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Incoming state leaders outline job creation
strategies
COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN - By Emily Coleman
December 16, 2008 | 8:27 p.m. CST
JEFFERSON CITY — The auto industry's financial troubles, which have dominated the attention of Congress,
are also having an impact on Missouri — both on the state budget and on workers, such as Darin Gilley.
Gilley, who serves as president of Union Auto Workers Local 1760, was laid off from the Integram-St. Louis
Seating plant in Pacific on Oct. 29. The plant made seats for the Chrysler minivan plant in Fenton that closed
Oct. 31.
"There's one family; I've already helped them move out of their house, they've lost their truck, their house has
been foreclosed upon, they're both in the training program to find new occupations, which allows you to collect
$320 a week but provides no health care, and they have two little kids," Gilley said. "It's been a disaster for
them."
Columbia has not been immune from the effects of economic strain on the auto industry. Dana Corp., one of four
auto parts manufacturers in the city, announced early this month that it would lay off 50 employees.
Gilley and his fellow workers at the plant receive up to 26 weeks of sub-pay as a severance package on top of
unemployment compensation. He receives about $520 a week to support his wife and his two daughters, who
are 6 and 14. He also plans on going to school through the trade adjustment assistance program.
Job training is one of the options the Missouri governor-elect's transition team and legislators are considering.
"The manufacturing jobs have been hit particularly hard," Oren Shur, spokesman for the Gov.-elect Jay Nixon's
transition team, said in a November interview. "We've seen jobs outsourced to other states and overseas. What
he'd like to see, what Gov.-elect Nixon would really like to focus on (is) what he calls 'next-generation jobs,' jobs
that create new energy solutions."
For workers who are laid off, there seem to be only two choices available, Gilley said. They can either go to
school or find another job where they take a significant pay cut.
"The people who access the Trade Adjustment Act retraining, which is only for people who lost their jobs due to
bad trade policy, those people are expected to live on $320 — which is the unemployment amount — with no
health care for up to two years while they retrain for another position," Gilley said.
"That is not a realistic approach to retraining people for a new occupation. That's why so many people cannot
even access that program: They can't afford to live and support a family on those wages and lack of health care.
They have to go to work somewhere at $10 an hour in a factory. We end up having people who are
underemployed with tremendous strains on their family budgets."
However, some worry unemployment compensation hurts the economy more than it helps.
"There is a danger in saying, 'Well, we're just going to extend the benefits,'" said outgoing Sen. John Loudon, R-
St. Louis County. "What I'd really like to see Missouri do is give more, a better benefit to fewer people and figure
out how to structure it that way. Because we have a fairly low benefit, but it never fails to amaze me how many
people will look at that and say, 'Hey, I've got that money there. I'll go do side jobs for cash. I'll do whatever.' And
people will kind of ride that where the unemployment benefits can be a disincentive to seriously looking for
work."
Politicians on both sides of the political spectrum are considering using agendas that move forward both
economic and other goals, such as transportation.




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"Federally, this discussion about spending and making an investment in the infrastructure of this country is
something that is long overdue, and some of that will pass down to the states," said incoming Senate Democratic
Floor Leader Victor Callahan, D-Jackson County. "Clearly, in Missouri, if we rebuilt I-70 and our roads and
bridges, 100 miles of highway construction produces about 36,000 jobs. All of the money stays here. They're all
good jobs. And it's an investment, and it's issues that we have to deal with anyway. We have to fix our
infrastructure anyway."
Rep. Charlie Schlottach, R-Owensville, the 2007-08 chair of the House Appropriations for Transportation and
Economic Development Committee, agreed. He pointed to railroads and waterways as infrastructure that should
be improved.
Attaching economic recovery to the environment and new sources of energy has been touted as a partial
solution at both the state and national levels. President-elect Barack Obama has said he would instruct his
economic team to create a long-term plan to help the auto industry as well as meet goals in his energy and
environmental policy.
The gubernatorial transition team is considering tying energy and environmental solutions to jobs beyond the
auto industry, Shur said.
"Governor-elect Nixon has long supported a broad range of new energy solutions —such as wind power, solar
power, biodiesel, cellulosic fuels, a whole array of new energy solutions — and when you invest in those, you’re
creating new jobs," Shur said. "So it's not only creating a new job, but it's moving our state forward toward the
energy solutions we need for the future."
Some Republican lawmakers also cite new energy sources as a way of creating jobs and increasing incentives
for businesses to move to Missouri.
The Republicans' choice for House Speaker next session, Ron Richard of Joplin, said the House has been
looking into nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and clean coal power.
"We've about 40 or 50 streams in Missouri that been identified for dams," Richard said about hydroelectric
power, noting that the construction of dams would also result in jobs.
"All types of energy will be part of our future…,‖ Schlottach said. ―I think the government's role in that is not to
pick an energy sector at all. I think we're learning from our errors, I hope, by doing some of those things, but
categorically make an incentive for all types of entrepreneurship and all types of energy."
In addition to the state government being the force behind new jobs, tax credits are being considered to
encourage companies to choose Missouri when starting their businesses.
"We really have to look at our tax credit programs in a comprehensive way and see which ones have tangible
results," Loudon said. "That's going on right now. One proposal that I've heard is to actually reverse the trade
deficit and bring manufacturing to Missouri and create an export specific tax credit. So if you're a company that is
shipping goods out of the U.S. to areas like Southeast Asia, if you're shipping to China, that there would be tax
credits here, something to improve that trade balance."
Tax credits and other tools can be used to help local businesses as well as encouraging new businesses to
come to Missouri, Schlottach said.
However cutting the state's revenue base with tax credits for business or expanding new spending programs will
face a likely fiscal hurdle; the decline in state tax collections that has forced some government agencies to begin
planning staff and budget cuts.
The governor-elect's budget adviser, former state Sen. Wayne Goode, has projected a shortfall for fiscal 2009,
which ends June 30, of more than $340 million. That’s out of a total general revenue budget that exceeds $8
billion.




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"The budget situation will impact what they're able to get done in the immediate term," Shur said. "But no,
(Nixon's) priorities have not changed. And as governor-elect and working with the legislature, his job is to do as
much as they can with the dollars available to them.
―Missouri is a low-tax state, and we're going to keep it that way. The last thing the people of Missouri need is a
tax increase. What they need is a government that is more efficient and effective and respects the taxpayers'
dollars, and gives Missourians the most bang for their buck."
Budget constraints might force legislators to pick their priorities and methods for economic development more
carefully.
"In expending that dollar, what kind of investment is it?" Callahan said. "It's an investment in not only producing
the job of rebuilding that bridge, it also produces economic development. So you take that dollar, and it's an
investment not only now with the job, but it's an investment in the future. And it's an investment in the future that
we would have to expend anyways. So that dollar becomes times five."




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MSU economist predicts 7.5% statewide unemployment
in 2009
SPRINGFIELD NEWS-LEADER - By Chad Livengood

Missouri State University's Bureau of Economic Research has predicted unemployment in Missouri will climb
one percentage point next year to 7.5 percent.
"We are predicting that employment in Missouri will fall from the March 2007 peak of 2.889 million jobs to 2.792
million jobs—a loss of approximately 97,000 jobs during the current recession and that the unemployment rate
will rise to a seasonally adjusted 7.5% in Missouri during the upcoming year," MSU economist David Mitchell,
director of the bureau, wrote in his annual 2009 economic forecast for the United States and Missouri.
Current unemployment in Missouri is hovering around 6.5 percent of the workforce, according to state figures.
On the national level, Mitchell said "the current recession is shaping up to be much more severe than the 1990-
91 recession but not as severe as the 1953-54 recession."




