a fight in a really tough neighborhood," said Don Reed, a California
stem cell supporter.
Reed and other out-of-state advocates recapped recent political battles such as one playing out at the University
of Nebraska, where regents recently voted to reject a proposal to restrict stem cell research at university
Summit attendees also discussed new developments and their impact on the debate.
One such development took place in 2007, when scientists manipulated adult stem cells to behave like
embryonic stem cells.
Known as induced pluripotent stem cells, they are considered a major scientific breakthrough and could be the
key to developing new drugs to help combat several debilitating diseases, said Dr. Steven Teitelbaum, a
Washington University scientist who studies bone disease.
Opponents of embryonic stem cell research say such developments should eliminate the need to work with
"But it doesn't seem to be, which is ironic," said Jaci Winship, executive director of Missourians Against Human
Cloning. "It just doesn't make sense to take part in creating human life to destroy it."
While acknowledging the ethical debate, Teitelbaum said scientists need as many tools as they can get, and that
includes embryonic stem cells.
He cited recent developments that show how stem cells could help in the treatment of heart attacks, macular
degeneration and Parkinson's disease.
"So it's very clear that the promise of this tool is really enormous," he said.

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Posted on Sun, Jan. 24, 2010

Missouri’s governor, lieutenant governor
strike opposite tones
The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY | For Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, the State of the State address was about ―we.‖ For Lt. Gov.
Peter Kinder, it was about ―he.‖
Missourians who watched or listened to Nixon‘s second-ever State of the State speech last week heard a lot
references about ―working together‖ — often referring to the relationship between the Democratic governor and
Republican-led Legislature.
Those who then listened to Kinder‘s official Republican response heard a lot of criticism of Nixon, including an
assertion that Nixon had not worked together with Republicans.
It was stark contrast that highlights the political realities of Missouri‘s top two executives. If he wants to
accomplish much, Nixon needs the help of Republican lawmakers. Yet Kinder, who is expected to run against
Nixon in 2012, needs fellow Republicans to stand up to the Democratic governor.
George Connor, who is chairman of the political science department at Missouri State University, watched both
speeches with his eyes and ears attuned to the similarities and differences in the general approach taken by
Nixon and Kinder.
―Governor Nixon was trying hard to not be political, to speak to the regular voter, to speak to the people of
Missouri in fairly broad terms about his vision for the state over the next year,‖ Connor said.
―And I think Lieutenant Governor Kinder was very specifically talking to partisans,‖ Connor added. ―He was
pushing all of the buttons that needed to be pushed to galvanize the Republican base and talk to those people
who aren‘t already on board.‖
Just how different were the speeches?
Nixon made more than 200 mentions of ―we,‖ ―us,‖ ―our‖ or ―together‖ in his less than 50-minute speech. Perhaps
not surprisingly, he mentioned Kinder only once — to acknowledge Kinder‘s presence next to him on the House
Kinder made nearly 50 references to ―we,‖ ―us,‖ ―our‖ or ―together‖ — a usage that was fairly proportionate to
Nixon‘s considering Kinder‘s speech was less than 10 minutes long. But Kinder, who delivered his speech in a
separate room without Nixon present, referred to Nixon 40 times — either as ―Governor Nixon,‖ ―the governor‖ or
That equals at least one reference to Nixon every 15 seconds. And none of those references were
Kinder criticized Nixon‘s handling of federal stimulus money, the state budget, tax refunds, education, economic
development, vehicle license offices, health care and the E. coli controversy involving the Lake of the Ozarks —
to name more than few.
When Kinder used inclusive pronouns such as ―we,‖ they often were meant to exclude Nixon. He noted that
Republicans, whom he described as ―we,‖ have opposed Nixon‘s wrong policies. Or Kinder cast himself with
―we‖ the people in opposition to what Nixon was doing.

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By contrast, Nixon‘s frequent use of ―we‖ and ―our‖ was meant to emphasize the bipartisan collaboration among
his administration and lawmakers — both during his first year in office and, he hoped, in 2010.
Looking out over nearly 200 seated lawmakers, Nixon lauded how ―we‖ worked together to balance the budget
without tax increases, pass economic development legislation, boost higher education funding for health care
professionals and freeze college tuition rates — to name more than a few.
Then Nixon used ―we‖ to highlight all the things that could be accomplished together in 2010, such as the
passage of autism insurance legislation, ethics reforms and more economic development incentives.
―Let‘s make 2010 the year we put politics second, and put Missouri first,‖ Nixon concluded.
That could be a quite a challenge, because 2010 is an election year. All 163 House seats and half of the 34
Senate seats will be on the ballot this November. And while governor‘s office is not up for election, a competitive
race for an open U.S. Senate seat will focus a lot of national political attention on Missouri.

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                                  C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r M o n d a y , J a n u a r y 2 5 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 20 of 76

Legislators push balanced budget
U.S. deficits spur amendment call.
COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE             By Terry Ganey
Saturday, January 23, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — When Gov. Jay Nixon delivered his budget to the legislature for the upcoming fiscal year,
it contained spending cuts that will probably affect the delivery of services to the state‘s most vulnerable
Of the 544 state jobs being eliminated, 298 will be in the Department of Social Services, and 157 will be in the
Department of Mental Health.
Because the Missouri Constitution requires a balanced budget, Nixon must match incoming state revenues with
spending on government operations. And revenues have fallen $793 million because of the economic recession,
a 6.4 percent decrease.
Now a bipartisan group of state legislators believes Congress should have to balance the federal budget just as
states must.
Reps. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, and Allen Icet, R-St. Louis County, have filed separate resolutions asking
Congress to adopt an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that says appropriations shall not exceed annual
revenues except during times of war or fiscal emergencies.
―The biggest motivator for me is the growth of careless power in the federal government,‖ Kelly said. ―They don‘t
have to put their own limited resources on the line to exercise power. The growth in federal power comes from
spending without a limit.‖
Under the proposed amendment, Congress could issue bonds to be repaid within 20 years for specific capital
projects, provided the cumulative total of all bonds does not exceed 20 percent of all private-sector earned
Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group, has reported that federal deficits over the next 10
years will total $9 trillion, an amount that exceeds the entire debt accumulated in U.S. history through 2007. The
group said the deficit came from unfettered spending for farm and highway bills, prescription drug benefits, wars,
bailouts and the stimulus.
―I don‘t know where we get the money unless we print it and destroy the dollar,‖ said Tim Mooney, the national
coordinator of, a movement to enact a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
There have been attempts to pass a balanced-budget amendment before. And there is a difference of opinion
over whether the ability to run deficits helps the economy. Certainly, Missouri state government had the benefit
of Congress‘ ability to borrow money since the state budget would have been much worse had not Nixon been
able to rely on federal stimulus funds to balance the books.
To amend the Constitution, both houses of Congress must adopt an amendment by a two-thirds vote, followed
by approval of three-fourths of the states.
As he has in every Congress since 1981, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., has filed legislation requiring a
federal balanced-budget amendment. In 1997, a balanced-budget amendment lost in the U.S. Senate 66-34,
one vote shy of the two-thirds needed. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., voted for the amendment.
―We‘ve been close before, and we think we can get there again,‖ Mooney said.
Legislatures have petitioned Congress to adopt an amendment in the past. Kelly recalled voting for one in 1983.
―I hope this will trigger renewed interest in it,‖ Kelly said. Icet is chairman of the House Budget Committee, and
Kelly believed a hearing on the issue could come up in that committee next week.

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Few are ticketed under new texting-
while-driving bans
By Juana Summers

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri and Illinois have put laws in place to curb cell phone use behind the wheel, but
law enforcement officials in both states say the bans have proven tough to enforce.
Since Missouri made it illegal five months ago for young drivers to send text messages from behind the wheel,
the Highway Patrol has issued just 13 tickets for the offense statewide, resulting in eight convictions.
In Illinois, ticketing numbers were unavailable.
Even so, Missouri backers say the ban should be expanded for all drivers as a symbolic move to at least
discourage the practice.
"It's not like we have roadblocks to check on people that are texting," said Mike Right, a spokesman for AAA
Missouri. "The benefit of having it in the statute is voluntary compliance, sort of like every other law."
So far, 20 states, including Illinois, have banned texting by all drivers, according to the National Conference of
State Legislatures. Eight other states, including Missouri, have banned texting for the youngest drivers.
But law enforcement officials in Missouri and Illinois say enforcement has been slow going.
"Typically, whenever we have a new law, the first couple months we just write warnings and educate people,"
Missouri Highway Patrol Lt. John Hotz said.
Hotz said he's not surprised by the low number of tickets because the law is difficult to enforce due to the age
limit. It's hard for troopers to tell from a distance how old a driver might be.
Under Missouri law, drivers 21 and younger can be fined up to $200 if caught sending text messages while
behind the wheel. Drivers can also receive two points against their license. Missouri drivers who receive eight
points against their license in 18 months may have their license suspended. Sending messages while driving is a
primary offense, which means drivers can be stopped for that alone.
The law makes exceptions for drivers to send messages from behind the wheel to report crimes or seek
emergency assistance. The law also states that drivers can talk on their cell phones while driving.
Illinois law now bans all drivers from sending or reading electronic messages while behind the wheel, but it also
bans talking on a cell phone while driving through a construction zone or school zone. The law took effect Jan. 1.
Dave Druker, spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, compared the law's effectiveness to that of
laws requiring seat belts. While it might not net more tickets, it puts the idea on people's minds, he said.
Lawmakers nationwide have proposed more than 200 bills intended to limit various types of distracted driving,
including additional proposals in Missouri, along with Kansas, South Carolina and New Jersey.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called distracted driving a "hot button" issue for state legislatures and said
he's against all distracted driving, not just cell phone use.
"I don't care what the distraction is," he said. "We're going to set the highest bar possible. There should be no

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Several bills are circulating in Congress urging states to regulate distracted driving. One bill, pushed by Sen.
Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., would require states to ban texting while driving within two years or lose 25 percent of
their annual federal highway funding.
President Barack Obama recently signed an executive order banning all federal employees from texting while
driving on the job.
Missouri Sen. Ryan McKenna, who last year sponsored a bill leading to the state's texting ban, said the measure
doesn't go far enough.
"I thought it was a horrible public policy for the state to say that if you're 22 years old, it's a safe practice,"
McKenna, D-Crystal City, said.
McKenna is one of the state lawmakers who have proposed an expanded ban on texting while driving for all
ages. One proposal would additionally block text messaging behind the wheel when on a paved road, but allow it
on gravel roads.
Rep. J.C. Kuessner, D-Eminence, said that bill would allow drivers to pull off the road onto the shoulder or to a
nearby gravel road to send a text message without being ticketed.
But critics say the issue of distracted driving shouldn't be a legislative issue and that drivers need to be educated
about the dangers of impaired driving.
"Adding additional penalties is not going to clear up someone's behavior," said Sen. Jolie Justus, who voted
against the texting ban last year.
Justus, D-Kansas City, said the ban seemed hard to enforce and redundant because the state already has laws
against careless and imprudent driving.

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Sex offenders gain freedom for now
Sunday, January 24, 2010

Editor‘s note: This is the first in a two-part series. On Monday, we‘ll look at legislative efforts that could allow
voters to decide retrospective restrictions on sex offenders.
Nine months after she questioned the constitutionality of Missouri‘s Halloween restrictions, Sue Rinne finally got
her victory, albeit vicariously.
Ms. Rinne, head of Buchanan County‘s public defender office, challenged a 2008 law that prohibited registered
sex offenders from handing out candy and placed other restrictions on their Halloween activities, even if their
convictions occurred before the law passed. Associate Judge Keith Marquart ruled against Ms. Rinne in that
case in Buchanan County Circuit Court. But this month, the Missouri Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, sided
with the defense in regard to a pair of cases out of eastern Missouri.
The Supreme Court ruled that the 2008 Halloween law and the 2004 law that prevented convicted sex offenders
from living within 1,000 feet of a school or child-care facility couldn‘t apply to people convicted before the laws
went into effect. Missouri‘s Constitution contains a provision that prohibits
retrospective punishment. The court interpreted that the laws added additional punishment, not regulation as
prosecutors argued, on sex offenders.
―When there is an emotional issue like that, there is always a danger that we forget our constitutional rights, and
this case just reaffirmed those,‖ Ms. Rinne said.
The Supreme Court‘s decision means about 60 of Buchanan County‘s 207 registered sex offenders now can
reside within 1,000 feet of a school or child-care facility, according to the sheriff‘s department, since their
convictions came before the 2004 law passed. (In 2008, the court ruled sex offenders didn‘t have to move if they
occupied their current residence prior to the passage of the law.)
For the sheriff‘s department, it also means less oversight on Halloween. In 2009, the department checked up on
132 offenders. But under the court‘s ruling, the Halloween law now will apply to only nine people in Buchanan
County. In the two years the law has been in effect, the prosecutor‘s office charged 12 violations in 2008 and
three last year.
The seven Halloween cases still pending will be dismissed, along with a pair of cases in which offenders already
were found guilty but appealed or were awaiting sentencing. The rest of the Halloween cases didn‘t result in
punishment that‘s ongoing; thus the ruling won‘t affect any sentences. However, the conviction will not come off
the defendants‘ records.
―It‘s not completely unexpected,‖ County Prosecutor Dwight Scroggins said of the ruling. ―Prosecutors,
especially, are well aware of Missouri‘s more strict guidelines when it comes to the prospect of retrospective
laws. I don‘t think anyone was shocked. I think there were a lot of people who were disappointed.‖
But for proponents of the sex offender laws, like Mr. Scroggins, the battle is far from over. Now that the Supreme
Court has made its decision, the fight will shift to the Legislature and then, potentially, the ballot box.
A state constitutional amendment removing the retrospective restrictions on sex offenders once again would
allow law enforcement officials and prosecutors to apply the laws to all offenders. Lawmakers aim to take up that
fight this year.