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Missouri university presidents press
case to Gov.-elect Jay Nixon
By Tony Messenger
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Missouri’s university presidents are hoping a meeting with Gov.-elect Jay Nixon might save their institutions
from the budget axe when the legislative session begins in January.
The presidents, including University of Missouri president Gary Forsee and Missouri State University president
Mike Nietzel, had been seeking a meeting with the next governor to talk about the upcoming session and
budget matters.
Caught on the street after the meeting, Nietzel said the presidents are hoping that the doomsday scenarios of up
to 25 percent cuts don’t happen. He points out that enrollment is up big at most state universities.
During the campaign for governor, Nixon talked a lot about his support for higher education, and one of his major
proposals is a $61 million expansion of the state’s A-Plus program to send more high school students to
community college and then advance more of those graduates of two-year schools to Missouri’s four-year
institutions.
But with the budget facing a possible $342 million hold in the current fiscal year and much more in 2010, cuts will
have to come from somewhere, and generally, higher education is among the first areas to lose state funding.




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Highway Patrol crime lab opens
State-of-the-art facility expected to cut backlog of cases in the system.
Kathleen O'Dell
News-Leader

Criminal cases in southwest Missouri should have speedier resolutions with Monday's opening of the Missouri
Highway Patrol's Springfield Crime Lab.
That's good news for victims as well as suspects in ongoing criminal investigations, said Greene County
Prosecutor Darrell Moore.
He and other city, county, state and federal officials attended the dedication of the new lab Monday.
The renovated, three-story building is at Jefferson Avenue and Phelps Street.
The crime lab is used by the Department of Public Safety and the Highway Patrol for forensic analysis. Until
now, law enforcement officers in the Springfield area had to send DNA, trace evidence, fingerprint and firearms
analysis requests to Jefferson City, slowing the investigative process. Some drug chemistry analysis was done in
town.
The $6.2 million state-of-the-art lab is expected to cut the backlog of cases burdening the state patrol's eight-lab
system. It will enable Greene County and southwest Missouri cases to be processed in as little as 30 to 60 days
compared with the six or more months it has taken in the crowded system, said William Marbaker, director of the
Highway Patrol's Crime Laboratory Division.
The lab will also help reduce the number of backlogged cases at the lab in Jefferson City, officials said.
Prosecutor Moore described the human impact.
"This is going to help (prosecutors) move case loads in our courts and see that victims have justice, and that is
one of our primary concerns," Moore said.
"It is also a concern of the courts not only to get defendants to trial quicker and victims to see justice more
quickly, but it's also important that with the DNA part of the lab ... we'll be able to clear innocent people of
wrongful accusations more quickly," he said.
The Springfield project took many twists and turns and more than a few setbacks since it was proposed in 2001,
said Mayor Tom Carlson. At an early stage, voters turned down a law- enforcement sales tax that would have
helped fund it.
Financing eventually came from all levels of government in a cooperative effort that drew national attention
among forensic science experts, Marbaker said Monday.
"Many people were watching this project as a very unique solution to a problem that hadn't been tried in other
states," he said.
State and federal grants paid the bulk of the $6.2 million price tag. Part of that was a $1.4 million Federal Justice
Grant for equipment, obtained by U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond and U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt.
Gov. Matt Blunt and area lawmakers got behind the project to obtain resources and staffing.
Springfield and Greene County agreed to split the cost of a $2.7 million low-interest loan from 14 area banks.
Greene County agreed to pay 60 percent -- about $810,000 -- of its $1.3 million share.
"Lots of people were there when we needed them," Carlson said.


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Greene County also has pledges of more than $311,000 from 22 area cities and counties, said Presiding
Commissioner Dave Coonrod. The commission is talking to officials from a dozen more entities in hopes of
raising pledges to $520,000.
The lab will serve all southwest Missouri areas regardless of whether they contribute.
The system receives more than 23,000 criminal cases a year.
The Springfield lab will increase forensic analysis capacity by 30 percent. In addition, the merger of crime labs in
Joplin and Cape Girardeau with the Highway Patrol crime lab system will further increase capacity and
efficiency.
"This crime lab will enhance public safety," Gov. Matt Blunt said.
The north side of the building is undergoing renovation for an expanded Jordan Valley Community Health
Center, scheduled to open in August.
County officials are also working on a feasibility study to put a pathology morgue in the building, said County
Commissioner Harold Bengsch.
The city agreed to hold the space for two years while the study is being done.
The lab can perform some basic testing now, Marbaker said. Other departments like the DNA lab are finished
but require another month to calibrate sensitive testing equipment.
As of Monday, the drug chemistry lab and fingerprinting lab were ready, and evidence intake was ready to
accept cases, officials said. Staff expected to begin accepting cases today.
About 27 forensic scientists will process criminal cases when all departments are up and running, Marbaker said.
But the 30,000-square-foot building is designed to take on more employees as the workload dictates, he said.




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Missouri’s electoral votes officially
break the bellwether mold: All McCain
By Jo Mannies
Special to the Post-Dispatch

Gov. Matt Blunt announced this afternoon that he had finalized Missouri ’s electoral votes, after the 11 electors
had met to cast their support for the Republican ticket that carried the state, but lost the national election: GOP
presidential nominee John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin.
According to Blunt’s e-release, ―…the governor ensured results were finalized and distributed according to
century-old protocol.‖
―Our nation’s representative government is structured so that the people define the laws under which we live,‖
Blunt said in a statement marking one of his final major acts before he leaves office Jan. 12. ―As we elect our
nation’s leader and finalize Missouri ’s electoral vote we abide by the traditions of our Constitution’s authors.
They understood the importance of integrity and accuracy in elections. As it was more than two hundred years
ago, the right to vote in a fair and open election today remains one of Americans’ greatest freedoms and one that
many men and women in uniform have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect.‖
The 11 electors had convened at the Capitol. All had earlier been certified by Blunt, after the state’s Nov. 4
results had been certified by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.
McCain carried Missouri by about 3,900 votes.
As Blunt’s e-release notes, ―…Formal copies of the vote tally and results will, as defined by the U.S. Constitution,
be delivered to the Vice President of the United States , the Archivist of the United States , the Missouri
Secretary of State’s Office, and the Chief Judge of the United States Courts for the Western District of Missouri.‖




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E-mails differ on what led to firing of aide to Missouri
governor
By STEVE KRASKE and JASON NOBLE
The Kansas City Star
Scott Eckersley’s job performance in Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt’s office was criticized but apparently tolerated —
until an explosive confrontation Sept. 21, 2007.
E-mails released Monday by the governor’s office include differing interpretations of a meeting between
Eckersley, a staff lawyer, and Henry Herschel, the governor’s chief counsel. At issue was a memo Eckersley had
prepared on Missouri’s open-records law.
The different versions of what happened in the meeting form the crux of a dispute that has dogged the Blunt
administration for more than a year. Was Eckersley fired for job performance or because he offered unwelcome
advice on open records?
―Eckersley was confronted by his boss about a poorly prepared memorandum,‖ an administration official later
wrote in a summary of the incident. The summary was one of roughly 300 e-mails released Monday by Blunt’s
office. ―Eckersley shouted and ranted and made threatening motions toward his boss.‖
Eckersley had a different view of the confrontation.
―I felt I was being unfairly targeted for disagreeing with the way we were handling the Sunshine issue,‖ he later
wrote in a timeline of the events leading to his firing.
Eckersley has said he was advising the administration that e-mails were public documents and that public
statements by the governor and others that said otherwise were inaccurate.
Administration officials have said Eckersley’s firing had nothing to do with a dispute over open records. Instead,
it concerned his job performance and doing work for his family’s business on state time and for viewing adult
Web sites at work.
Eckersley has filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination and defamation. A hearing is scheduled for Friday in
Jackson County Circuit Court.
The e-mails released Monday included documents supporting both sides. Some hewed closely to the Blunt
administration’s contention that Eckersley’s job performance was the key to his September 2007 dismissal.
―One of these days he is going to get into trouble,‖ Herschel, then the governor’s chief lawyer and Eckersley’s
boss, wrote to his secretary Aug. 15, 2007, about Eckersley not having arrived at work one morning.
In other documents, however, Eckersley claimed he was fired for offering unwelcome advice.
Eckersley’s attorney, Jeff Bauer, said that even the e-mails supporting Blunt’s claims did not disprove his client’s
contention.
Eckersley has never denied being late to work on occasion, but tardiness was not raised as a factor when he
was fired, Bauer said Monday. Rather, it was raised only later, after officials realized they had no evidence to
support their original justifications, Bauer said.
―If you look at the reasons they initially claimed he was fired for, they had to keep reinventing new ones because
the ones they were giving didn’t pan out,‖ Bauer said.
The e-mails released Monday also included a draft of a letter to Eckersley from Ed Martin, then Blunt’s chief of
staff, saying that the sex sites and personal work were ―some but not all of what made it impossible for you to
continue to work for us.‖


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The draft was dated Sept. 28, 2007, the day Eckersley was fired. It is unclear whether the letter was actually
sent.
Monday’s e-mails ―show this former employee was dismissed for the reasons we said he was dismissed and not
for the reasons he claims he was dismissed,‖ Jessica Robinson, a spokeswoman for Blunt, said in a statement.
Last month, as part of a settlement with The Kansas City Star, The Associated Press and the St. Louis Post-
Dispatch, Blunt’s office released 22 boxes containing 60,166 pages of e-mails. The three news organizations
had intervened in a case brought by special investigators for the state attorney general’s office.
That litigation, which is ongoing, seeks access to an even broader selection of e-mail from the governor’s office.
The governor’s office declined to turn over about 180 other e-mails requested by the media, saying the e-mails
rightfully remain closed under state law. A special master will decide whether those must be turned over.
The first release of e-mails last month appeared to vindicate Eckersley on one key point — that he had advised
administration officials that certain e-mails are public documents and must be retained. Last year, Blunt and his
chief spokesman, Rich Chrismer, said Eckersley never offered such advice.
The initial release of e-mails provided hints that Eckersley was less than a stellar employee. Several messages
from Eckersley explained why he was late to work, and a complaint from Herschel warned Eckersley to limit his
work on personal business while at the Capitol.
The Sept. 21 confrontation between Herschel and Eckersley was sparked by Herschel’s complaints that a legal
memo Eckersley had prepared was ―not sufficient.‖ Monday’s e-mail release detailed the fallout of that
confrontation, with many administration officials chiming in on Eckersley’s job performance. Their comments
were made both before the administration’s open-records policy became an issue and after he was fired.
―Scott is fully aware that the reasons for his termination were unrelated to the Sunshine Law or record retention
guidelines,‖ Chrismer wrote Oct. 25, 2007.
Two days before Eckersley was fired, Herschel wrote: ―I did not get back at eck (Eckersley) for his computer use
… it was for his attendance and work product. I do not want him to start pointing fingers at other staff members
in his attempt to minimize his issues. He cannot minimize his work product and lazy ways.‖
In the days after the firing, administration officials also discussed warning Eckersley not to speak about his
termination.
In October 2007, the administration delivered packages to news organizations detailing its justifications for firing
Eckersley . Included were the allegations that he viewed adult Web sites.




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Blunt administration releases more e-
mails
By DAVID A. LIEB, The Associated Press
December 15, 2008 | 8:51 p.m. CST
JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt’s administration released an additional 850 pages of e-mail documents
Monday that revealed frustration with a former staff attorney and a coordinated effort to pre-emptively fight
claims he was wrongly fired.
The newly released records initially had been classified by Blunt’s office as exempt from Missouri’s open-records
law when it provided about 60,000 pages of documents to the media last month under a legal settlement.
The additional pages were released after the exemptions were challenged by a media consortium composed of
The Associated Press, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Kansas City Star.
Blunt’s administration is continuing to withhold an additional 180 e-mails sought by the media group, generally
asserting the e-mail are shielded because they relate to legal actions or attorney communications.
A dispute over alleged e-mail deletions in Blunt’s office has lingered for more than a year.
In October 2007, former governor’s office attorney Scott Eckersley went public with assertions that he was fired
after trying to draw colleagues’ attention to Missouri’s e-mail retention requirements and open-records law.
Blunt’s administration has insisted Eckersley was fired for a variety of other reasons.
The e-mails released in November show Eckersley — shortly before his firing — did tell colleagues that e-mails
can be considered public records that must be retained under Missouri law. They also showed that Eckersley
was occasionally late for work and had used his state computer for private work — something he had approval to
do only on a limited basis.
The e-mails released Monday include one sent by Eckersley’s immediate supervisor, general counsel Henry
Herschel, on Sept. 26 — the same day Eckersley was fired by Blunt’s chief of staff, Ed Martin.
Martin’s termination letter to Eckersley cites two reasons — excessive use of state resources for private
business and Eckersley’s use of his state e-mail account for a ―group sex website.‖
That Web site was for a dating service, and the spam-like e-mails had automatically been forwarded from
Eckersley’s private e-mail account to his state account.
In an e-mail to a fellow Blunt administration attorney on Sept. 26, Herschel said. ―I did not get mad at eck for his
computer use,‖ apparently referring to Eckersley.
―It was for his attendance and work product. I do not want him to start pointing fingers at other staff members in
his attempt to minimize his issues. He cannot minimize his work product and lazy ways.‖
After Eckersley was fired, his attorneys contend that he shut off the automatic forwarding function that had sent
private e-mails to his state account.
Yet the documents provided to the media by Blunt’s administration include several e-mails sent in October from
Eckersley’s private account to his public account, which Blunt staffers were monitoring. That apparently tipped
Blunt’s administration that reporters had been trying to contact Eckersley and allowed Blunt’s office to prepare a
pre-emptive response
On Oct. 8 to 9, Martin sent to Herschel and former Blunt administration attorney Rich AuBuchon a draft letter
warning Eckersley that if he went public with a ―selective description‖ of his firing that damages his ex-colleagues


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it would be treated as ―defamation and will compel us to pursue all appropriate remedies and disclosures under
all relevant law and ethical cannons.‖
It was unclear Monday if that letter ever was sent to Eckersley.
On Oct. 26, 2007, just as Eckersley was preparing to go public with his claims, AuBuchon released a packet of
materials to the media defending Eckersley’s firing and casting his character in a poor light.
Eckersley has since filed a lawsuit against Blunt and his top deputies alleging wrongful termination and
defamation.