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Lean times come to Missouri parks
Youth corps, Web donations, bond issue seen as alternatives to keep parks afloat

JOPLIN GLOBE By Andy Ostmeyer

LIBERAL, Mo. — On a chilly Saturday morning, just after breakfast, David and Claudia Mundell stopped amid
the rolling sea of bluestem and bison known as Prairie State Park. Rain had made trails muddy, and the couple
ventured only a short way from the visitors center, but as they did they were greeted by the honking of geese
flying overhead.
Scanning the fog for bison, the Carthage couple offered their perspective on the importance of Missouri‘s parks.
―We come here about three to four times a year,‖ said David. ―I think it‘s very nice to provide these parks for the
public. It‘s worth every penny ... or really worth every tax dollar.‖
But those tax dollars are getting to be about as rare as the remnants of unplowed prairie this park celebrates.
The same economy that squeezes households, businesses, schools and more has made for lean times at
Prairie and other state parks and historic sites.
Just three years ago, Missouri‘s one-tenth of a percent sales tax generated $41.3 million for state parks and
historic sites. This year, the projected revenue is $36.7 million, a drop of $4.6 million, or 11 percent.
That has park superintendents and officials at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which oversees
the parks, scrambling to make ends meet.
In November, Missouri‘s park system reduced staffing by 100 people, through a combination of layoffs and
unfilled positions.
―Every park in the system lost a couple positions,‖ said Judd Slivka, spokesman for the Missouri DNR. He notes
that payroll is the park system‘s biggest expense, costing about $100,000 per day.
At the same time, visitation is up and Slivka said the economy is the reason for that, too.
―We‘re free,‖ he noted. Visitors can hike trails, watch bald eagles soar overhead, or just gaze at unique karst or
other features without spending a dime.
At Table Rock Lake State Park, near Branson, which is one of the most popular parks in the state system, there
were 1,161,996 visitors through Nov. 30 of 2009, topping visitation in 2007 and 2008. Roaring River State Park,
near Cassville, another popular destination, had 638,617 visitors last year, and was on track to top that in 2009,
said Slivka.
Previous problems
Youth corps, Web donations, bond issue seen as alternatives to keep parks afloat
While the current economic crisis has aggravated funding challenges, problems existed even in better times.
Frustrated with the pace of development, city officials in Lamar a couple years ago asked the National Park
Service to take over management of the Harry Truman Birthplace State Historic Site.
State and city leaders in 1997 developed a master plan for that site that included adding a mule barn, a historic
school and a media center. Twelve years later, according to Lynn Calton, city administrator, little has been done.
So the city asked U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Missouri, for help, and Skelton sponsored an amendment this year
that provides funds for a feasibility study on adding Truman‘s birthplace to the national park system.
City leaders have said they see Truman‘s birthplace as a tool for economic development.
And according to the Missouri Parks Association, an advocacy organization, state parks and historic sites
already faced a backlog of projects and improvements that was pushing $200 million and that will only grow as
money gets harder to come by.

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Other states
The hit that Missouri parks has taken is being felt around the country. All over the United States, state parks and
historic sites have closed, either permanently or temporarily, vacancies have gone unfilled and fees have been
raised for visitors. Some states have lost as much as one-fourth of their park staff.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources went to park superintendents and administrators before the
layoffs in November, asking them to tighten up their budgets.
Last fall, the Missouri Parks Association said the funding crisis facing the parks was its top priority, and that it
would work with the state to find revenue. It passed a resolution asking the state to reconsider the layoffs of what
it said was 15 percent of the agency‘s work force, and instead look at reduced work weeks, furloughs and other
temporary measures.
According to Susan Flader, MPA president, diversion of sales tax money has hurt the parks. Missouri parks used
to get the sales tax money and as much as $11 million in general revenue on top of that tax income for staff
salaries. Benefits also were paid for out of a different state budget. But as that money was stripped out of the
budget over the years, the sales tax — supplemented by fees — has carried the full weight of paying for parks.
Flader said there always have been infusions of state and federal money to supplement the parks operations
budget and now is the time for another infusion. MPA wants legislators this session to pass a bond issue of $700
million to $1 billion for statewide capital improvement projects, and they want 10 percent of that for projects at
state parks.
Donations help
State officials, meanwhile, are looking at a couple of other ways to make ends meet.
The DNR created a new Web page ( so people can make donations to
help maintain the state‘s 85 state parks and historic sites.
Youth corps, Web donations, bond issue seen as alternatives to keep parks afloat
―People have always been able to donate to state parks at the state parks,‖ Slivka said, and last year
contributions kicked up between $55,000 and $60,000, but the state hopes the Web page makes giving easier
and more accessible.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon also announced last week that he wants to put more than 1,000 young people to work
cleaning up state parks as part of the ―Missouri State Parks Youth Corps.‖ The governor said they will pick up
trash, cut brush and build trails.
Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said the $1.8 million program is being financed with federal stimulus money.
For visitors such as the Mundells, the parks remain a good investment.
―People who can‘t own chunks of land need a place to go to touch base with this land, even more so now since
many people can‘t afford to take long vacations,‖ said Claudia. ―They need to visit these state parks close to
Globe photographer Roger Nomer contributed to this article.
Six bucks
Currently, it is estimated that the average Missourian pays $6 a year through the sales tax to support the state
park system, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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January 24, 2010

15 Missouri communities served by Sho-Me
Power forced to look for new power supply
Co-op scaling back on selling electricity
Chad Livengood News-Leader

In late spring, 100 turbines at the state's fourth wind farm in northwest Missouri will start going online, almost
doubling the output of the other three farms combined.
The electricity will flow across the grid to the customers of Springfield-based Associated Electric Cooperative
Inc., which serves 51 cooperatives across rural Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma.
But after 2013, the wind-generated power likely won't flow into homes and businesses in Cabool, Mansfield,
Waynesville and a dozen other small communities across southern Missouri.
Marshfield-based Sho-Me Power sent notices to the 15 communities in December saying it can no longer sell
them electricity after Christmas of 2013 on a long-term basis.
"Getting electricity to our co-ops is our priority; that's who owns us," said Jerry Hartman, manager of
administrative services for Sho-Me Power.
Associated Electric, which sells power wholesale to Sho-Me Power, is scaling back on selling electricity to
municipal utilities because of an uncertain future in generating additional energy, said spokeswoman Nancy
Proposals in Congress to rein in carbon dioxide emissions believed to be contributing to man-made global
climate change have brought any plans to build or invest in new coal-burning power plants to a halt.
"Looking 20 years out, it gets very difficult to do that in today's environment," Hartman said. "It's an uncertain
future on coal and it takes a few years to build (a plant)."
The clean energy legislation, known as cap and trade, passed the U.S. House last summer but remains held up
in the Senate as lawmakers weigh the benefits against possible job losses.
Higher costs
Although the new wind farm in DeKalb County will increase the percentage of power Associated Electric gets
from wind from 1 percent to 4 percent, it won't be enough for sustainable growth into the future.
"It would take a lot more wind turbines ... to ever come close" to the demand, Southworth said.
Plus, burning fossil fuels remains less expensive for generating cheap electricity than alternative energy sources.
The cap-and-trade legislation in Congress would dedicate more federal subsidies to developing alternative
energy sources while making it more costly to burn coal for electricity generation.
While the source of wind power is free, wind and other alternative energy sources "cannot produce electricity
that can be sold at reasonable rates, especially with carbon legislation pending in Congress," according to a
Dec. 28 letter Sho-Me Power sent to the city of Houston.

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In March 2008, Associated Electric suspended indefinitely plans to build a new 660-megawatt coal-fired power
plant near Norborne after cost estimates reached $2 billion and financing dried up. Increased environmental
regulation also was cited as a factor in all but abandoning the project.
Sho-Me Power said it was exercising a termination clause in its contract that called for three years advance
notice. Without doing so, the power cooperative would have had to continue supplying power to Houston until
2033, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the News-Leader.
But losing Sho-Me Power will likely result in higher electricity rates from wholesale suppliers in other parts of
Missouri or out-of-state, officials said.
"What I can see as the biggest detriment to the city is our power costs will -- I'm sure -- be much higher," said
Larry Sutton, city administrator for Houston.
Since Sho-Me Power still owns the power lines that run into the 15 cities, the municipalities will have to pay Sho-
Me for transmission costs as well.
"Sho-Me is going to make money on it, even if they don't sell us anything," Sutton said.
Changing suppliers
Sho-Me Power's existing nine cooperatives across southern Missouri will not accept any of the municipalities into
their systems, Hartman said.
State Sen. Frank Barnitz, a Dent County Democrat, is organizing a meeting next week of officials from affected
towns to assess their options for new power sources.
"Even though we've got three years before the actual termination date of this, three years can creep up on you
real quickly," said Alan Clark, city administrator for St. Robert. "We've got to find an energy supplier that's going
to give us some economical rates for our residents."
St. Robert and Waynesville are among the affected communities. Fort Leonard Wood purchases electricity from
Sho-Me Power but is involved in a separate contract and exempted from the shut-off notices, Hartman said.
Clark worries that even the perception of St. Robert not having a long-term power supplier could hurt the growing
Pulaski County community's economic development.
"The last thing I want to do is have a developer think he's not going to have electric power because of the
situation with Sho-Me right now," Clark said.
One source of power for the 12 communities is a cooperative setup, managed by the Missouri Association of
Municipal Utilities.
In its 10th year, the Missouri Public Energy Pool has 35 cities -- including Rolla -- that pool resources and invest
in generating facilities in Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas, said Ewell Lawson, a lobbyist for the state's municipal
Ava recently stopped buying power from Sho-Me Power in favor of joining MOPEP, and Lebanon is scheduled to
switch to MOPEP on April 1, Lawson said.
Lebanon decided to switch before getting an expected shut-off notice from Sho-Me Power, said Kevin Barber,
electric department supervisor for city of Lebanon.
"They weren't telling us they were going to kick us off the system, but they hinted to us that we should start
looking," Barber said.
The cities also could pool resources and negotiate for bulk power on their own, Barnitz said.

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Barnitz said Associated Electric's inability to continue serving the municipalities shines light on the state's lack of
a long-term and affordable energy source if burning coal is discouraged because of the high levels of pollution
"You're up against the environmental crowd that is just hellbent against any coal," Barnitz said. "We have to look
at it from a standpoint of reliability of power."
Additional Facts
Towns affected
Sho-Me Power Electric Cooperative in Marshfield plans to stop selling electricity to the following Missouri cities
after 2013:
- Cabool
- Cuba
- Houston
- Mansfield
- Mountain View
- Newburg
- Richland
- Salem
- Seymour
- St. Robert
- Steelville
- Sullivan
- Waynesville
- Willow Springs
- Winona

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January 24, 2010

Three northern Missouri wind farms supply
St. Louis-based Wind Capital Group has three existing wind farms in northern Missouri that supply electricity to
Springfield-based Associated Electric Cooperative Inc.
Located in Atchison, Gentry and Nodaway counties, the three farms produce between 50.4 and 56.7 megawatts
of electricity -- enough energy to power 20,000 homes.
A fourth 150-megawatt wind farm, Lost Creek, in DeKalb County is currently under construction.
Once complete, it will power 50,000 homes, according to Wind Capital Group.
Associated Electric says wind power from the three existing farms makes up 1 percent of its portfolio. It's
expected to grow to 4 percent after Lost Creek is fully online.
Associated Electric serves 870,000 customers across rural Missouri, northeast Oklahoma and southeast Iowa.


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Conceal and Carry Permits Spike
COLUMBIA - Todd Burke, one of a handful of mid-Missouri conceal and carry instructors, has seen his class
sizes double in the past two years.
Applications for permits have quadrupled in Boone and Cole counties since 2007, and statewide, 86,000 people
have the certification. The course is required to apply for a permit.
Class sizes jumped in early 2008, when a wave of home invasions hit the area, Burke said.
"People come in in the morning and introduce themselves and say they just don't feel safe," Burke said. "The
crimes were taking place in a matter of minutes and the response times are longer than that, so people know
they have to take care of themselves."
Some people are even worried President Barack Obama will move to limit conceal and carry rights on a federal
level, Boone County Sheriff's Department Maj. Tom Reddin said.
Ian Fawks, a Moberly physician, has had his permit for three years.
"I felt like it was important to be able to protect myself," he said.
Now, Fawks is a regular at Target Masters, a firearm shop and shooting range on Rangeline St. in Columbia.
Sales are up across the board, sales clerk Mike O'Dell said.
But with interest in conceal and carry on the rise, opponents say students don't get nearly enough training.
"While there are states with even lower course hour requirements than Missouri, I would be more comfortable
with a longer course," said Amanda Shelton, president of the MU College Democrats.
When asked about whether someone can learn enough about weapons in eight hours, Reddin said a person
could. "The thing that becomes important following that is maintaining the skill," he said.
Most people who apply for permits aren't violent people, and criminals often go around the permit requirement by
obtaining guns illegally, Reddin said.
Below are the permit data for previous years in Boone and Cole counties, as well as statewide. Missouri first
allowed conceal and carry in 2004.
MISSOURI (total permits held on this date)
       August 2004 – 7,798
       August 2005 – 18,504
       August 2006 – 27,362
       August 2007 – 36,105
       August 2008 – 50,507
       Nov. 30, 2009 – 85,813
BOONE COUNTY (new permit applications by year)
       2005: 181 applicants
       2006: 142 applicants
       2007: 216 applicants
       2008: 669 applicants

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      2009: 967 applicants
COLE COUNTY (new permit applications by year)
      2005: 111 applicants
      2006: 107 applicants
      2007: 170 applicants
      2008: 273 applicants
      2009: 561 applicants

KOMU-TV      Reported by: Theo Keith
Edited by: Alyson Myles

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Ruling seen as unlikely to spark corporate
rush to get political
The Kansas City Star
―I’m Joe Johnson, president of MacGuffin Enterprises, and I approved this message.”
You haven‘t seen that kind of political commercial yet, although it could be on the way. The Supreme Court, in a
closely decided landmark case this week, said corporations, labor unions and advocacy groups had a First
Amendment right to directly advertise on behalf of political candidates and issues.
On Friday, though, area experts and consultants played down the possibility of a torrent of corporate political
commercials and campaigns — at least in the short term.
Direct political advocacy, they said, usually makes someone mad.
―If you bring the boardroom into politics, you bring politics into the boardroom,‖ said Kansas City political and
business consultant Patrick Tuohey. ―Can you imagine what the annual shareholders meeting might look like
(after a political endorsement)?‖
Others in the corporate world and politics agreed. Most companies, they said, must answer to customers,
employees, and shareholders, any of whom might be upset if the CEO decides a corporation should endorse a
candidate on television or in the newspaper days before an election.
―You have to be sensitive as a company when contributing to any candidate,‖ said Betsey Solberg, interim
general manager of the Kansas City office of Fleishman-Hillard public relations.
―When you‘re dealing with people, you‘re not always putting your money on a sure thing,‖ she said. ―Your
candidate may slip and then you‘re sitting there with your company‘s name on his golf bag.‖
Barbara Koirtyohann, director of public affairs of privately owned Hallmark Cards Inc., said she ―can‘t imagine‖
the corporation directly endorsing or opposing candidates. Instead, she said, employees can give to HallPAC, a
political action committee that then gives to campaigns.
Warren Erdman of Kansas City Southern Railway — and a former aide to Republican Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri
— said most companies won‘t be in a hurry to buy political ads.
―It‘s a new law, it has not been tested,‖ Erdman said. ―And to be honest, we get pounded from political
fundraisers so much already, most companies will choose to participate through existing channels.‖
Those channels include corporate and labor union PACs, trade associations and lobbyists, and direct giving by
corporate officers and employees to campaigns and candidates.
Alternative forms of political participation such as PACs grew from long-standing laws prohibiting corporations
from giving directly to candidates. That prohibition remains intact — the court‘s decision merely allows
companies — like people — to directly speak about candidates and issues on TV, the Internet and elsewhere.
The court‘s decision means labor unions are also allowed to directly advertise, although they have long been
heavily involved in political campaigns, providing organizational power as well as financial and logistical support.
That will continue.
But Pat Dujakovich, president of the Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO, said labor can‘t compete with wealthy
businesses in buying political commercials.