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Missouri public defenders announce hiring
freeze
COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN - By Tara Cavanaugh
December 15, 2008 | 4:41 p.m. CST
COLUMBIA — The Missouri State Public Defender System announced a statewide hiring freeze Monday.
Low turnover rates, combined with a consistent lack of funding, have left the system unable to afford any new
lawyers for this fiscal year, which ends in July 2009.
Usually, low turnover is a good thing. But lower turnover means that the system has more experienced lawyers,
who earn more than new lawyers. Turnover rates are now at 2 percent, the lowest they’ve been in 20 years,
according to Cathy Kelly, deputy director of the Missouri State Public Defender System. The system is used to
turnover rates of 12 percent to 14 percent. There are 350 lawyers working in the Missouri public defender
system.
Kelly said that when system administrators realized in July that funding payroll would be a problem, promotions
— the mechanism by which public defenders receive raises — were frozen. But the measure wasn’t enough to
alleviate the funding crunch.
In October, in an effort to lighten the burden on overworked public defenders, the system announced it would
start refusing certain kinds of cases, depending on jurisdiction.
Also in October, the public defender system submitted a supplemental budget request of $1,308,831, which
would be ―a stopgap measure to keep the public defender system operating … so they don’t need to start
rejecting cases,‖ said Skip Walther, president-elect of the Missouri Bar Association, which lobbies for money for
the system and promotes pro bono defense work by its members. ―But that is a stop gap. It’s going to require a
lot more money than the state has previously been willing to allocate to this.‖
The public defender system won’t find out if it will get the supplemental funding until January or February. If the
extra money is granted, the system would not receive it until April, Kelly said.
The request comes at a time when the state is expecting a downturn in state revenues and budget cuts of up to
25 percent for state agencies and institutions. Walther hopes that Governor-elect Jay Nixon will be more
sensitive to the problems of the public defender system, though he knows Nixon will have to deal with the budget
crisis when he takes office.
Overworked public defenders who let down their clients can cost taxpayers more in the long run in the form of
expensive, time-consuming appeals, said Keith Burkes, executive director of the Missouri Bar.
―If the work is done as well as possible in the first instance, then the less likely it is that appeals will be
successful and trials will have to be done all over,‖ he said.
Burkes said that the Bar has re-hired the Spangenberg Group to conduct another study of the Missouri public
defender system. A 2005 Spangenberg Group study showed that Missouri was the only state that failed to
increase public defender funding for five years, and that its budget needed to be increased by $16 million in
order to meet the average per capita spending on indigent defense of the rest of the southern states.
The study also found that Missouri ranked 47th in per capita spending on defense.
―This is a crisis,‖ Walther said. ―And while most people are not particularly sympathetic to criminal defendants, if
we are to honor our constitution, which provides a right to counsel, then we as a state need to give that promise
life.‖




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Wilson focuses on job creation
Lawmaker's bill sets conditions to exempt employers from paying state income taxes.
Chad Livengood
News-Leader

Rep. Larry Wilson says the only way to keep young people from fleeing Missouri's small towns is to attract new
jobs to those communities.
Wilson, a Republican from Flemington, has pre-filed a bill for the 2009 session that would exempt employers
from paying state income taxes for 10 years if they create 10 new jobs in a county with fewer than 18,000
people.
"We really don't have a fair chance for economic development compared to your larger cities," Wilson said. "We
have nothing to offer."
Wilson's bill would expand so-called Rural Empowerment Zones, currently limited to just Hickory County, which
has 8,940 residents.
The three counties Wilson represents -- Dallas, Hickory and St. Clair -- and 53 other counties across Missouri
would qualify for the rural empowerment status under House Bill 65.
Wilson said his legislation would make available up to $50,000 a year in income tax relief for businesses to each
qualifying county, totaling $6 million.
For a state that gives away nearly half a billion in tax breaks each year, Wilson said it's a small price to pay to
keep rural communities from dying.
"Most of the young people have to leave in order to find employment," Wilson said. "It's an idea, I think, that will
promote our rural areas and attract small businesses to these areas."
The new workers would still be paying local sales and property taxes, supporting rural schools and local
governments that also are feeling the pinch of population loss, Wilson said.
"Really, the state is not losing anything," argues Wilson, a former Hickory County tax assessor.
So far, this bill is the only one Wilson is sponsoring. He sponsored it last year and it passed the House 155-1,
passed a Senate committee, but never made it to the upper chamber's floor for debate.
Wilson has signed on to co-sponsor other bills changing the way acts of school violence are reported; giving a
$1,000 tax deduction for purchasing a hybrid vehicle; and exempting school districts from paying motor fuel
taxes for buses.




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Census Bureau to hire 1,000
Government agency is gearing up to begin collecting 2010 data.
Chad Livengood
News-Leader

The U.S. Census Bureau plans to hire 1,000 people in southern Missouri early next year to begin the process of
counting the state's population.
The government agency is now accepting applications, said Dennis Johnson, regional director of the Census
Bureau's Kansas City regional office.
"We're kicking off the 2010 Census. It's up and running," Johnson said Monday while visiting the downtown
Springfield office.
At the Springfield office, they're hiring people to begin the canvassing process and recruit more workers for the
heavy lifting in 2010, when short-form surveys will be delivered to each home in the state.
By 2010, the number of workers counting people in the southern half of the state will grow to 3,000, said
Johnson, who oversees Census operations in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota and Oklahoma.
The 19-county territory for the Springfield office -- located at 431 S. Jefferson, Suite 132, in the Wilhoit Plaza
building -- has been reduced from the 2000 Census because of the population growth in southwest Missouri,
Johnson said.
Already there are six full-time assistant managers in place and dozens of new computers set up in the downtown
office to begin the population count, officials said.
To speed up the process, Johnson said the Census Bureau will not make citizens fill out the onerous long form.
The survey will be a short, 10-question form, asking basic household questions like their name, age, race,
relationship with other occupants and whether they own or rent their home.
Other questions inquiring about specific demographics like income and education level have been relegated to
the Census Bureau's annual American Communities Survey, which uses a random sample.
State and federal officials say the 2010 Census will be especially vital in determining a shakeup of congressional
seats.
Missouri is widely expected to lose a seat in Congress because of the population boom in the southwest and
southern states.
"It's not that Missouri is losing population, it's that it's not growing as fast as states in other parts of the country,"
Johnson said.
At stake for state and local governments is $300 billion in federal tax dollars that get redistributed by Congress
based on census figures.
"So it becomes very important to have accurate counts for each community so that that community gets their
share of that $300 billion dollars," he said.
Businesses also use census numbers to determine if a community can support their product or service, Johnson
said.
Across the country, it takes about $14 billion during 10 years to conduct the census, he said.



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Tour of Missouri gets continued state
support
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) The Tour of Missouri bicycle race gets a continued financial commitment from a
state board.
The Missouri Development Finance Board on Tuesday approved $500,000 to support media coverage of the
2009 race. The board contributed the same amount for this years' race.
The race's $3.7 million budget also includes $1 million from the state tourism division. The rest comes from
corporate sponsorships and donations.
The third annual race is to run Sept. 7-13. It has been upgraded to ''above category'' status by the USA and
world governing bodies for cycling. That puts the Missouri event on a par with a select few major professional
bicycle races outside of Europe.
The only other such race in the United States is the Amgen Tour of California.




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Former state lawmaker transferred to halfway house
The Associated Press
and Inside Missouri Politics blog

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former Missouri lawmaker convicted in an immigration fraud scheme has
been transferred to a halfway house.
Thirty-five-year-old Nathan Cooper was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison about a year ago, forcing him
to resign from the state House and surrender his law license. Cooper pleaded guilty to visa fraud and making a
false statement to the Department of Labor.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Cooper transferred Dec. 1 to a federal community corrections center
based in St. Louis. Those in halfway houses are monitored as they complete sentences, but they also can sign
out and leave the facility.
Cooper, a Republican from Cape Girardeau, also was fined $6,000 and will be on two years of supervised
release. His sentence is scheduled to expire Feb. 28.




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Chiefs tax break brings training camp to Missouri in 2010
By JASON NOBLE
The Star’s Jefferson City correspondent

JEFFERSON CITY | Forget about that 450-mile drive to Wisconsin. As early as 2010, the Kansas City Chiefs will be holding
training camp right up the road.
The Missouri Development Finance Board unanimously approved $25 million in state tax credits Tuesday for what is
expected to be a $50 million project to build a new indoor training facility at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph,
improve Arrowhead Stadium and make infrastructure upgrades at the Truman Sports Complex.

Although the facility in St. Joseph will be state-owned and be operated by the university, the Chiefs will chip in $10 million of
its $13.45 million construction cost and hold their three-week training camp there each summer for at least 10 years.
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has hosted the Chiefs for camp since 1991. Camp was held at William Jewell
College in Liberty from 1963 to 1990, and the team’s departure for another state was a major disappointment to many fans.

Bringing the Chiefs back to Missouri — along with the fans who have followed them north — was a major factor in securing
the state aid. Officials said they hoped to begin designing and building the training facility immediately so the Chiefs could
open camp there in 2010.