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―Labor unions have nowhere near the capital to spend that corporations have,‖ he said. ―Our strength is in our
numbers, their strength is in money.‖
Thursday‘s ruling appeared to surprise some experts.
They said the court could have issued a narrow opinion on the airing of a controversial anti-Hillary Clinton video
— the dispute that triggered the case — rather than a broad decision that essentially equates corporations and
labor unions with people.
Also, critics said, that decision could increase the influence of companies directly involved in political
Energy companies, for example, might purchase — or threaten to purchase — advertising involving candidates
debating climate change legislation.
Health care companies and insurers might buy time supporting or opposing candidates based on their positions
on health care reform.
―I just think the court got it dead wrong if it thinks that a $10 million expenditure in a campaign can‘t buy influence
of a corrupting nature the same way that a $10 million contribution can,‖ said Fred Werthheimer of Democracy
21, a watchdog organization.
But Chuck Caisley, a spokesman for Kansas City Power & Light, said his company would almost certainly stay
away from directly buying ads for a candidate or party, even though it is watching the cap-and-trade debate
―We could if we wanted to, and we‘ve actually talked about it,‖ Caisley said. ―But we really prefer a dialogue,
talking directly with our congressmen and women. It‘s not going to change our position very much at all.‖
KCP&L does have a political action committee, which spent almost $234,000 in the 2008 elections, according to Caisley said a board of directors for the PAC decided which campaigns got donations.
Other business people are concerned. More than three-dozen company heads — from Edgar Bronfman at
Seagram‘s to Alan Hassenfield at Hasbro Inc. — wrote Congress on Friday urging support for a bill limiting
campaign spending and fundraising.
―As business leaders, we believe the current political fundraising system is already broken,‖ their letter said. ―The
Supreme Court decision further exacerbates this problem.‖
Other business leaders, though, said the decision reaffirmed the First Amendment — and their right to take part
in politics.
―The Supreme Court‘s ruling frees American business from the yoke of second-class citizenship,‖ said Gregory
Casey, president and chief executive officer of the Business Industry PAC.
―The reason American business is active in politics in the first place is to influence public policies.‖
Others said the ruling could eventually impact other campaign fundraising restrictions, although it may take
months before that is clearly understood.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, for example, proposed new campaign contribution limits in the state in his speech
Wednesday to the General Assembly.
He told reporters the next day that he thought those limits would still be satisfactory with the Supreme Court
even after the ruling on corporate participation in politics.

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Missourians joins tens of thousands in
Washington for anti-abortion march
By Bill Lambrecht

WASHINGTON — Nearly 1,000 Missourians joined a massive anti-abortion rally in Washington on Friday that
doubled as a forum for renouncing further efforts by Congress to overhaul the nation's health insurance system.
Tens of thousands of people participated in the March for Life, protesting on the 37th anniversary of the Roe v.
Wade Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion. Many also celebrated the turn of events this week when the
surprising Massachusetts Senate election left congressional Democrats grasping for solutions on how to
proceed with health reform.
Maggie Bick, a coordinator of the Missouri Caravan for Life bus trip and a board member of Missouri Right to
Life, reflected the sentiments of many in the gathering in describing her worry that health insurance bills in
Congress could fund abortion.
"We always are energized for the march. We seem to be a little more energized today because of the events of
the last week," Bick said.
Speaking as she inched along Constitution Avenue toward the Supreme Court for a rally, Connie Eller of St.
Louis said that the victory of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts and the corresponding loss of the
Democrats' 60-vote supermajority offered new hope.
"But even if we hadn't won in Massachusetts, I think that people would be optimistic and determined because of
this foolish health reform bill," she said.
Before the anti-abortion forces arrived at the Supreme Court, abortion rights supporters held their own rally in
front of the Supreme Court. In a statement, the National Organization for Women said that women need to
oppose abortion funding restrictions in health care legislation. "We will not trade off the rights and needs of some
women for the benefit of others," the statement read.
Seven buses carrying about 300 people from St. Louis arrived for the March for Life in Washington at 5:40
Friday morning St. Louis time after an 18-hour journey. One bus broke down in Indiana. Hundreds more people
made their way from elsewhere in Missouri and southern Illinois to take part in a march that clogged streets
around the Capitol and Supreme Court.
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer told the Missourians that Congress was looking differently at health reform and other
matters since Republicans captured the Massachusetts Senate seat on the heals of victories in races for
governor in Virginia and New Jersey.
"It's basically dead now," Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, said of the Democrats' legislation to revamp the health
insurance system. "We have the opportunity now with the pendulum swinging our way to attack on all fronts."
Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield, told the Missouri visitors that the sentiments in the nation are shifting away from
support of abortion rights. But he said that it's hard to change votes in Congress. Positions on abortion are "a
profoundly fundamental view of life and the world," he said.

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Posted on Sat, Jan. 23, 2010

What is Ford’s future at Claycomo?
The Kansas City Star
Ford Motor Co.‘s Claycomo plant has thrived during one of the worst downturns in the auto industry, employing
4,000 workers to build the popular Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner SUV and the top-selling F-150 pickup.
But union leaders and auto analysts point out that Ford is designing a new version of the Escape, which could
make its debut as soon as 2011. And they‘re asking:
Will Claycomo get the new version, or another model altogether?
Ford isn‘t saying anything about its plans, and no one‘s predicting the 59-year-old plant will close. But economic
development officials and politicians are concerned. They recently formed the Ford 20/20 Task Force to lobby
the auto company to bring another product into the plant.
―We want Ford to be here in 2020,‖ said Jim Hampton, a group member and executive director of the Clay
County Economic Development Council.
On Friday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon met with Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally in Detroit. Saying he expected
discussions with Ford to continue, Nixon touted Missouri‘s advantages for the auto industry in producing energy-
efficient vehicles.
―We have a central location in the U.S., we have a rich automotive history and, most importantly, we have a
workforce of highly skilled and motivated workers,‖ Nixon said in a statement.
The 20/20 task force wants legislators and the public to realize that the future of Claycomo has statewide
implications. The group is urging state lawmakers to pass an economic incentive package to persuade Ford to
make what could be a $400 million to $500 million investment to upgrade the line that produces SUVs.
―The Claycomo plant obviously is important for our metropolitan area, but there are very few counties in Missouri
that don‘t have jobs tied to the facility,‖ said Clyde McQueen, a task force co-chairman and president of the Full
Employment Council in Kansas City. ―There are many parts of the state that have suppliers to the plant, and
there are Ford dealers everywhere that sell their popular models.‖
The Escape is built in three shifts exclusively at Claycomo. But the expectation among union leaders and auto
analysts is that Ford will end production of the current version of the Escape with the 2011 model. That could
occur by summer 2011.
Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans said it was company policy not to comment on future products and where
they might be built.
Most analysts believe Ford will move production of the redesigned Escape to Louisville, Ky., to a plant that
makes Explorers. The new Escape will be based on a Ford European compact SUV called the Kuga.
Ford plans to invest in the Louisville plant so it will be able to make the new Escape as well as other vehicles
based on that platform, said Alan Baum of Baum & Associates, a consulting firm in West Bloomfield, Mich.
Analysts believe Ford will convert facilities in Louisville; Wayne, Mich.; and Avon Lake, Ohio, to flexible
manufacturing systems that would allow the automaker to change models quickly to meet consumer demands.
While the flexible system is in place on the Claycomo F-150 line, the SUV line is not set up that way. A new
flexible body shop would have to be installed, an investment estimated at $400 million.

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―As you put money into these flex plants, it essentially increases their capacity because they can easily convert
to make different models,‖ Baum said. ―In that regard, it seems like the Escape line in Kansas City is on the
outside looking in right now.‖
Last year, there was speculation that the Transit Connect, Ford‘s new, small commercial delivery van, could be
built at Claycomo after Escape production ended. Now analysts believe Ford will build the van at Avon Lake,
although that has led to speculation that Claycomo might be in line for the bigger Econoline van currently made
in Ohio.
Despite the uncertainty, some experts find it hard to believe that Ford does not have a replacement product in
mind for Claycomo.
―I don‘t think Ford has slated the Kansas City plant for closing,‖ said David Cole, chairman of the Center for
Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Jeff Wright, who represents the production work force at the plant, agrees.
―It doesn‘t make sense to run a dual-system plant with just one line,‖ he said, referring to the F-150 line. ―You
lose the economic efficiencies that are built into the operations.‖
Wright, president of United Auto Workers Local 249, said he believes Ford will continue to make F-150s at
Claycomo, regardless of what happens to the SUV line. Ford only makes F-150s at one other plant, in Dearborn,
―When the economy comes back, I think we‘ll be back to two shifts on the F-150,‖ he said. ―We‘re the only plant
with the ability to make an eight-foot bed on the pickup. Every farmer and construction guy out there doesn‘t
want the shorter bed on their truck.‖
Wright noted that in exchange for concessions in the national contract in 2007, Ford pledged to invest in a
flexible body shop on the Escape line here. Last year, in obtaining further concessions, Ford reiterated that
Claycomo was one of five assembly plants that would receive a new product by 2012.
However, that was before this past fall, when more than 90 percent of the Claycomo work force rejected
additional concessions that Ford was seeking following the emergence of General Motors and Chrysler from
bankruptcy proceedings. Workers at most of the other U.S. Ford plants also rejected the concessions.
―Unlike GM and Chrysler, Ford didn‘t go into bankruptcy and eliminate all that debt,‖ Cole said. ―This puts an
enormous amount of pressure on Ford to continue to cut costs and build its vehicles in the most cost-efficient
locations. Kansas City isn‘t just competing with other domestic Ford plants for new products. It‘s competing with
Ford facilities worldwide.‖
Claycomo’s product line
Ford has built trucks at Claycomo since 1957. But the car/SUV line has seen models come and go. Here‘s the
lineup since 1970:
1970-1977: Ford Maverick
1978-1983: Ford Fairmont, Mercury Zephyr
1984-1994: Ford Tempo, Mercury Topaz
1994-2000: Ford Contour, Mercury Mystique
2001-current: Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner

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Missouri National Guard whistleblower fired after inquiry
By Tony Messenger

JEFFERSON CITY — A two-time whistle-blower who complained about racial
discrimination in the Missouri National Guard has been fired after an investigation
concluded he was guilty of professional misconduct.
The investigation centered on allegations that the soldier, Lt. Col. James Tate, abused
travel privileges. But after the Post-Dispatch began asking questions late last year
about the investigation, the Guard conducted an audit of Tate's travel that cleared him
of violating any Guard policies.
Tate learned the details of that travel audit in January, more than a month after he was
A 20-year veteran of the Guard, Tate, who is black, said he believed the Guard's
action was retaliation for his complaint in 2008 that then-Adjutant Gen. King Sidwell
discriminated against minorities and women in deciding promotions.
In late 2008, Tate, 42, and a dozen other black soldiers signed a letter to the NAACP
outlining several instances in which white soldiers were promoted over blacks and
women who appeared more qualified. Tate also filed a federal complaint about the
same issue and went public with his complaints in a story in the Post-Dispatch.
The Department of the Army dismissed Tate's complaint.
But since it was filed, several of the people who had complained to the NAACP and the Post-Dispatch have been
promoted by the new adjutant general, Gen. Stephen Danner.
Tate was dismissed from his full-time Guard position on Dec. 4, after what the Guard calls an "informal" investigation
into various allegations against him.
Citing federal law and military regulations, a Guard spokeswoman refused to make anybody from the Guard available
for an interview about the investigation of Tate.
But the investigation itself raises questions:
— Why was Tate fired when the general who conducted the investigation recommended a letter of reprimand?
— Why was Tate fired before the Guard audited his travel records?
— Why did the Guard use an "informal" process that kept Tate in the dark about the allegations?
A memo from Tate's military-appointed Guard attorney said the investigation wouldn't withstand the most basic legal
review process.
Tate believes the Guard kicked him out because he led the charge to protest discrimination and encouraged others to
speak out.
"Rather than seek the truth, the command sought an outcome," he said. "They wanted to silence me and send a clear
message to others: This is what you can expect if you step out of line."
The investigation into Tate's alleged misconduct started last Feb. 2. On Feb. 23, Sidwell's chief of staff, Col. Glenn
Hagler removed Tate from his position in the personnel department and informed him he was under investigation.
The most serious allegation was one that could have led to criminal charges. The Guard alleged that Tate had
fraudulently changed his home of record in 2002 to obtain travel benefits while at a training school in Leavenworth,

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Kan. At the time, Tate lived on the south side of Kansas City, and while in the school, he stayed at a hotel near the
airport — on the north side of the city.
But Tate never changed his home of record. And he produced e-mail traffic that showed it was Tate who first
questioned the travel orders that he stay in a hotel. But his superiors told him to do just that, according to the e-mails.
"I find myself apologizing for the bureaucracy in which I am surrounded," wrote Lt. Col. Alan Garrison, the Guard's
chief training officer, in an e-mail to Tate and others in September 2002.
Garrison goes on to tell Tate that his "order is properly issued" and has been cleared with the chief of staff.
The allegation was dropped.
The most serious remaining allegation against Tate was that he abused travel privileges, potentially costing taxpayers
thousands of dollars in a "scheme" to get travel approved outside normal Guard channels.
Again, Tate told investigators that the public record would clear him. But an investigator never sought Tate's travel
Based on interviews with some in the Guard who complained about Tate, the investigator suggested that a letter of
reprimand be placed in Tate's file and that a full audit of his travel be conducted to determine whether any laws had
been broken.
But Tate was fired before the audit was ordered.
The audit was finally completed this month.
"I do not find any evidence that LTC Tate did not have the proper authority to travel based on Missouri National Guard
… travel approval processes and procedures," wrote Col. Michael Navrkal of the Nebraska National Guard.
Navrkal, who didn't interview Tate in his investigation, questioned whether Tate traveled too much. The audit
examined 68 trips over a two-year period that included overnight lodging 43 times. The audit didn't mention any dollar
figure, though the amount of reimbursement could have included mileage, lodging and per diem.
However, Navrkal did not recommend that the Guard seek any reimbursement.
During part of Tate's tenure, he was the second in command overseeing the 70th Troop Command. He was based in
Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, and his troops were in armories all over the state. Tate's boss for part of his tenure,
he said, encouraged him to travel to see the various installations under his command. He traveled extensively to
Columbia, his current home, because it was centrally located to armories he supervised in Fulton, Moberly, Macon,
Jefferson City and Boonville, Tate said.
The other allegations against Tate: He was accused of lying to Hagler about a foot injury that kept him from attending
an awards ceremony in Kansas City in 2008, and using undue command influence by suggesting courses of
discipline that some of his subordinates thought were too harsh.
Georgia National Guard Gen. Joseph Wells concluded that Tate should be issued two letters of reprimand and that
the Guard should audit his travel vouchers.
The Missouri general who received the report, Gen. Larry Kay, wrote the letters of reprimand but also recommended
that Tate be removed from the Guard.
Danner, the adjutant general, agreed.
Missouri law doesn't allow for an appeal because the investigation was "informal" and not an official court-martial.
Tate couldn't confront his accusers. He didn't even know the allegations against him when he was first suspended
from duty.
Under Missouri law, Tate has no right to appeal his dismissal. If he had he been court-martialed, he could.
Military law expert Scott Silliman said it was not unusual for a state Guardsman to face an informal inquiry rather than
the more formal court-martial. That's because most states prefer to avoid the expense of a court-martial, which
follows most of the same rules of evidence as a regular court case, said the executive director of the Center on Law,
Ethics and National Security at Duke University.

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Tate said he would welcome a full investigation. "I'll tell you why they didn't choose that route: The evidence wouldn't
hold up," he said.
That's what Tate's military-appointed attorney, Maj. Daniel Patterson, said in his memo to the state's judge advocate,
suggesting the investigation lacked legal sufficiency and wasn't backed by evidence.
"The report is devoid of many if not most of the specific facts or statements cited by the investigating officer in his
'facts' paragraph," wrote Patterson, who in his civilian life is a Greene County prosecutor. "With regard to the travel
order and voucher allegations, the investigating officer did not even bother to gather the documents which would have
shown his findings to be completely erroneous."
Patterson concluded that the entire investigation was "fundamentally unfair."
Tate is no ordinary whistle-blower. Twice in the last decade, he has complained about racial problems in the Missouri
Guard, and both times he prompted changes.
In 2000, he and a white colleague complained to the NAACP about poor treatment of minorities. The National Guard
Bureau ordered a racial climate study of the Guard that found serious deficiencies. Shortly after that report, the
Missouri Air Guard appointed its first black, female general.
In 2008, using procedures that had been established after the NAACP complaint, Tate went to that organization
again. He and a dozen other soldiers signed a letter to the group complaining about situations in which blacks and
women were overlooked for promotions.
Tate and others, including Lt. Col. Nancy Jones and Lt. Col. Greg Mason, also took their complaints public in a Post-
Dispatch story.
Those complaints targeted Sidwell. At the time, Sidwell acknowledged that some situations had been "handled
poorly" by management but zealously defended himself against the discrimination allegations.
Later, after Jay Nixon became governor, he picked Danner to take over. Governors typically hand-pick adjutant
generals after taking office.
Since Danner has been in charge, Jones was promoted to the personnel director post that she had been passed over
for in favor of a white male. Mason, who had excellent officer reviews, has been promoted to colonel and is now one
of Danner's two chiefs of staff.
Several other minority and women officers, including some who signed the NAACP letter, have been promoted since
Danner took over.
But not Tate, who believes he is being singled out for one reason: "Because I had the audacity to draw attention to
Gen.Sidwell's practice of not selecting the best and most qualified people for promotion."
Tate points to his own officer reviews before his complaint against Sidwell changed things.
In November 2007, Sidwell gave Tate his highest officer ranking among peers. He was called "tough, but fair,"
"innovative and dynamic," "the top full-time brigade administrative officer … in the state."
Tate was called a "must promote" candidate for colonel.
Instead, he was fired.
"His best remedy is going to be in federal court," said Silliman, the military law expert.
When Tate was fired, he lost his full-time job. The Guard also is trying to take away Tate's federal commission as an
officer, which would completely kick him out of the military. He is currently taking college classes and looking for a job.
But he's hoping to get reinstated and continue working for the Guard.
Tate said that if he lost that battle, he intended to explore his legal options to protect his commission.
"I am confident that eventually the truth will prevail," he said. "This has been a bad experience for me. In spite of the
circumstances, I'd like to be reinstated. I love the Guard and want to continue serving my country."

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January 23, 2010

Career Ladder a divisive item in education
Some say Nixon sparing program hurts formula.
Chad Livengood News-Leader

Jefferson City -- Gov. Jay Nixon's proposed budget for next year increases basic spending for public education
by $18 million to a record $3.022 billion.
He also wants to preserve the politically popular $37.5 million Career Ladder program, which gives teachers
extra pay for tutoring and other after-school duties.
But the Democratic governor's budget proposal is about $87 million short of a formula Republican lawmakers
crafted five years ago to phase in annual increases for basic school funding.
Some legislators and school officials believe he's spared Career Ladder at the expense of the foundation
formula, which goes directly into classrooms and day-to-day operations of the state's 522 schools.
"We've basically robbed Peter to pay Paul in public education," said Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin.
In his State of the State address, Nixon emphasized that other states are making deep cuts to public education
this year, while his administration is dedicated to funding the $18 million increase and not cutting Career Ladder.
"Until the revenue picture changes, most folks in government understand that getting the job done with fewer
resources is a given," Nixon said.
As part of his budget, Nixon proposes $253 million in cuts to other programs, resulting in 544 fewer full-time
state jobs -- a net loss of 1,800 positions since he took office.
Given the bleak outlook for other programs, state Rep. Sara Lampe said the governor's commitment to a slight
increase in education funding is better than nothing.
"I think we all fully expected that we would take a hit in K-12," said Lampe, the ranking Democrat on the
Republican-controlled House Budget Committee.
Springfield Public Schools, which doesn't participate in the Career Ladder, doesn't want to see the program
spared at the expense of the bottom line of the second-largest district in Missouri, said Superintendent Norm
"For them to protect the Career Ladder and not fund the formula fully, I don't think is being fair to all districts,"
Ridder said.
As lawmakers digest Nixon's budget proposals, the issue of whether Career Ladder should be spared the budget
ax at the expense of basic school spending is emerging as one that divides urban legislators from their rural
"It might be better -- I'm just saying might -- to allow it to go by the wayside so that you protect that core funding
for education," said Rep. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield. "I don't plan to vote for a budget that doesn't fully fund the
foundation formula."

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Career Ladder is important to rural schools because it helps the districts recruit better teachers who might
otherwise work in more wealthy urban and suburban communities, said Rep. Jay Wasson, R-Nixa.
Wasson, who also serves on the budget committee, said Career Ladder "has to be put on the table" and
considered for some cuts, but fully funding the foundation formula should remain the legislature's only "sacred
"You're just going to have to cut elsewhere to fund the foundation formula," Wasson said.
Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields led the effort in 2005 to rewrite the state's formula for funding public
The reform was done, in part, to counter lawsuits by school districts over funding inequity issues.
Shields, R-St. Joseph, said not fully funding the phased-in increases would leave the state vulnerable to another
lawsuit, which could possibly result in the state Supreme Court "ordering taxes be raised."
Shields vowed to have his appropriations chairman, Sen. Rob Mayer, cut the budget by $87 million elsewhere in
order to come up with the full funding.
"What (Nixon) proposed last night, that is not acceptable," Shields said Thursday.
Nixon spokesman Jack Cardetti said K-12 schools remain "a clear winner" in the governor's $23.9 billion budget
"There was only one area that he took off the table of cuts: K-12 classrooms," Cardetti said.

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Schools not surprised by Nixon's education
KRCG-TV By Kermit Miller
Friday, January 22, 2010 at 6:24 p.m.
JEFFERSON CITY -- Any school board paying the least bit of attention was not really surprised by what Gov.
Jay Nixon did this week with proposed for school funding in Missouri.
Even so, the impact of a bare bones funding increase is no less painful simply for being expected.
In his speech to lawmakers Wednesday, the Nixon put the best face he could on the situation.
"Our children are precious,‖ Nixon said. ―Their education is too important. So, even in these difficult times, I am
recommending increased funding, at a record level, for our K-12 classrooms.‖
The governor's budget plan increases public school spending by just $18 million less than a fifth of the 106
million needed to fully fund the formula approved by lawmakers in 2005.
"Until the revenue picture changes, most folks in government understand that getting the job done with newer
resources is a given,‖ Nixon said.
Large school districts with substantial local tax bases have the least to lose. For example, Jefferson City gets
only a fifth of its $80 million budget from the state's foundation formula.
"The district's in very good financial condition,‖ Jefferson City Schools Superintendent BRIAN MITCHELL said.
―We've got strong fund balances that will help us weather a little bit of it. So I think until we know exactly how
significant any reductions might be, it's hard for us to determine where reductions might come from.‖
Small districts will feel it worse. New Bloomfield gets 70 percent of its $10 million budget from the state and the
board here must trim between $300,000 and $400,000. Cuts to maintenance, supplies, and extra-curriculars
won't do much. Most of the money is in personnel and a teaching staff of 70 might have to become a staff of 65
maybe fewer.
"Through retirements, through reassignments, through perhaps open positions that don't go filled," New
Bloomfield Superintendent Chris Small said. "Class sizes are gonna have to go up. It's just a given.‖
Dr. Small hopes to know within a month exactly how much money the district will have to make up.

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UMSL science building dead — again
By Virginia Young
Post-Dispatch Jefferson City Bureau
JEFFERSON CITY — If anyone still hoped Gov. Jay Nixon would release the funds for a science complex at
the University of Missouri-St. Louis, they can forget it now.
Nixon‘s budget office announced this week that the $28.1 million in federal stabilization funds earmarked for
UMSL‘s Benton-Stadler complex would be transferred to general revenue to help balance the current year‘s
Nixon had frozen the funds last June, so the latest decision was no big surprise. But some legislators want more
information on Nixon‘s legal authority to transfer the federal stimulus funds.
―The accounting needs to be clear and transparent,‖ said Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia.
Kelly‘s home turf also loses a project in the transfer: $31.1 million to build a new Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.
Both projects — along with a health-science building at Truman State University — were originally supposed to
be funded from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority. However, Nixon shelved them after cash-strapped
MOHELA quit making quarterly payments.
Kelly sponsors a bond issue proposal that could revive the projects. But Nixon didn‘t mention it in his ―State of
the State‖ speech.
UMSL hasn‘t given up hope for the science complex.
Said spokesman Bob Samples: ―The building is badly in need of renovation. That‘s been identified for a decade.
We do understand the budget realities. But we have made the case and I think the governor and the Legislature
understand the need.‖

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Friday, January 22, 2010

MoDOT shortfall estimate may be low by
St. Louis Business Journal - by Kelsey Volkmann

Missouri’s estimated $19 billion transportation funding shortfall over the next 20 years may not be reliable,
a new audit shows.

State auditor Susan Montee says in a report released Friday that the estimate was determined without
including inflation. Assuming cost inflation of 3 percent a year, costs projected by the Missouri
Department of Transportation would jump 33 percent from MoDOT’s estimate of $31 billion to $42
billion, Montee’s report found.

MoDOT officials told auditors that they did not include inflation in its long-range projections because the
estimated cost, excluding inflation, was already significant and including inflation could have resulted in the
focus being on the inflation rate chosen rather than the actual cost estimate.

Auditors also said $5.32 billion in projects MoDOT listed as critical were not selected using established
planning and prioritization procedures.

Download a copy of the audit here.