―The opportunity to come back home, for our fans, would be great,‖ said Chiefs coach Herm Edwards. ―Anytime you can
come back home and have your training camp, it brings value to your fans. They can drive and come watch you every day,
and I think our players can get the residuals of being around our fans every day in practice.‖

Board members and supporters said the project could be a great economic benefit to the state, as fans who currently trek to
Wisconsin to attend camp will now spend that money in Missouri.

St. Joseph officials have been in discussions with the Chiefs about a move. Last offseason, the team held its final practice in
June at Spratt Stadium on the Missouri Western campus.
―We’re extremely glad that it passed and that this possibility that we’ve talked about for two or three years looks like it’s
going to become a reality,‖ said St. Joseph Deputy Mayor Mike Hirter. ―Without a doubt it brings people in, brings tourism to
the city, which of course equates to dollars spent in the city. So there’s no question that it will be an economic boon.‖
The Chiefs no doubt hope it will be a boon to them, too. The approval of the tax credits comes at a time when the Chiefs,
who are currently 2-12, need to get fans fired up and sell some tickets. Bringing the Chiefs closer to home and giving fans a
good early look could be a benefit to a team that no longer is an automatic sellout.
These new projects are in addition to the renovation work already under way at Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums. That
$575 million project won $50 million in state tax incentives in 2006 and is financed primarily by a voter-approved sales tax.

Unlike many projects receiving tax credits, all the work done on this one will benefit publicly owned facilities: The sports
complex is owned by Jackson County, while the training center will be the property of Missouri Western.
Senate Majority Floor leader Charlie Shields, a Republican who represents St. Joseph, said bringing the Chiefs to Missouri
Western would give the city a needed morale boost.

―This is one of those projects that I believe is transformational in terms of how a community looks at itself,‖ Shields said,
noting that in the last 15 years St. Joseph has been the victim of natural disasters and lost several major employers.
Not everyone, however, was pleased with the plans.
Sen. Wes Shoemyer, a Monroe County Democrat, argued that the state’s budget was too lean to justify giving $25 million to
a professional football team, and suggested that the development finance board’s decision could have repercussions in the
General Assembly.




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―What you’re going to do is raise the ire of the folks down the street,‖ Shoemyer said, referring to lawmakers, ―and get this
board handcuffed so when we really need you, and really need the things you’re able to do, we won’t be able to do them.‖
Individual tax credits awarded by the board are generally capped at $10 million, although larger credits are allowed with
approval from a committee of three state department executives, said Gary McElyea, a spokesman for Lt. Gov. Peter
Kinder.
It’s not unusual for proposed credits to exceed the cap, and it’s common for them to be approved.
The Chiefs expect to have one final summer in River Falls, which has served them well. The team moved camp under the
direction of then-coach Marty Schottenheimer, who liked the ―boot-camp‖ feel and the opportunity to build camaraderie
away from Kansas City.
The Chiefs had the benefit of being able to practice against other nearby teams such as the Minnesota Vikings, and the mild
Wisconsin summer weather was a bonus. The average high temperature in Kansas City in late July and early August
approaches 90 degrees.
But coming home — or close to it — is nice, too.

―As a Chiefs fan, this excites me,‖ Missouri Western football coach Jerry Partridge said. ―It’s a giant Christmas present.‖




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Are you ready for some football?
Chiefs training camp clears major hurdle
ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS -by Alyson E. Raletz
Wednesday, December 17, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Goodbye, Wisconsin. The Kansas City Chiefs’ summer training camp is suiting up for
St. Joseph.
A state board Tuesday morning unanimously cleared a bundle of tax credits for the Chiefs, who promised to
move the camp to Missouri Western State University along with a $10 million donation for an indoor practice
facility.
The pledge to Western hinged on the Missouri Development Finance Board’s approval.
―I couldn’t be better,‖ said a smiling Dirck Clark, chairman of Western’s board of governors who attended the
finance board meeting in Jefferson City. ―… To be the summer home of the Kansas City Chiefs would be a
tremendous boost for Missouri Western.‖
In an 11-0 vote, the Missouri Development Finance Board approved a joint application from the Chiefs and
Jackson County Sports Authority for $25 million in tax credits that they can use to raise a $50 million contribution
for improvements to Arrowhead Stadium.
An attorney for the Chiefs, Ken Spain, explained that Jackson County will be able to sell the tax credits to banks
and other investors in order to fund the $10 million for Western, which still needs to drum up another $3.45
million to complete the facility.
Bill Newman, senior vice president of administration for the Chiefs, said the team had considered moving the
training camp from River Falls, Wis., to Maryville, Mo., or Kansas City, but that the longtime Chiefs support from
St. Joseph combined with Western’s campus and its proximity to Kansas City helped determine it as the final
selection. The application puts the camp at Western for possibly 10 years, beginning in 2010. River Falls will
serve as the 2009 site.
―I would be completely against this if we weren’t going to send $10 million to a university that I’m sure needs the
money,‖ said board member Larry Neff via conference call from Neosho, Mo.
The board went against its protocol Tuesday in that members typically won’t vote on tax credit proposals without
everyone present in person. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, board chairman, had planned on postponing the vote since
four members participated via conference call because of severe winter weather, but the board voted anyway
after learning the action wouldn’t violate state law.
However, since the proposal exceeds a board cap of $10 million, the ex-officio members — the directors of
agriculture, economic development and natural resources of Gov.-elect Jay Nixon’s administration in 2009 — will
have to give final approval of the application.
The presumed incoming Senate president, Sen. Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, said he believed Mr. Nixon would
support the endeavor. Construction is slated for this summer.
Dr. Bob Vartabedian, president of Western, said once the Chiefs are ―comfortable with our letter of intent‖ the
planning stages for construction of the practice facility can come into full swing.
―There are certain NFL standards that we need to abide by and respect,‖ Dr. Vartabedian said. ―But I think the
way we’ve worked on this is that it would be to our mutual satisfaction.‖
Mr. Shields said he began negotiating the deal in September when the Chiefs were looking for funds for the
Arrowhead improvements. In addressing the board, he referred to recent blows to St. Joseph, pointing to the
closure of the Stetson Hat, Mead and Quaker Oats factories.



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―This is a community that has seen its identity taken out from under it,‖ he said.
Mr. Shields said the state must choose its investments carefully and that this proposal had obvious economic
benefits to the city, including nearly 300 construction jobs and the camp’s tourism value.
―The part you can’t put dollars to is how you change the attitude of a community,‖ he said. ―It pays it back in the
attitude, which is immeasurable in St. Joseph.‖
He also asked board member to look past comments from state Sen. Wes Shoemyer, D-Clarence, who said the
current application had bad timing in light of a projected state budget shortfall and a struggling national economy.
―I’m not saying this project itself does not make sense financially,‖ he said. ―This is not the time to be addressing
this issue with the mood of the people out there.‖
Board members countered by plugging the St. Joseph practice facility as the attractive component of the
proposal, bringing revenue from the crowds at the training camps in Wisconsin back to Missouri.
―Now they’re going to spend money in our state,‖ board member Richard Wilson said.




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Senator Shoemyer opposes tax credits
for Chiefs
Tuesday, December 16, 2008, 6:11 PM
MISSOURINET - By Steve Walsh

It was a unanimous vote that saw the Missouri Development Finance Board approve the Kansas City Chiefs'
request for $25-million in tax credits. But at least one member of the General Assembly thinks it's a bad decision.
Senator Wes Shoemyer (D-Clarence), who showed up at the Board meeting to observe the proceedings, took
advantage of an opportunity to voice his opposition. Shoemyer says that while granting the tax credits to the
Chiefs might turn out to be a good economic deal, it raises the ire of many people who will see this as another
government giveaway.
He compares it to the the bailouts we're seeing in Washington, adding it is wrong to hand out incentives of this
kind during tough economic times.




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Pollock pushing for property tax change
Lebanon legislator wants annual bill deadline of June 30.
Chad Livengood
News-Leader

It happens every year.
State legislators' phones start ringing in December with calls from taxpayers, asking why they're required to pay
property taxes during a time of the year when families are putting money toward Christmas gifts.
Rep. Darrell Pollock, R-Lebanon, plans to introduce legislation for the upcoming 2009 session that would change
the due date from Dec. 31 to June 30.
"It's a long-time overdue," Pollock said. "Even in the best of times that's not easy, but in the worst of times that's
very difficult."
Pollock said a June collection date would allow taxpayers to put any federal or state income tax returns toward
their personal property taxes levied for vehicles, homes, businesses and farms.
But he acknowledges these proposed changes will face "some land mines out there that we're going to have to
navigate."
"The collectors are not going to like it probably very much," he said. "When you make changes, sometimes it's
not about what's easy to do, it's about doing the right thing."
Another hurdle would be the loss of tax revenues during the transition year, Pollock said.
One way to solve this problem would be to let taxpayers make quarterly payments on personal property taxes
like businesses do for corporate income taxes, spreading out the burden and flow of money into the
government's coffers, he said.
Pollock has pre-filed one bill with hopes of renaming an I-44 overpass after a Lebanon man who died in combat
in Afghanistan.
The bridge crossing over I-44 on Business Loop 44 at Exit 127 would be renamed the James M. Finley Memorial
Bridge. Specialist Finley was a 21-year-old soldier from Lebanon killed last May by a roadside bomb in Jalalabad
City, Afghanistan.
If approved, it would become the first Missouri roadway renamed after a soldier who has died in the Iraq or
Afghanistan wars.
Pollock said his other legislative priorities this year include cracking down on lewd behavior by floaters on the
Niangua River and pursuing a law requiring voters to show identification at the polls.
He would also support a proposed law allowing early voting, but only if voters were required to show a valid
state-issued ID.




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New cyber-bullying law is being used in
St. Louis area
By Joel Currier
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
12/17/2008


Her enemies nicknamed her "Pork and Beans."
Eggs and thumbtacks were thrown at her car in August, police say. A week later, the 16-year-old St. Peters girl
found a can of beans dumped on the car's roof.
Text messages — spurred by jealousy over a boy — soon filled the girl's cell phone. Then came vulgar voice
mails: one caller even threatening rape.
As a result, prosecutors used a new cyber harassment law to charge a 21-year-old St. Charles woman.
Nicole A. Williams is charged with misdemeanor harassment. She is accused of sending harassing text
messages to the girl and letting friends use her cell phone to leave threatening voice messages.
Her case is one of at least seven involving adults in the St. Louis area filed since Missouri's new cyber-bullying
law took effect Aug. 28. Williams' is the first harassment case involving text messaging filed in St. Charles
County under the new law.
Eighteen states now have laws targeting Internet harassment and cyber-stalking, according to the National
Conference of State Legislatures. In the fallout of the cyber-bullying case of Dardenne Prairie teenager Megan
Meier, legal experts say the long-term impact of such laws is just beginning to take shape.
Illinois lawmakers passed a similar law this year, but it doesn't take effect until Jan. 1. The law includes
prohibiting a website with third-party access that contains "harassing statements made for the purpose of
alarming, tormenting or terrorizing a specific person."
Missouri's updated harassment law covers threats or communication that causes emotional distress, including
electronic messaging on computers, text messaging and e-mail. Charges can be filed as misdemeanors or
felonies.
Williams' lawyer, Michael Kielty, said she shouldn't be punished for what others may have said or written using
her cell phone. Missouri's cyber-bullying law, Kielty says, is poorly defined and was passed hastily in response to
the case of Meier, 13, who hanged herself in October 2006 after receiving hurtful messages over the social
networking website MySpace.com.
"It's a knee-jerk reaction to a high-profile case that was blown out of proportion," Kielty said.
Last month, a Los Angeles jury found Lori Drew, 49, of O'Fallon, Mo., guilty of three misdemeanor counts of
accessing a computer without authorization for her role in the creation of a fake MySpace account. Drew faces
up to three years in prison and a $300,000 fine. Prosecutors in California, where MySpace is headquartered,
charged Drew under the Computer Use and Fraud Act, which has typically been used in computer hacking
cases. St. Louis area authorities said there were no applicable laws at the time to charge her.
Some experts say that even though cyber-bullying laws establish a framework for punishing those who use the
Internet to harass others, those laws probably do little to deter such behavior.
Others say it will take a combination of the law, parental involvement and raising awareness to curb cyber-
bullying.



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Parry Aftab, a lawyer and executive director of WiredSafety.org, which Megan's mother, Tina Meier, has joined
to raise awareness of cyber-bullying, says Drew's conviction will have a dramatic effect on cyber-stalking cases
nationwide.
"Because of Megan's case, people are paying attention," Aftab said. "The laws will make a difference once
people understand that there are laws and once prosecutors start using them. We need to teach (people) that
what you do online matters as much as what you do in real life, because the Internet is real life now."
St. Charles County Prosecutor Jack Banas said he is glad authorities now have the ability to prosecute. But he
questioned the law's effectiveness in preventing harassment.
"It's too early to tell if it's going to affect how people treat each other," Banas said. "I don't know if it has any
effect — like any other statute — for those who don't think they're going to get caught."
A recent check of St. Louis-area courts showed prosecutors have filed two cases in St. Louis and one each in
Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln and St. Louis counties alleging harassment or threats by adults via cell phone text
messaging and e-mail. The only other local cases filed have been in Jefferson County juvenile court.
In St. Louis, two men have been charged in separate cases in November of sending numerous text messages to
their ex-girlfriends. In St. Louis County, a Ballwin man protesting a proposed resort was accused in September
of sending a threatening e-mail to Wildwood City Hall. In Franklin County, a Union woman, 28, was accused in
September of sending harassing text messages to her ex-husband's girlfriend. The same month, in Lincoln
County, authorities say a 19-year-old Belleville man sent at least 17 text messages to his mother's husband, who
lives in Troy, Mo. And in Jefferson County, prosecutors in October charged a 17-year-old from Cedar Hill with
writing death threats in text messages to a classmate stemming from a dispute over a girl.
Justin Patchin, a criminologist at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and co-author of "Bullying Beyond the
Schoolyard," is skeptical that such laws will be upheld in courts. He said the laws fail to deter such behavior by
young people because most don't understand what cyber-bullying is. However, Patchin said, the laws may be
more effective in protecting children targeted by adults.
"The vast majority of these cases can and should be dealt with informally in schools with parents," Patchin said.
"Once we start criminalizing minor forms of bullying and cyber-bullying, that's really going to draw too many kids
into the criminal justice system."
The federal case against Drew has brought national attention to cyber-bullying, spurring the creation of local and
state laws that may encourage parents to better educate their children about the dangers, said Thomas Holt, a
criminologist with the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. But youngsters will continue to hurt each other
online without thinking about the consequences.
"It's very hard to say that any 14-year-old with a cell phone who can text is going to think about a cyber-bullying
law when they're communicating with peers," he said.




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Rookie Lawmakers tour Missouri
National Guard
KRCG-TV -By Kermit Miller
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 4:48 p.m.