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January 23, 2010

Transportation funding estimate may be
Projected shortfall figured without inflation, auditor says.
Sarah D. Wire The Associated Press

Jefferson City -- An estimate on a gap in long-term funding made by Missouri's Transportation Department may
be inaccurate, according to a state audit released Friday.
Auditor Susan Montee said the projected $18.7 billion shortfall for transportation projects was calculated without
including inflation. The shortfall estimate is in both the official long-range transportation plan and in a public
report, Montee said.
"There is a problem with going out to the public and saying we're going to have a shortfall when those numbers
are actually going to be much higher," she said.
The audit also said long-term projects listed in a 2008 Missouri Department of Transportation informational
report were not chosen using established procedures, and that the report was not approved by the state
Highways and Transportation Commission.
Montee said the department was unable to show how the shortfall estimate was made.
"We can't even tell if it's a reasonable representation or not," Montee said. "They have to be based on realistic
numbers, and if they're not we are headed down a 15-year path again."
Montee was referring to an ambitious 15-year transportation plan to build thousands of roads and bridges in the
state. It was abandoned in 1997. The plan's failure has been tied to low cost estimates.
The 2008 transportation report said the numbers were an estimate, didn't include inflation and that the priority
project list came from public submissions.
In a written response to the audit, the department said the 2008 document was designed to educate the public
about state transportation needs and the shortfall estimate was included to "illustrate the funding gap," the
department said.
The department also said informational reports are not normally reviewed by the commission.
"A document meant to facilitate a discussion about the future of transportation in Missouri has been inaccurately
labeled as a long-range transportation plan," department Director Pete Rahn wrote in a statement e-mailed to
the AP. "MoDOT has a proven track record of effectively planning road, bridge and other transportation
improvements. We consistently come in under budget and on time when completing projects."
The audit also asserted that the way in which the department divides its spending does not represent its stated
goals. It said the department is over-funding highway expansion while underfunding road maintenance
programs. Planning documents list road maintenance as the department's top priority.
"They ignore the fact that we haven't enough funding to do either," the department said in its written response.
"The truth is that everything is underfunded."

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January 23, 2010

Commission changes policy on meetings
Jefferson City -- The Missouri Public Service Commission is changing its policy on closed meetings.
State auditor Susan Montee's report found the utility regulating commission does not keep minutes for closed
The commission responded to the audit with a policy change that minutes will now be kept. It also stated that
while the group did not previously keep minutes of closed meetings, it disclosed the information required by
statute at the next open meeting.
The commission held at least six closed meetings in the first half of 2009. Missouri statute allows a meeting to be
closed if it deals with issues such as hiring, firing or other legal action.

-- The Associated Press

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Posted on Fri, Jan. 22, 2010

House counsel steps aside
The Kansas City Star
JEFFERSON CITY | A top lawyer to Missouri House Republicans announced Friday that he would take an
unexpected and indefinite leave of absence from the legislature, but said it had nothing to do with an ongoing
FBI investigation.
House General Counsel Don Lograsso cited failing eyesight that prevented him from traveling to the Capitol.
―There‘s no way I could drive and back forth to Jefferson City,‖ he said.
The announcement of his unpaid leave of absence came the same day The Kansas City Star disclosed an
investigation into pay-for-play allegations in the Missouri House.
Former lawmaker Bob Johnson of Lee‘s Summit told The Star that he was interviewed by FBI agents earlier this
month concerning a 2005 bill regulating the adult-entertainment industry.
Then-House Speaker Rod Jetton referred the bill to a committee chaired by Johnson, a Republican who
opposed such regulations. Four days earlier, strip-club owners had contributed $35,000 to a campaign
committee with ties to Jetton and Lograsso.
Lograsso‘s job as general counsel to the Republican-led House included advising Jetton on bill referrals. The
campaign committee receiving the $35,000 donation also paid Lograsso for consulting work. Jetton has denied
Lograsso declined to comment Friday when asked if he‘d been contacted by federal authorities. ―Is there some
part of ‗We‘re not going to talk about that‘ that you don‘t understand?‖ he said.
Current House Speaker Ron Richard said that he asked Lograsso if he was involved in any of the issues
believed to be under scrutiny by the FBI.
―(I asked) is there anything I need to know with all that grand-jury-in-Kansas-City-talk,‖ Richard recalled. ―He
said, ‗I‘ve had some ‖ conversations, but everything‘s fine.‘
In his interview with FBI agents, Johnson said they expressed interest specifically in Jetton and asked about the
2005 bill as well as the campaign donations.
Spokespersons for the FBI and U.S. attorney‘s office have declined to comment, saying they could neither
confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.
Lograsso also serves as a municipal court judge in Blue Springs. An administrator there said Lograsso presided
over court Friday.
Lograsso, who lives in Blue Springs, later said he would continue holding court as long as he is able to drive. He
said he hoped to return to the legislature in four to six weeks following eye surgery.

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Mo. House general counsel takes leave,
denies connection to apparent FBI
investigation of Jetton
Friday, January 22, 2010
By David A. Lieb ~ The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The general counsel for the Missouri House was placed on an
unpaid leave of absence Friday but denied any connection to an apparent FBI investigation into
the activities of a former House speaker for whom he worked.
Don Lograsso, a Republican attorney from Blue Springs, said he asked to be placed on leave
because his eyesight has been deteriorating and he likely will need surgery. House Speaker Ron
Richard said he granted the request for Lograsso's indefinite absence.
Lograsso's announcement came the same day The Kansas City Star reported that the FBI had
interviewed former Rep. Bob Johnson, R-Lee's Summit, about a potential connection between
                                                                                                                     Rod Jetton
political donations and the handling of a 2005 bill regulating the adult entertainment industry.
After passing the Senate, the adult entertainment bill was assigned by then-House Speaker Rod Jetton to a
committee led by Johnson, who opposed the bill.
State records show that strip club owners opposed to the bill gave $35,000 four days earlier to the Committee for
Honest Campaigns, which was paying Lograsso for fundraising and consulting work.
The legislation never made it to the House floor, prompting senators to tack adult entertainment regulations onto
a separate drunken driving bill that Jetton had sponsored. That second bill passed but later was struck down in
court for technical reasons.
Johnson said the original bill and Jetton's role in it were the only issues the FBI discussed with him. He told The
Associated Press on Friday that the FBI agents never asked him about Lograsso.
"Most of the time was really just about the process of how the House operates, how committees work and how
amendments are drafted," Johnson said of the FBI interview.
An FBI spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.
Lograsso said the timing of his leave announcement and reports of an FBI investigation into the adult
entertainment legislation were unrelated and an unfortunate coincidence.
Asked earlier Friday if he had received a federal subpoena, Lograsso responded: "I'm just not going to talk about
it at all -- one way or the other."
Jetton, a Republican who left office early last year, declined to comment Friday about the apparent FBI
investigation. Jetton already is facing a felony assault charge stemming from a sexual encounter with a woman
in Sikeston. He has pleaded not guilty.
As House speaker, Jetton had broad discretion to assign bills to any committee he desired.
The bill at issue would have enacted admission fees and special taxes on adult businesses, required them to
close by 10 p.m. and banned full nudity in strip clubs. Seminude dancers would have had to perform on a stage
10 feet from patrons, who would have been prohibited from tipping.

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Johnson, who led the House Local Government Committee, said he opposed several provisions of the
legislation, which he said would have ended local zoning control over adult entertainment clubs and transferred
that power to the state.
But Johnson said he was unaware of any political contributions by the adult entertainment industry until The Star
first reported them in March 2006. Lograsso said in that article that he didn't believe Jetton was aware of the
contribution and that he had not advised Jetton about which committee should be assigned the legislation.
Jetton also said in that 2006 news article that he had not consulted with Lograsso on where to assign the bill and
was unaware at the time of the $35,000 contribution.
"It had no bearing on that bill," Jetton said.

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01.22.2010 3:24 pm

House lawyer takes leave, denies
connection to FBI inquiry
By Tony Messenger
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
JEFFERSON CITY — The lawyer who advises the Missouri House of Representatives is taking an unpaid leave
of absence, the Associated Press reports. The news came the same day the Kansas City Star reported that the
FBI is investigating the handling of legislation in 2005 that attorney Don Lograsso was involved in. Here‘s the
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The general counsel for the Missouri House has been placed on unpaid leave.
Don Lograsso, of Blue Springs, said Friday he asked to be placed on leave because his eyesight has been
deteriorating and he likely will need surgery.
Lograsso‘s announcement comes the same day The Kansas City Star reported that the FBI has interviewed
former House member Bob Johnson about the potential connection between political donations and former
House Speaker Rod Jetton‘s handling of adult entertainment legislation.
Those political donations were made to a committee connected to Lograsso.
But Johnson says the FBI never asked him about Lograsso. And Lograsso says his leave of absence has
nothing to do with an apparent investigation.
Meanwhile, the Star, over at Prime Buzz, is reporting that House Speaker Ron Richard doesn‘t know why
Lograsso is leaving:
House Speaker Ron Richard, a Joplin Republican, said he talked to Lograsso but still doesn‘t know exactly why
he needs time away.
―It beats me,‖ Richard said. ―You can have that conversation with him, I don‘t know.‖
Richard‘s staff, however, told The Star that Lograsso was taking leave for medical reasons.
―He has some eye issues,‖ said Jeff Brooks, Richard‘s chief of staff. ―He is going to take a leave of absence take
care of medical issues.‖

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Public hearings Jan. 26 for Bringer's ethics

Hannibal Courier-Post
Posted Jan 23, 2010 @ 03:03 AM
Hannibal, MO — Two ethics bills sponsored by Sixth District State Rep. Rachel Bringer (D-Palmyra) will receive
public hearings by a house committee.
Bringer announced Friday the hearings are scheduled at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, in Hearing Room 5 at the
Missouri State Capitol. The public is invited to attend. The bills will be heard by the Special Standing Committee
on Government Accountability and Ethics Reform, Bringer explained.
Bringer‘s House Bill 1326 proposes the restoration of contribution limits in campaigns for state offices, and her
House Bill 1324 proposes that legislators be prohibited from accepting gifts from lobbyists.
Bringer has proposed both of the bills in previous years, but this year — her final term in office — is the first year
the bills have been heard by a committee. ―I am very grateful that these bills will have an opportunity for debate
and consideration by a House Committee, because I believe these changes are long overdue,‖ said Bringer.
She encouraged everyone who supports these proposals to send e-mails or faxes to her or to attend the
committee hearing in person. ―I believe it would be helpful to offer to the committee letters of support for
contribution limits and a ban on lobbyists gift to show the committee members that many interested Missourians
support these ethics proposals,‖ said Bringer.
Letters may be e-mailed to or faxed to (573) 751-7928. Anyone with questions
about attending the committee hearing is invited to contact Rep. Bringer at (866) 297-5255 or (573) 751-9818.

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Legislators address press group
Saturday, January 23, 2010
The economy dominated discussion Friday at a forum of area legislators who gathered in St. Joseph.
At a roundtable discussion, legislators who were invited by the Northwest Missouri Press Association discussed
problems the General Assembly faces in 2010.
Legislators agreed that at the moment, the state is in a decent economic position. Stimulus money was set aside
and saved for the future. However, legislators said fiscal years 2013 and 2014 will be tough.
Main topics discussed focused on the statewide budget shortfall, improving education, unemployment and ethics
reform. Also, all legislators said they did not want to raise taxes, but needed to reform the budget.
State Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah, believed the budget was the utmost important issue for legislators to make
right this year.
―The crafting of the budget, the spending of the $24 billion, without a doubt is the top priority,‖ said Mr. Lager,
speaking at the Downtown Holiday Inn.
He estimated the state, finishing the fiscal year, was more than a half-billion dollars behind its original revenue
estimate. Adding in new cost dedications and ongoing costs equals a $1.5 billion deficit. The state held back
$900 million in federal stabilization money that was not used last year, and will roll that ahead to this year.
―Tough, yes,‖ Sen. Lager said. ―Impossible, no.‖
Legislators also said the role of government needs to be redefined.
―We have to decide what is the role and function of state government,‖ said Rep. Jim Guest, R-King City. ―And
what is the key to turning this all around? We all know the answer. It is to add jobs.‖
―The perfect economic tool is an educated work force,‖ Mr. Lager added.
Legislators thought if people had jobs and were able to spend money, the budget would improve.
Along the lines of improving education, schools with budget shortfalls also were going to need to rely on the
state government for help in issues of funding programs and class opportunities.
―We are going to have to change our way of thinking in education,‖ said Rep. Mike Thomson, R-Maryville. ―And
we are going to have to become more efficient.‖ Mr. Thomson said legislators have to look at combining
programs and may not be able to support all the additional programs.
Despite the problems, legislators appeared ready to make the tough decisions.
―In great times of challenge, there is a great chance for change,‖ Mr. Lager said. ―If there was ever a great
chance for change, it is now.‖
It was the press association‘s 120th meeting.

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                                                                                                                January 22, 2010

Missouri Dems kicking off bid to take back
the House
Missouri Democrats are launching an effort to take back the Missouri House of Representatives. It's a two day
swing through southeast Missouri next Friday and Saturday.
The "Road to the Majority" Tour begins Friday evening in Festus and Sainte Genevieve ... and continues
Saturday with stops in Cape Girardeau, Sikeston, New Madrid, Caruthersville, and Poplar Bluff.
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel headlines the fundraising tour ... spreading the party message that Democrats can
deliver jobs to working class Missourians.
Republicans have run the Missouri House since 2003. Democrats had controlled the House for about a half
century prior to the 2002 elections.


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Callahan sworn in as eastern Mo.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Richard Callahan has been sworn in as U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Missouri.
Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry administered the oath of office to the 62-year-old longtime prosecutor
Friday at the federal courthouse in St. Louis.
Callahan was nominated by President Barack Obama in September to serve as the top federal prosecutor in the
50-county district. He succeeds Michael Reap, who served as interim U.S. attorney since last April.
Callahan is a St. Louis native. He served as a Cole County circuit judge since 2002, following 16 years as Cole
County's elected prosecutor.

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USDA to improve rural Internet
ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS   By Marshall White
Saturday, January 23, 2010

The money keeps flowing from the federal trough, and Northwest Missouri communities have another
opportunity to improve themselves.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce have teamed up to improve broadband
Internet access throughout the nation in rural communities. The federal government has appropriated $7.2 billion
to ensure that there are sufficient funds to get the job done. The monies will be distributed as grants and loans
through a Broadband Initiatives program and a Broadband Technology Opportunities program. Government
officials want to distribute funds quickly, responsibly and effectively.
A top priority is to fund ―comprehensive communities‖ projects, focusing on broadband projects and the
connection of key community anchor institutions (which could include local libraries) as a way of maximizing the
benefits. Eligible agencies can be local governments, or any agency, subdivision, instrumentality, or political
For-profit corporations, limited liability companies, nonprofit entities and cooperative or mutual organizations can
be eligible to receive funds, too.
Principles developed for the Federal Communications Commission‘s Internet policy will have an impact, and four
important principles are: consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice, consumers
are entitled to run applications and services of their choice, consumers are entitled to connect their choice of
legal devices that do not harm the network, and consumers are entitled to competition among network providers,
application and service providers, and content providers.
Rural communities can obtain high-speed connections that don‘t tie up existing phone lines, efficient online
services such as bill-paying and shopping, faster downloads and uploads and continuous connections that allow
online business meetings, work from home, home-based businesses, and communications.
The only Missouri workshop will be Feb. 2 at the Holiday Inn at Six Flags in Eureka, Mo., south of St. Louis. The
workshop is free and open to the public. However, individuals who can‘t travel to the workshop can see the event
on the Internet. Workshops included program overviews and a review of the application process for grants and
loans. Applications can be done online at All funds should be awarded by Sept. 30.
For more information about the online workshop, contact Chris Collins at

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Nixon talks about 2010 jobs plan at
Columbia visit
The governor toured high-tech companies in Kansas City and St. Louis.

THE MANEATER By Wes Duplantier
Published Jan. 22, 2010

Gov. Jay Nixon visited a Columbia multimedia company Thursday as part of a statewide tour to promote a high-
tech job creation plan aimed at reviving the state economy.
In his State of the State address Wednesday night at the Capitol, Nixon called for legislators to increase state
support for job training and create incentives for existing high-tech businesses to hire more workers, saying both
are critical to helping the state weather the economic downturn and its multimillion-dollar budget deficit.
"Everywhere I've traveled in the last 12 months, from Kansas City to Cape Girardeau, I've heard the same refrain
from businesses large and small, 'Give us the tools, help us train the workers and we'll do the rest,' " Nixon said
Missouri's unemployment rate as of November was 9.5 percent, slightly less than the national average of 10
percent. The governor briefly toured the Newsy newsroom Thursday and talked to students about video projects
they were working on related to current events, such as the recent Supreme Court ruling on corporate campaign
finance reform.
"The economic challenges we face are tough, but I know the people of Missouri are tougher," Nixon said. "By
investing in our existing businesses, technology and training, I am confident we will create the jobs we need and
move our economy forward."
The governor's plan would create three different programs aimed at creating more jobs and convincing Missouri
businesses to expand. The Missouri First program would make businesses that have been in the state for more
than five years eligible for certain economic incentives.
The governor also called for the passage of the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act to create a
state investment fund for new companies to apply for start-up capital from a portion of the taxes paid by existing
The governor also addressed allowing $12 million for job-training programs at community colleges to prepare
more workers for new industries.
The governor did not say how the state would pay for the additional program in his Wednesday address or
Thursday events. The state is facing a projected $261 million deficit in next year's budget and Nixon said
Wednesday the state expects to bring in less tax revenue this year than last.
David Kerr, the state's director of economic development, said the programs the governor proposed would have
the greatest economic impact on the state.
"The key to this is that the legislature is going to have to make sure that the dollars that we spend, we spend
efficiently and create maximum impact for the state," he said.
MU Chancellor Brady Deaton attended the tour and said the program will help Missouri gain an economic
advantage over states where education spending has been cut in order to balance budgets.

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"We hope it will be very effective," Deaton said. "It is the necessary focus because we're trying to build a base for
the future." is a Web site that compiles video clips on current events from several sources. Students find and
post material to the site through a partnership between the MU School of Journalism, the Reynolds Journalism
Institute and Media Convergence Group, the company that owns
Max Carratura, vice president of finance and business operations for Newsy, said the packages would give
students the specific skills that new, growing industries are seeking because they focus specifically on high-tech
"I think it's huge because everyone knows the economy is headed toward technology," Carratura said. "To target
that area and build talent in that mold is very important for the state."

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State lawmakers asked to improve schools

Public school teachers could get extra pay, based on merit, under a bill introduced in the Missouri Senate.
The bill would make two other changes in public schools by letting districts schedule classes year-round and
allowing two start dates for kindergarten classes.
Sen. Matt Bartle calls the changes ―some meaningful reforms that we can do within the public school umbrella, in
order to get better outcomes‖ for Missouri students.
Bartle, R-Lee's Summit, on Thursday introduced the bill, which he said would make ―three simple but very
important changes to the way we do public school in the state of Missouri:‖
- Paying teachers extra pay, based on merit. ―It is absolutely silly that we pay the teacher who is putting in 10
hours a day the same thing we pay the teacher who's getting there a little late and leaving as soon as the last
bell rings, and doing barely anything,‖ he said.
- Scheduling classes on a year-round basis. ―The studies tell us that children lose so much over the summer,
especially the younger kids,‖ he said. ―We just have to make sure that we don't have a three-month break in the
middle of the year.‖
- Authorizing kindergarten students to begin school twice a year. ―It is possible, on that first day of kindergarten,
that the youngest member of that class is 20 percent younger than the oldest member of that class,‖ Bartle said.
―Studies have shown that children who are at the youngest part of the class ... are at a disadvantage, and that
disadvantage carries over to the following years.‖
The bill must be assigned to a committee before lawmakers can discuss it.
Officials from two education groups had some initial reactions Friday afternoon.
Kent King, director of the Missouri State Teachers Association, said his members want local school boards have
the final say.
―There is no research that proves that merit pay improves student achievement,‖ King said in an e-mail.
Chris Guinther, president of Missouri's National Education Association group, added: ―Teacher pay should not be
just contingent on test scores.‖
Guinther, a special education teacher who currently is on leave from the Francis Howell School District, has
experience with year-round scheduling most others do not.
To view the entire article, please go to our e-edition.

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Governor’s medicaid cuts detailed
Governor Nixon recommends a 120-million dollar funding cut for the Medicaid program. But the administration
thinks the cuts will be mostly painless.
More than half of the cuts will come through better service reviews and in reductions in payments to providers,
especially longterm care providers.
Some Medicaid clients are eligible for coverage under Medicare or through other insurance. The state promises
to do a better job of charging those costs to other insurers.
State budget director Linda Luebbering says no services will be eliminated and no cuts will be made in eligibility.
But better care management will be emphasized. ―In some cases, clients will receive less service because they
really need less service,‖ she says.
Luebbering says the state has improved its management in recent years but it hasn‘t done a comprehensive
review of the Medicaid system. Luebbering says there‘s room for more improvement.
The state will hire a contractor to help the state set longterm care standards. She says a special drug review
committee of psychiatrists and doctors will decide proper availability of mental health prescription drugs.
The legislature will decide how many of the governor‘s cuts will stand in the final budget bills. Any cuts will go
into effect July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

Income tax filing time draws near
by Steve Walsh on January 24, 2010
Many Missourians have started receiving documents needed to file 2009 income tax returns. And, the Internal
Revenue Service is urging taxpayers to begin getting their papers in order.
―Whether you‘re an individual taxpayer or a business owner or self employed the easiest way to avoid
headaches at tax time is to have good records,‖ said Michael Devine, St. Louis-based IRS Media Specialist for
Missouri and Kansas. ―They‘re going to help you remember what you did last year, what you can deduct, and
what business expenses you may have had that you can write off.‖
The forms showing employment and those with information on bank and many financial transactions are mailed
to taxpayers, but individuals and businesses must do some work on their own.
―You‘re going to want to look for receipts that have to do with any education expenses,‖ said Devine. ―If you did
any energy improvements on your home that could be up to a $1,500 credit, if you bought a home you might be
eligible for the first time homebuyers‘ credit or even a new credit if you‘re buying a second home.
The filing deadline is April 15th, but waiting until the end is not the best option.
―Every year we have people that wait until the end and then they end up having to ask for an extension because
they don‘t have a piece of paper that they could have asked for in February,‖ said Devine.
Most 2009 employment documents should be mailed to taxpayers by the end of January.

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Audit slams MoDOT’s long-range planning and funding estimates
by Steve Walsh on January 22, 2010
An audit of the State Transportation‘s road and bridge funding plan finds improvements are needed in the
development of long-range transportation needs and funding estimates.
State Auditor Susan Montee says MoDOT does a good job of developing short-term projects, but the ball is
dropped when focusing on transportation needs down the road.
―We really have no problem with the way that they are funding the projects that are actually in construction,‖ said
Montee during a meeting with reporters in her State Capitol Office. ―The problem is that they have a long-range
plan in place and then they have now come up with what they‘re calling the Conversation, that is a more updated
version that they are talking to the public about that includes a lot of projects, and in the project of the
Conversation and in the long-range plan the projections are not reliable.‖
The projections are not reliable because funding estimates were arrived at without inflation being factored in.
―MoDOT says that they‘re not taking it into account in these documents because these are just generalized
estimates,‖ said Montee. ―The problem is they are holding up this document and saying, ‗These are our
estimates. This is what our funding shortfall is, and it doesn‘t take inflation into account.‘ So, we think it definitely
needs to.‖
Montee says MoDOT has a response to that concern.
―When we asked them about it they said, ‗Well, the numbers are already high and if we took inflation into
account it would be much higher.‘ Well, yes, but it would be more realistic,‖ said Montee. ―So, yes, we do have
real concerns with that.‖
Montee adds that while MoDOT claims its current priority is on taking care of the existing system it is
emphasizing expansion, which she says is inconsistent with stated priorities.

Internet enticement cases down, child pornography up
by Jessica Machetta on January 22, 2010
A look at child pornography and enticement cases from 2009 shows that as the Internet evolves, so do

                                                     Detective Tracy Perkins scans the Internet for illegal activity,
                                                     often tracking dozens of sites at the same time.
                                                     Cases of child pornography cases appear to be on the rise, but
                                                     enticement cases are down, according to Detective Andy
                                                     Anderson, Coordinator of the Mid Missouri Internet Crimes Task
                                                     Force, who is comparing 2009 data with the previous year. He
                                                     says the increasing popularity and availability of file-sharing
                                                     programs probably have something to do with the increase.

                                                    When asked if the shift in crime is better or worse, ―I don‘t know.
It‘s just different,‖ he says. After working crimes against children for more than 20 years, he says research shows
that those who seek, possess or distribute child pornography are just as dangerous as solicitors. He believes
pornography possession is a stepping stone to committing more aggregious offenses, namely molesting a child.

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Anderson says the growth of social networking sites has presented several new challenges. He reminds parents
… and kids … not to fall into a false sense of security. Privacy settings don‘t make photos safe, he says.
Predators know how to get past them.
He also says not to buy into stereotypes. Sex offenders who prey on children are all ages, from all
demographics. Especially with the pornography possession cases, he says his staff has noticed the age of the
offenders is getting younger. When it used to be mostly men in their 40s and 50s, now they‘re seeing more in
their 20s and 30s and even some juveniles.
He says the enticement crimes, though fewer, take longer and are labor intestive. Proving that someone was
trying to solicit a child can be difficult too if the child lied about their age.
He says amid the hundreds of cases his staff works, they‘re just getting the tip of the iceburg. There are currently
three staffers who operate from the Columbia-based unit. Anderson is the coordinator / director; Investigator
Mark Sullivan runs the forensics end and Investigator Tracy Perkins scans the Internet looking for offenders and
would-be offenders. She says she‘s posed as children as young as seven online and gotten numerous hits.
Looking at the data, Anderson says crimes were ―up from ‗07, down in investigations in ‗08, up considerably in
forensics‖ and his staff had ―just about the same arrests even though we‘re working fewer cases.‖ He adds that
numbers were up a lot in subpoenas served, about the same in search warrants. ―Child pornography cases are
increasing drastically.‖
Jessica Machetta reports [Download / listen Mp3, 1:21]
Jessica Machetta interviews Detective Andy Anderson [Download / listen Mp3, [42:06]
RESOURCES for parents and children recommended by Anderson:
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Project Safe Childhood - a Dept. of Justic national public awareness campaign.
I Know Better - Keeping kids safe online. Site has sections for all age categories, info on parental controls and
regulations, cyber bullying and much more.

Three-pronged school reform plan offered
by Bob Priddy on January 21, 2010
A proposal to make ―politically possible‖ changes in public education has been put before the state senate.
Senator Matt Bartle of Lee‘s Summit says his plan is a three-legged stool. One part would allow merit-based
teacher compensation statewide. It‘s now used only in St. Louis. He says it makes no sense to pay teachers who
make extra efforts the same as teachers who do the minimum.
He suggests letting some children enroll in kindergarten after the first semester if they‘re among the youngest
students who would otherwise enroll in September. Bartle would let parents decide which would be their child‘s
regular kindergarten start date.
Then there‘s year-around schools. ―Studies tell us that children lose so much over the summer, especially
younger kids,‖ he says, ―and it‘s silly. It can easily be remedied.‖ Bartle says no additional school days are
needed, but the three-month summer break needs to go away. .
Bartle says he has no illusions his three-pronged proposal will be passed this year. But he hopes the issue can
at least be discussed in committee hearings. He says he hopes the Senate will not give up on dealing with some
of the worst problems facing education–teacher compensation, better scheduling for learning, and waiting until a
student is ready before starting kindergarten

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As Missouri's Senate race tightens, some
Republicans hope dark-horse Chuck
Purgason can win
With Missouri‘s Senate race between Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan and U.S. Representative Roy
Blunt heating up, three percent of Missourians say they will vote for a different candidate come Election Day.
State Senator Chuck Purgason (R-Caulfield, MO) represents Missouri‘s 33rd senate district, an area that sprawls
through the Ozarks and along the Arkansas border. Despite his lack of name recognition, Purgason is
challenging Blunt for the Republican nomination.
At a meeting held in St. Joseph, Missouri on Thursday night, Purgason told a gathering of about fifty
conservative members of the Northwest Missouri Republican Club that their party received a ―spanking‖ in the
2006 mid-term elections.
Despite having comfortable majorities in both houses of Congress in 2001, and control of the White House, the
party turned a thirty billion dollar deficit into a $566 billion deficit by 2006. That‘s when the Democrats made
significant gains in both houses of Congress, followed by the historic election of Barack Obama in 2008.
Republicans, says Purgason, were defeated ―because we didn‘t follow through on the principles of our party.‖
―We got caught up in spending for everything. We forgot where we came from,‖ said Purgason, alluding to the
fiscal conservative roots of his party. Something that Purgason did not mention, was that Blunt was a member of
the Republican majority in the House of Representatives when the deficit began its ascent.
Now, the deficit is higher than ever. Many Missourians are unsatisfied with the healthcare bill, and many
Republicans claim it will only increase the deficit.
Some of the Republicans in attendance, including Missouri Representative Jim Guest (R-King City, MO), are
hoping that Purgason can capitalize on Scott Brown‘s (R-MA) historic victory in his recent race for the United
States Senate: ―Maybe he‘ll be the Scott Brown of Missouri.‖
Scott Brown was able to defeat opponent Martha Coakley (D-MA) because citizens across the country are
growing unsatisfied with the Democrat‘s handling of healthcare reform. This is also the case in Missouri,
according to a Rasmussen poll released Thursday.
A Harvard poll released after Tuesday‘s election also shows that voters are angry with the Democrat‘s agenda,
which could help Republicans across the country pick up congressional seats in November.
Like Brown, Purgason is a dark-horse candidate. Despite his ―Contract with Missouri,‖ wherein he promises to
promote a balanced budget, and a self-imposed term limit, Purgason is facing an uphill battle.
Blunt and Carnahan have the odds in their favor. And with the recent ruling by the Supreme Court, Purgason‘s
voice, like so many alternative candidates, is likely to be drowned out by an influx of corporate campaign