ALGOA -- They're coming to the end of a three-week instructional road tour of the state.
Tuesday, more than three dozen of Missouri's newly-elected state lawmakers dropped in at the Ike Skelton
Training Center to learn more about the national guard.
There are 47 new lawmakers coming to Jefferson City next month and that gave Missouri guard commander
King Sidwell about four dozen chances to make a good first impression.
"Certainly, we like to have a positive image with the legisature about what benefit they get...return on their
investment ...with the Missouri National Guard," Sidwell said.
Not that creating a positive image is for Sidwell.
Beyond the battlefield service overseas, the Missouri guard has maintained a high profile at home in recent
years, with relief efforts in communities ravaged by flood waters and paralyzed by ice storms.
"The most important thing I want them to remember," explained Col. Mark McCarter, "Is the national guard is the
governor's most important instrument of resolve that's committed to support the citizens of Missouri."
Freshmen lawmakers have a lot to learn, and the information overload during orientation can sometimes leave
them overwhelmed.
But no one at the Ike Skelton Center complained about this process.
"It's easy to get information. They're eager to lead us and help us," said Representative-Elect Dan Brown of
Rolla.
Cynics might assume that's only because agenices like the guard are always in need.
But the new lawmakers on the tour already know enough to understand that they control the purse strings...and
times are tough.
"People know the economic situation our nation's in and our state's in," said Callaway County Representative-
Elect Jeannie Riddle, "Usually, they preface it with, 'We're not asking for money, but here's what we do'..."
The freshman tour will wrap up on Friday.
The new lawmakers and their veteran colleagues will be sworn into office January 7.




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Old butter law in Lampe's crosshairs
Chad Livengood
News-Leader

Under Missouri laws dating back to the late 19th century, it's illegal to sell yellow margarine and use the word
"butter" to market imitation butter.
Those dealing butter contraband could be fined $100 and spend six months in jail on the first offense -- and face
a $500 fine for repeating the crime.
Yet it's easy to find grocery store shelves lined with margarine being passed off as regular ole butter.
That's because the law hasn't been enforced in years, possibly decades by some estimations.
State Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, filed a bill on Tuesday that would repeal the 113-year-old law restricting
the manufacture and sale of imitation butter.
Lampe said one of the most glaringly outdated statutes requires imitation butter to be labeled "substitute for
butter" in a certain font that is at least one inch long and one-half inch wide. Lampe has found very few, if any,
supermarket brands of margarine or imitation butter that are properly labeled.
Under current statute, the popular margarine "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter," which has been on the market for
22 years, also is breaking imitation butter advertising laws, Lampe said.
"It really criminalizes, at this point, every grocery store in the state of Missouri," Lampe said.
Missouri laws also make it illegal to possess unmarked imitation butter except for personal consumption.
State law directs the Missouri Department of Agriculture to regulate the butter industry, but no one in that agency
is sure when the butter laws were last enforced.
"As far as I can find out, there's no one in our agency currently enforcing that," said Misti Preston, spokeswoman
for Department of Agriculture.
State history suggests the 1895 statute, which was last revised in 1939, was enacted to protect the state's
thriving dairy business. Missouri was one of the largest dairy-producing states in the country until the end of
World War II, said Gene Wiseman, executive secretary of the State Milk Board.
"We believe this law was probably passed to protect Missouri's dairy industry at that time," Wiseman said. "It was
directed toward competition in butter."
Apparently, "Big Butter" wielded a lot of influence in Jefferson City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,
Lampe said.
"They must have had quite a stranglehold on lawmakers," Lampe said.
Lampe said she was inspired to seek a repeal of the unenforced laws from her "There Oughta Be a Law"
initiative, in which constituents suggest new laws.
To her surprise, more people wanted obsolete laws removed, rather than new ones passed.
"What I didn't expect was people saying 'take bills off' (the books)," Lampe said.
So Lampe and her staff started combing through the 700 chapters of Missouri statues looking for archaic laws.
"We found the butter bill idea just by accident," she said.
The legislative session begins Jan. 7 and state legislators are busy pre-filling bills to be considered by the
Republican-controlled General Assembly.
Whether Lampe can be successful in getting old laws off the books remains to be seen.
"I know what I'm against facing a majority in the House that's not me," the two-term Democratic legislator said.



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can’t believe it’s not legal
Bill repeals ban on butter substitutes.
By JANESE HEAVIN of the Tribune’s staff
Published Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Got a tub of substitute butter in your fridge? Under Missouri law, it is probably illegal.
A state statute from the late 1800s still on the books today makes fake butter a crime if it is yellow or if the
container doesn’t clearly state "substitute for butter" in lettering at least an inch tall.
Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, is prefiling a bill today to repeal the state’s outdated butter laws.
"These statutes haven’t been enforced in decades, if not generations, and today are honored more in breach
than the observance," she said in a prepared statement. "As a result, there is no reason to keep them on the
books."
Lampe’s proposal is "not just entertaining; it’s worthwhile," said Rep.-elect Chris Kelly, a Columbia Democrat
who served in the House for 12 years.
Kelly said when he left office in 1994, Missouri had about eight statute books compared to 20 today. That is
because lawmakers often feel pressured to pass legislation during their terms, which ultimately leads to more
laws, he said.
"It’s intensified since term limits. People have a shorter period of time to make their mark, and they all think it’s
important" to pass legislation "for re-election," Kelly said. "All the people who say they’re against more laws keep
passing more laws. ... Lampe’s on to something."
Some of her constituents apparently think so, too. The butter bill stems from a contest Lampe held last year
called "There Ought’a Be a Law" asking residents to suggest new legislation. Instead, constituents asked her to
repeal outdated laws.
"As several of my constituents wisely pointed out, sometimes there ought’a not be a law, and this is a prime
example," Lampe said.
She believes the butter laws were an attempt at the time to protect "big butter" business from competition. It
didn’t work: Today, grocery stores such as Moser’s Discount Foods carry four times as many substitute brands
than real butter.
"We probably have a foot of shelving for butter compared to 5 feet of margarine and substitute products," said
Jane McKie, manager of the Moser’s in Ashland.
Real butter makes a temporary comeback during the holiday season "because it’s the old-fashioned rich and
creamy stuff," McKie noted. On the flip side, the tougher economy is keeping fake butter in demand because real
butter can be twice as expensive, she said.
Although the law isn’t enforced, Mosers and other grocery stores stocked with fake butter could be fined for
selling the products under the old statutes.
"We are talking about laws so forgotten that over the past several decades, millions of Missourians have been
buying illegal fake butter and thousands of merchants unwittingly have committed crimes by selling it," Lampe
said. "Who knew?"




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Illinois, Missouri part of Airborne Health settlement
St. Louis Business Journal

Illinois will receive $394,000 and Missouri will get $150,000 as part of a $7 million nationwide settlement with
Airborne Health Inc., of Bonita Springs, Fla.
The company sold herbal supplements that claimed to fight colds, sore throats and allergies without adequate
scientific proof that the products could perform as advertised, Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon said.
Other allegations included that the company failed warn consumers about potential health risks to pregnant
women.
Airborne has agreed not to make any claim concerning the health benefit, performance, efficacy or safety of its
dietary supplement products unless reliable scientific evidence exists to substantiate it.
Airborne is prohibited from saying, "Take at the first sign of a cold symptom," and other claims that imply that
Airborne can diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat, or cure colds, coughs, the flu and upper respiratory infection or
allergies.
―Consumers who purchased Airborne to treat their colds were not getting their money’s worth as there is no
proof that Airborne can lessen your cold symptoms,‖ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a statement.
Thirty other states and the District of Columbia were also part of the settlement.
Airborne Health Inc.’s founders are Victoria Knight-McDowell and her husband, Thomas John McDowell.
Airborne manufactures a range of herbal health supplements that claim to boost the immune system.