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EDITORIALS … & Letters to the Editor

State lawmakers need to stick to state's
January 23, 2010 10:46 PM

When it comes to wasting time and money, nothing beats grandstanding politicians. Recent case in point:
Missouri House Concurrent Resolution No. 18, passed Wednesday night.
The non-binding resolution, sponsored by Rep. John Diehl, R-St. Louis, is a statement of opposition to ―the
federal government takeover of health care‖ and calls upon Gov. Jay Nixon, President Barack Obama, Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the entire Missouri congressional delegation to
publicly state their opposition, as well. It was approved 111-46, with 22 Democrats joining the 89-member
Republican majority.
In a release from the House Majority Caucus, Speaker Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said, ―Our citizens don‘t want a
federal takeover of our health care system, and as legislators, we are doing everything in our power to send this
message to the folks in Washington, D.C.‖
It seems our state lawmakers have put political posturing ahead of tending to the business of Missouri, which is
what they were elected to address. It comes as no surprise that Republican members of the Missouri House of
Representatives, along with the chamber‘s anti-abortion Democrats, are opposed to the health care bills pending
in Congress. But instead of wasting state taxpayer time attempting to validate their stand through a resolution,
these elected officials should have done what many Missouri residents have already done: contacted their
federal representatives and expressed their views.
House Minority Leader Paul LeVota told Chad Livengood, political reporter for the Springfield News-Leader, that
Republican leaders pushed the measure to pander to their conservative base.
―We‘re debating a non-binding concurrent resolution so we can look good to our base,‖ LeVota told Livengood,
later adding, ―We don‘t have time to spend to tell Congress in a non-binding way what they should be doing.‖
We‘d like to see Missouri lawmakers get off the federal soap box and address the many needs of our state. That
is what we sent them to Jefferson City to do, not to preach outside their jurisdiction in populist ploys.

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In our view: Downsizing government

Our readers often express concern about the ever increasing size of its government. At last, we get some hope
that someone is listening.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon last week, during his state of the state speech, said he has identified some of the
―bureaucratic kudzu‖ and is taking steps to eliminate 31 state boards that are either doing nothing or are
Nixon has issued executive orders that eliminate 13 boards and cut 227 appointed spots. He‘s also urging the
Legislature to cut an additional 18 boards and 246 positions. These are boards that exist either by executive
order or have been created by the Legislature.
For example, the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Committee is no longer meeting and has outlived its purpose in
this life. The Missouri Task Force for Youth Aging out of Foster Care has completed its assignment.
Boards like these weren‘t costing us any money, but they did continue to exist on paper.
Where we will save money is by cutting boards that both do the same thing. Example: The Governor‘s Advocacy
Council on Aging shares duties similar to those being performed by the State Board of Senior Services.
Commission members were volunteers, so no jobs are being cut. However, there will be savings by eliminating
meal and travel expenses as well as other costs incurred by the boards. Some may call it small potatoes, but it
all adds up.
This is a housekeeping chore that has been needed for some time now, and we applaud Nixon for tackling the
Here‘s what he said in his speech:
―For years, state government has been creating boards and commissions for this centennial or that special
interest. Some do good work, while others don‘t do much of anything. Nobody paid much attention to them, and
they just kept growing and growing until they turned into bureaucratic kudzu.
―In an effort to root out government waste and inefficiency, I have already eliminated 13 of these boards and 227
positions. And I call on the Legislature to haul out the brush hog, and get rid of 18 more boards and 246 more
We would ask our legislators to keep mowing down the kudzu.

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January 25, 2010

Missouri House's anti-health-reform
resolution just politics
Stacey Newman

The first issue of the 2010 legislative session debated in the Missouri House of Representatives was a non-
binding resolution opposing any congressional health care reform. The resolution, which has no legislative
impact whatsoever, was argued for hours, apparently in an effort to mobilize a base of voters.
Rather than spend time on legislation to create jobs, ethics reform or give Missouri children autism insurance
coverage as promised by the speaker of the House, we listened to pure political theater which has no effect on
health care reform bills currently in Congress.
We believe that it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to give all Missourians access to quality health
care. Too many Missourians are risking their financial future to pay for health care access. Too many
Missourians can't even get health care coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Too many Missourians don't
have health care coverage because they are unemployed. The majority of our citizens want and need health
care reform.
We have serious work to do in the state legislature. Voters gave us their confidence to do that work.
Playing politics over a non-binding resolution is not what voters elected us to do.
Stacey Newman is Democratic state representative for District 73 in St. Louis

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Expect serious budget discussions in years
By Steve Booher
Monday, January 25, 2010

The priorities of Missouri‘s state government are, as area legislators told a collection of reporters, editors and
publishers last week in St. Joseph, screwed up. Our state government is trying to manage things it really
shouldn‘t be involved in and writing checks for things it really shouldn‘t be funding.
Expect some serious dialogue in the coming years about the role Missourians really want for their state
But not this year.
Although crafting a state budget is never easy, it shouldn‘t be that difficult this year for a couple of reasons. First,
the Legislature saved $900 million of federal stimulus funds that it received last year and that ought to make the
books easier to balance. Second, both the Missouri House and Senate have veteran leadership and are used to
hammering out deals.
But 2011, 2012 and 2013 could be extremely difficult with no stimulus funds to help bridge the budget gap. Plus,
several members of the House and Senate are bumping against term limits and won‘t be in Jefferson City next
―2011 will be somber in the legislature,‖ Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah, said. ―We will be forced to fundamentally
Those discussions may go deeper than just how much money to throw at a particular program or department. It
might involve deciding whether to have that program or department in the first place.
For instance, Mr. Lager said one problem is tax credits, money that the state budget never sees. He estimated
that Missouri loses $600 million per year in money that never gets collected because the state has granted
exemptions in various areas. A large chunk of these uncollected taxes might surprise you: historic preservation.
The state loses $250 million per year because it grants tax credits to preserving old buildings.
Although most people will agree that maintaining Missouri‘s historical legacy is important, legislators may have to
decide whether fixing up old houses and buildings is really worth the money the state misses. Are bricks and
mortar really more important than educating kids, staffing prisons and attracting more jobs to our state?
The state spends another $165 million on low-income housing. Should taxpayers really be in the business of
subsidizing rent for those already receiving public assistance?
Those two areas could have a half-billion dollar impact on Missouri‘s budget every year.
Compare those figures with the paltry $78 million that the state spends on college scholarships and you really
understand when legislators say that our priorities are messed up. Basically, Missouri puts its dollars into old
buildings and welfare recipients instead of investing in its young people.
All this might change in a few years. Even if the economy begins to turn around in 2010 — and some federal
economists think it has already turned the corner — the state might not see more income tax and sales tax
revenue for a few years after recovery. It could take years for state revenue to return to the levels of 2008 and

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During these lean times, those who decide where the state‘s money will be spent will be asking some tough
questions and waging some difficult battles. You might see our state get back to basics: education, public safety,
infrastructure and economic development.
There may be little room for the other governmental goodies, a large portion of which always seem to migrate to
St. Louis anyway.
Some might say this is a good thing, that our state government should continually evaluate where it spends our
money and that it‘s a shame we wait until a tough economy drives the discussion.
But whatever the motivation, it seems past time to have that talk.
ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS Steve Booher‘s column runs on Monday. He can be reached at

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GUEST COMMENTARY: Kudos to Missouri
General Assembly for balanced-budget
January 25, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST
As our economy continues to struggle, hard-working families across our state have faced tough choices by
simply working to balance their household budgets. The basic notion of not spending more than you take in is
what keeps many families‘ financial heads above water. It‘s unfortunate that Congress doesn‘t seem to
understand that and is drowning in debt.
As a former member of the Missouri General Assembly, my colleagues on both sides of the political aisle
understood that we were required by law to balance the state budget. That is why it makes me extremely proud
that state Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, and state Rep. Allen Icet, R-St. Louis County, have filed a resolution
calling for Congress to pass a constitutional amendment forcing the federal government to balance the budget.
Currently, 49 of 50 state governments including Missouri have a balanced budget requirement.
Clearly, as recent events have shown in places like Massachusetts, people are angry about the spending spree
that has been going on in Washington for far too long and it‘s good to see our state lawmakers stepping up in bi-
partisan fashion to express the concerns of constituents.
As a freshman congressman, I was shocked when I saw firsthand the path of irresponsible spending that
Congress had previously been engaged in and have been appalled by the outrageous and even more
dangerous pace of spending since then.
That is why during my first days in office I proudly co-sponsored House Joint Resolution 1, a constitutional
amendment to prohibit Congress from spending more than it receives in revenues, to require the president to
submit a balanced budget to Congress and to require a three-fifths majority vote to increase the debt limit, while
also providing an exception in times of national emergencies.
Unfortunately, the measure that more than 100 of my colleagues in Congress signed has gone nowhere, while
our budget deficit that we will burden our children and grandchildren with can now be quantified in the trillions,
not billions. Even as I write this, the Senate is considering a bill to increase the amount of debt the government
can issue by $1.9 trillion to $14.3 trillion.
Even more disturbing is that the budget-breaking spending that is going on in Washington is being financed by
you, the very same folks who understand that you can‘t spend lavishly when times are tough.
I hope that the Reps. Kelly and Icet garner the necessary bi-partisan support for their measure in the Missouri
General Assembly because it‘s critical that your voices are heard loud and clear in Washington. I have heard this
call for many months and will continue to heed it and encourage my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to do
the same.
Blaine Luetkemeyer is the representative for Missouri's 9th Congressional District.

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Blocking tax increases on Missouri farmers
Monday, January 25, 2010
By Jason Crowell
Missouri has a strong history of agriculture, tracing back to 1725 when some of the first farms in the state were
established. Agriculture is the state's No. 1 industry, and Missouri ranks second in the country for number of
Just like any industry in this economy, however, farmers are facing tough times as an unstable market puts their
livelihoods in jeopardy.
Despite this situation, the State Tax Commission voted in December to raise taxes on the most productive farms
in Missouri by approving new "productive values" for agricultural land. On the first day of the 2010 legislative
session, I filed Senate Concurrent Resolution 32 to prevent the State Tax Commission from taking this unfair
Missouri farmland is divided into eight groups based on land quality. The best quality is grade 1, with the worst
being grade 8. The commission's decision would increase farmland grades 1 through 4 by almost 29 percent, or
an average of about 90 cents per acre. A property that produces the most dependable crop yields would see
their valuation raise from $985 per acre to $1,270 an acre.
Both the director of Missouri's Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Farm Bureau disagree with the tax
Commission's decision, warning that a tax increase could be extremely damaging to Missouri's farmers as they
work in this struggling economy.
We need to be finding ways to lower taxes for our farmers, not forcing them to shoulder a higher tax burden. If
our family farms see increases in their expenses, it will only contribute to an already wounded economy in our
state. Prices for farm commodities have fluctuated greatly recently with costs for things like fertilizer, seed corn
and fuel skyrocketing.
The General Assembly can block the tax commission's decision, but we need to act quickly. The Legislature
must pass SCR 32 within 60 days to block this tax increase from going into effect.
Farmers are the backbone of Missouri's economy, and it is the state's job to provide every avenue possible for
farmers to succeed, not to create roadblocks.
The General Assembly should not stand by as farmers are expected to bear more costs.
Jason Crowell of Cape Girardeau represents the 27th District in Missouri Senate.

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Missouri laws still fail state government
     "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle stand like a rock. All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good
                                                     conscience to remain silent." -- Thomas Jefferson

My former boss, Matt Blunt, insisted on Thomas Jefferson quotes in his speeches; I'm not sure if he ever used
this one, but I doubt it. Nevertheless, it's a quote I grew to love because of what it connotes about the importance
of government whistleblowers and the laws that they protect. I was offered the opportunity to say a few words
about this subject by members of this editorial board. I am especially happy to share my thoughts in the wake of
their recent editorial, which declared me the "winner" in a long struggle that typified the obstacles a government
whistleblower must overcome.
The public wins when lawbreaking and corruption is rooted out of public office. The notion that others benefited
from my efforts made this fight worthwhile. I believe they did. The tactics of personal attack have been retired
along with those who used them. Open records laws have been strengthened, government transparency has
taken center stage in political debate, and electronic messages are now retained without argument about
whether they may rise to the level of "public record." Even legal precedent was affected, when a courageous
judge decided that executive privilege should no longer be a free pass for bad behavior.
Despite these successes, Missouri's whistleblower laws will fail most state employees. For example, state
workers have only 90 days to file a civil lawsuit for violations of this statute (RSMo. 105.055). Once an employee
is fired or demoted for reporting lawbreaking, the clock begins to run. The troubling part is the number of people
who muster up the courage to take action or seek legal counsel, only to find their time has expired. Even worse
is the 30-day deadline imposed on state workers who wish to file an administrative appeal for the same type of
abuse -- making it a race against time to identify the appropriate "personnel advisory review board." This can be
tricky, because it's not the same across all agencies. If an employee incorrectly files, they have no recourse.
These boards do have the power to reverse agency actions for those report violations, but they may only
recommend sanctions for the violators. Even then, the maximum recommendation is a 30-day suspension
without pay.
The most glaring statutory deficiency is the lack of legal representation available to whistleblowers. Private
attorneys are expensive, and most whistleblowers have just lost a job. Further, private attorneys don't like suing
the state. This is due to potential political ramifications, immunity issues and also because of the lack of available
punitive damages. The law does reimburse attorney fees, but only if the plaintiff is successful at trial -- and that's
a long shot. I should know. I pushed long and hard for a public trial and I was promised the same. But the winds
changed and those promises were replaced by ... ultimatums to settle or seek new counsel (with a large lien
attached). It proved difficult to find a law firm willing to take on such a public lawsuit with that kind of debt to
repay, so I went it alone.
This could be easily avoided by setting up an independent board to assess specific cases and to appoint counsel
based on merit, just as counsel is provided for those in power. By so doing, and lengthening the time limits, this
law will finally protect those whose name it bears. Most importantly, the public interest will be served as others
heed Jefferson's call to refuse to swim with the current, and choose to stand like a rock.
Scott Eckersley is an attorney and former aide to former Gov. Matt Blunt. He was at the center of a controversy over e-mails in Missouri

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Jobs, jobs, jobs
The safe haven for politicians
Saturday, January 23, 2010

At times like these, when everything seems to be coming down around their ears, political officeholders seize on
one clarion call to carry them through: ―Jobs, jobs, jobs.‖
They focus on a legitimate worry. High unemployment rates are the one multi-partisan concern, but they have
little more than rhetoric to offer. You can hear it emanating from public offices at state and national levels. They
blow smoke.
The only sure way for government to create jobs is to finance capital projects that would not be built otherwise.
Yet political leaders promote tax-credit subsidies so employers will sustain jobs that otherwise would be lost or
not created. It‘s a myth.
Employers don‘t hire workers because of such subsidies. If they use them at all, you can bet it is for workers they
otherwise would hire anyway. They will use the tax credits to reduce costs but not to add employment.
Job promises by politicians are a scam unless they are explicitly linked to new capital projects. In Missouri such
a program is Rep. Chris Kelly‘s proposed statewide bond issue that would underwrite public facilities, mostly at
higher education campuses. Curiously, ‘midst floods of talk about jobs in his recent State of the State address,
Gov. Jay Nixon did not mention the bond program at all. It should be at the heart of his job creation efforts,
promoted heavily in the coming legislative session.
The immediate problem with job subsidies is that the spending occurs but not the job creation. Then, at the end
of the day, government touts the subsidies granted as proof of jobs saved or created

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Higher education is an effective stimulus

If one were to design a maximally effective economic stimulus package, what qualities would be the most
important? First, you would want growth in personal income, decreases in unemployment, containment of health
care costs, reductions in social dependency, and creation of new businesses. Second, you would want the
package to be immediately deliverable, national in scope, comprehensive in accountability, and less expensive
than alternative approaches.
The United States has such a stimulus package; it's the best of its kind in the world. It is our system of public
higher education. And in Missouri, a specific example is the Caring for Missourians initiative now being
implemented by public universities.
The evidence for higher education being an effective stimulus package is incontrovertible: The average college
graduate earns $28,000 more per year than the average high school graduate, a $1 million lifetime premium.
More surprising, workers who do not graduate from college earn more if they simply live in a community where
there is a higher percentage of individuals who completed college. The unemployment rate of college graduates
is half that of high school graduates. A college graduate is eight times less likely to need food stamps and three
times less likely to depend on Medicaid than a high school graduate. Private-sector workers with a college
education report dramatically better personal health than individuals who did not attend college. Finally, most
new businesses in the past decade have been started by college graduates aged 25 to 34.
Compared to the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, state and local governments
appropriated about $85 billion to support all the nation's public four-year and two-year colleges in FY 2008. For
that investment, the nation will harvest about 2 million graduates each year.
The experience in Missouri mirrors the nation, except that Missouri spends much less to educate its students
than the national average. Missouri ranks in the lowest five states in per capita spending for its public
universities. Missourians get a lot of bang for their higher education buck.
Although public higher education's track record of achievements is strong, a special opportunity will repay even
larger benefits to the state just when we really need the boost. As documented recently in the News-Leader,
Missouri's public universities stand ready to train more health care professionals. Well-qualified students are
applying in record numbers to our programs; licensure rates of our graduates are superb; and thousands of high-
paying jobs are ready to be filled.
At Missouri State University, with full, recurring funding of the Caring for Missourians initiative, we can produce
60 more health care professionals (nurses, physical therapists, physician assistants) every year, adding millions
to the local economy. Furthermore, through cooperation with the University of Missouri-Kansas City, we can
bring a Doctor of Pharmacy program to Springfield that would train 30 new pharmacists each year, beginning in
2011. Most of those graduates will stay in the Ozarks, with an annual starting salary exceeding $100,000. In
addition, bonding legislation now being considered by the Missouri General Assembly would provide Missouri
State with the resources to construct badly needed academic facilities which will aid in educating health care
Your universities will continue to be the stimulus package that Missouri needs. By educating more health care
professionals, we can improve our state's overall health and simultaneously increase our economic productivity.
Please support your universities as we develop those programs that allow this expansion and help secure a
better future for Missouri.
Michael T. Nietzel is president of Missouri State University.

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Right mix of projects needed for Missouri
capital improvement plan
POST-DISPATCH By Editorial Board
Missouri has paid down a big portion of the Third State Building Trust Fund, a bond issue for capital projects
that dates back to the 1980s and Christopher ―Kit‖ Bond‘s second term as governor.
That means the state has the capacity to undertake a new round of infrastructure building and improvements, if it
chooses to do so. A bill introduced in the Legislature would give the final decision to voters.
This time, given the state‘s grim budget outlook, it will not be enough to show that the projects selected for
funding would be ―nice things‖ to build. Rather, winning voter approval will require a compelling case that the
proposed spending represents a smart long-term investment for Missouri.
State Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, and House Majority Leader Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, have proposed a
ballot resolution to authorize $800 million in state building bonds to pay for new science and medical education
facilities at Missouri‘s public colleges and universities.
They believe new borrowing for capital projects must be below $1 billion to be politically palatable. That level of
debt would not require a tax increase, they say, but largely could be serviced out of reduced payments to the
previous building fund.
Science and medical education facilities, they argue, represent the kind of targeted investment that could have a
significant impact on building skills for jobs and other economic opportunities — as well as stimulating
construction jobs along the way.
The timing is auspicious, they add, as interests rates remain at historic lows.
The pitch has logic and appeal. The St. Louis area would have plenty to gain.
The University of Missouri-St. Louis could expand its antiquated Benton-Stadler Science Complex to provide
facilities for 900 new science majors and create a new structure to house the nursing and optometry colleges.
Harris-Stowe University, meanwhile, would be able to renovate its Vashon Center. St. Louis Community College
would get a new work force development center to provide training for in-demand technical jobs.
Beyond education, though, Missouri has other compelling capital needs. Gov. Jay Nixon has noted that state
mental health facilities haven‘t seen significant investment in 50 years. Many of the facilities are outdated,
expensive and, in some cases, dangerous. State parks and historic sites also have significant needs, he adds.
Basic maintenance, meanwhile, while not very glamorous, is overdue at other state facilities.
While not closing the door on a new capital programs, Mr. Nixon advocates fiscal restraint. He wants to ensure
that the state‘s bond rating remains high and prioritizes operational spending over capital expenditures. He also
wants to pay down state‘s debt — an estimated $40.7 million a year for $750 million in bonds, according to
recent calculations by the underwriters who work with the University of Missouri system.
Messrs. Kelly and Tilley acknowledge the importance of these cautionary points. They pledge to hold hearings
that would explore options. They said they would invite amendments to produce the right mix of projects.
They make a strong case that Missouri must consistently invest in its future, especially in difficult times, and that
public building funds can have a major positive economic impact when pursued prudently.
Mr. Nixon should get involved early, working with lawmakers to come up with the best possible package of
projects. Missourians then could be asked to cast forward-looking votes for now and the future.

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Under one roof: The frail, the elderly
and the mentally ill.
POST-DISPATCH By Editorial Board
The conventional wisdom is that nursing home residents are frail and elderly. That‘s not the reality. Increasingly,
adults with serious mental illness are being housed and cared for in Missouri and Illinois nursing homes.
The forced closure of Whispering Oaks in Wildwood earlier this month focused attention on that trend.
St. Louis County Health Department officials ordered the facility to close after a well that supplied water froze,
causing toilets to overflow. The facility had a history of fire and safety violations. State nursing home regulators
tried to suspend its license last June.
Whispering Oaks housed a number of patients with serious mental illness. Several were relocated to another
nursing home in St. Louis — owned by a psychiatrist — that also has been cited for safety violations in the past
two years.
Nationally, the number of mentally ill nursing home patients has jumped by 41 percent since 2002, an analysis
by the Associated Press showed. In Missouri, it climbed by 76 percent.
With about 1.9 percent of the nation‘s population, Missouri accounts for 3.5 percent of mentally ill nursing home
patients. It has the nation‘s eighth-highest number of such patients.
―We‘re very aware of it,‖ Department of Mental Health Director Keith Schafer said last week. The department has
launched a review of treatment alternatives.
In theory, no one is supposed to be admitted to a nursing home unless he has disabilities that require extra care
or supervision. That requirement is contained in the 1980s-era federal Nursing Home Reform Act.
But state officials estimate that about 2,500 people are in Missouri nursing homes primarily because they are
mentally ill. They could be treated in a less restrictive — and less expensive — setting.
Missouri consistently has failed to fulfill its responsibilities to people with mental illness. The share of state
funding for treating the mentally ill has been shrinking for decades.
Because of a new round of budget cuts, on Dec. 1 outpatient mental health centers began turning away new
uninsured patients no matter how badly they need care.
Missouri could get federal money to help provide housing and treatment to patients with serious mental illness —
but only if it came up with matching state funds, which the Legislature has refused to do.
The result of this neglect isn‘t just tragedy for the mentally ill. In Illinois and other states, it‘s also a tragedy for
elderly nursing home patients and their families.
On Jan. 15, an Illinois task force recommended new safeguards for nursing home patients. It was reacting to a
string of high-profile incidents in which elderly nursing home patients were attacked by younger patients who
were mentally ill and had histories of violent behavior.
Most people with mental illness are not violent or aggressive, just sick. But investigations in Illinois found
mentally ill patients with felony convictions or histories of sexual abuse living in nursing homes around the state,
often without adequate supervision.
When the state budget is tight and elderly people are increasingly opting for home care, it‘s tempting to see
nursing homes as a short-term solution to the chronic lack of care for the mentally ill. It may be tempting, but it is
People with mental illness deserve housing and care in the communities where they live, not in facilities
designed for the frail elderly.

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State capitol roundup | Kansas
unemployment fund ails; Missouri has a
good idea
Brother, can you spare a dime?
A year ago, the Kansas unemployment fund was the nation‘s 19th healthiest, with a surplus of $560 million.
Today, it may still be the 19th healthiest, but it‘s essentially broke.
On current projections, which show Kansas unemployment growing to a worst case scenario 7.8 percent, the
state may join other states and borrow federal money to keep its fund solvent. Kansas could need to borrow up
to $750 million just to keep payments flowing.
As state Labor Secretary Jim Garner noted: ―I‘m getting gun-shy about talking about worst-case scenarios
because we keep hitting them.‖
The seven biggest payout months in the 75-year history of the Kansas fund all took place in 2009. Our advice:
pray that the recession eases quickly and prepare for tax hikes to keep basic services running.
Matt Bartle’s last hurrah?
The Missouri senator from Lee‘s Summit has filed an ambitious education bill that would allow merit-based
teacher pay statewide, let parents enroll students in kindergarten after the first semester, and stagger vacations
to reduce the three-month summer break.
We haven‘t always agreed with Bartle, a Republican who‘ll be term-limited this year. But we‘d like to see these
ideas get an airing, especially a move toward merit pay.
One person happy with government
Missouri Treasurer Clint Zweifel‘s office tracked down a man in the St. Louis area who had forgotten about a
stock holding. It ended up in the state‘s unclaimed assets fund.
The unidentified citizen undoubtedly is happy the state was working on his behalf. His recovered amount: $1.6
Two and counting…
The Kansas Legislature started the year intent on saving taxpayers money by not getting paid for the Fridays
they never work anyway. That initiative hasn‘t gone anywhere, but the legislators have. They‘re home. It‘s now
two weeks out of two they‘ve opted for long weekends rather than work on Friday.

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Our Opinion: Openness faces a threat

Our region‘s newspaper publishers and editors concluded their annual meeting Friday, and it was there we
heard about the latest threat to open government in Missouri.
A state senator from St. Louis County is pressing to allow financial statements for smaller cities to be posted to
the Internet rather than published in the local newspaper. This plan would affect all taxpayers who reside in
communities of less than 3,000 people.
The same bill would allow political subdivisions and special districts to post information about elections to the
Internet rather than in the newspaper serving the community.
This issue is not about the News-Press or other, smaller newspapers throughout Northwest Missouri that publish
these kinds of notices throughout the year for the benefit of their subscribers. The notices are not a large
revenue stream for the papers, and they certainly are not a significant cost item for the local governments.
No, this issue is about government and its commitment to operating ―in the sunshine‖ and to making important
public notices available to the interested population.
A representative of the Missouri Press Association offers strong arguments for why public notices should remain
in the community newspapers. Among them:
Newspapers are an independent source of information. By contrast, the Internet proposal calls for the
government to create its own Web site and leaves the government in charge of policing itself and assuring the
notices are posted in the manner the law requires.
Newspapers are broadly accessible to all. A good number of taxpayers, particularly in rural areas, still don‘t have
the Internet. And many more don‘t want to have to check in frequently on a government Web site to find out
information of importance.
Newspapers provide a lasting record. Where will public notices posted to the Internet be found a few years from
now? Will the server with the Web page still function, or can a disk with that information still be read by the
technology of the time? Newspapers, even as they invest in digital technologies, create a printed record that can
be archived in a variety of ways, not limited to a potentially inaccessible digital file.
Proponents of this change will need to marshal a better argument than ―not everyone reads the newspaper.‖
Every study we have seen shows that citizens who are deeply invested in their local communities — the target
audience for public notices — look to the newspaper first as a source of reliable, unbiased information about

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