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Court Upholds Takeover of St. Louis
School District
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) -- The Missouri Supreme Court upholds the state takeover of the St. Louis School
District
The decision Tuesday backs the appointment of a three-member governing board that has run Missouri's largest
school district since it lost accreditation in June 2007. Members of the elected school board have remained in
office since then but are largely powerless.
Elected St. Louis board members had urged the Supreme Court to invalidate the Missouri Board of Education
decision removing the district's accreditation. They also sought to strike down the state law allowing the transfer
of powers to an appointed board if the St. Louis district lost accreditation.
The Supreme Court rejected all the arguments raised by the elected board members.
The appointed board is to continue overseeing the district until mid-2011




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Opponents of state control of city
schools won't fight Supreme Court
verdict
By Robert Joiner, Beacon staff
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 December 2008 )
Updated 9:15 p.m. Tues., Dec. 16 - Some members of the elected city School Board say they intend to keep
working to support city schools in spite of a state Supreme Court ruling that left them powerless to run the
system.
What the court said
The read an article about the decision, click here .
In a decision handed down Tuesday, the court affirmed the right of the Missouri Board of Education to yank
accreditation for the city school district and allow a three-member appointed board, called the Special
Administrative Board or SAB, to run the system. The SAB is supposed to run the system until the middle of
2011.
The three SAB members were appointed by Gov. Matt Blunt, Mayor Francis Slay and Aldermanic Board
President Lewis Reed. Blunt’s appointee is Rick Sullivan, an area business executive, who also serves as CEO
of the district. The other two are Melanie Adams and Richard Gaines.
The court ruling was a response to a lawsuit challenging state arrangements that left the elected board in office
but stripped it of its powers. One elected board member, William Purdy, says the group raised about $50,000 to
challenge the SAB’s authority. He says he’s disappointed by the ruling but says he and other foes of the SAB
―have probably reached the end of the line.‖
Purdy added, ―I’m disappointed, but that’s the way it is. It means three members of an appointed board are now
unquestionably in charge. They were not elected. The citizens have no way of holding them accountable. No
matter how well or how poorly they run the system, the taxpayers cannot put them out of office.‖
One reason Purdy finds the ruling so disappointing is because the SAB, he says, isn't held accountable for its
shortcomings. He says one area where the SAB has fallen short involves strategic planning. The elected board
held several well-attended community meetings as part of its recently released strategic plan for the system. By
contrast, Purdy said, the SAB is just getting around to strategic planning in spite of the amount of time it has
been in charge of the system.
Jim Morris, spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, says the ruling
addresses the concern raised by Purdy.
He said the court action ―affirms the decision by the state Board of Education, the basis for that decision, the
standards used by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the process that we followed in
deciding St. Louis’ accreditation.‖
He said the community has representation because ―the three members were appointed by elected officials.
There still is a local force. I would say this decision helps undergird the credibility of the special board and



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perhaps helps give it more credibility.‖ Purdy says he will not seek re-election in April. The seats held by two
other board members – Veronica O’Brien and Flynt Fowler – also are up for grabs in April. It was unclear
whether either would run again. As of Tuesday, only one candidate, Bill Haas, had filed.
Sullivan Wants To Stay
Much of the criticism of the SAB has been aimed at Sullivan. One parent, Beffa Chad, and elected board
member Peter Downs say incoming Gov. Jay Nixon should consider replacing Sullivan with an educator. Nixon
hasn’t commented on the issue, and most people seem unsure whether the next governor has the authority to
remove Sullivan before Sullivan’s term expires.
But outgoing state Sen. Maida Coleman of St. Louis, a critic of the SAB, feels Sullivan should be replaced. She
says that while the law is vague about what a new governor can do about the SAB, "I believe Jay Nixon will be
within his powers if he decides to replace Sullivan. I expect the new governor to examine this issue very closely
because of how volatile it has been in the city."
Sullivan says, "My appointment has a term which expires in June 2010,‖ Sullivan said Tuesday night. ―I believe
the SAB is important to the operation of the St. Louis Public Schools, and it’s not my intention to resign or step
down.‖
Meanwhile, Sullivan said the SAB wanted to continue to work with elected board members. ―The SAB has
frequently invited the elected board to events and give us feedback about various matter,‖ Sullivan said. ―We’ll
continue to look to their input and suggestions to improve student achievement.‖
Both Purdy and Downs say it’s important for the public to continue electing school board members even though
the SAB will run city schools.
Downs notes that the terms of the three candidates who run in April won’t expire until after the SAB control of
city schools come to a close. But Downs says the elected board hasn’t decided what its role will be in light of the
court’s ruling. He said the elected board will hold its regular meeting on Jan. 13 and decide how it will co-exist
with the SAB. Downs adds that he senses that community residents are less concerned about the SAB doing
better planning on issues such as closing schools. He says the SAB should use more creativity such as
determining whether some schools could be kept opened through dual uses, such as using part of the unused
space for social services.
Meanwhile, state Sen. Jeff Smith, also of St. Louis, fully supports the work of the SAB and argues that Sullivan
has done a good job. Smith says replacing Sullivan hasn't come up in his conversations with Nixon, but that he
and Nixon have discussed the need for a St. Louis area representation on the Missouri Board of Education.
Blunt has tried twice to fill the slot on the board with candidates from Smith's district, but got no support from
Smith. He says he wants a candidate who isn't an "ideologue" and isn't pro-voucher but is favorable to charter
schools. Smith says Nixon would have no problem finding a good state board candidate.




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EDITORIALS … & Letters to the Editor
Nixon wise to end patronage
Governor-elect's plan for license offices appropriate, needed.
SPRINGFIELD NEWS-LEADER

Jay Nixon's announcement last week about bidding out driver's license offices came at an appropriate time.
With the salacious stories about Chicago political patronage dominating national news, it's good to see Nixon
announce the end to at least one kind of patronage in Missouri.
It's longstanding political theory that to the victor belong the spoils.
Illinois' foul-mouthed governor apparently tried very hard to create some spoils for himself, illegally, after Barack
Obama's convincing victory.
That Nixon, who scored an even more resounding win, would squelch patronage in one of his first
announcements as governor-elect sends a healthy message.
Missouri license fee system for decades has been a spoils system.
Governors, Democrats and Republicans, routinely handed to friends and colleagues the power to operate the
license centers. That allowed those supporters to profit from fees that citizens who want licenses are forced to
pay - exclusively - to these offices.
Although lame-duck Gov. Matt Blunt started a competitive bidding process for a small number of offices, he did
so only after his administration became tied to controversy - and an FBI probe - over how contracts for some
offices were awarded.
Nixon said last week he will no longer simply dole out contracts for offices and instead will open all 183 fee
offices to competitive bidding, beginning in mid-February. He has a plan to do the transition in stages, six offices
at a clip, to avoid disruptions in service.
He also has determined that the state can cut some of the middlemen out of the system with online services.
Though critics complain that might make some current offices unprofitable, we do not see the logic in continuing
offices where the need isn't proven - especially if offices were borne out of patronage.
Nixon has also built a point system for awarding offices that takes into account efficiency and customer service,
as well as benefits to nonprofits, women and minorities.
Of course, there will be critics who shriek about flaws in the shakeup. But, long-established political plums do not
wither quickly, or noiselessly.
Nixon should proceed undaunted, with concern for a smooth transition, nonprofits willing to do the work, and
citizens who need licenses - not political sycophants trolling for spoils.




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UM leadership
Facing the crisis
By HENRY J. WATERS III, Publisher, Columbia Daily Tribune
Published Tuesday, December 16, 2008

President Gary Forsee of the University of Missouri System is putting the best front possible on the looming loss
of state funding for his four campuses.
He instructs the campuses and agencies under his direction to make plans for spending cuts of 15 to 25 percent,
a reversal of a long-fought struggle to get state appropriations back to levels not seen for several years. At the
same time, he makes a persuasive case for higher education funding as an important economic stimulus for the
general economy.
The argument for adequate higher education funding holds true regardless of larger economic conditions. For
some time Missouri has been slipping toward the bottom in funding for higher education. Several states with
historically poorer records have moved ahead. It’s true merely spending more money is not a perfect measure of
education success, but a look around the country shows a correlation. Not only does better funding tend to
produce better instruction; it enhances the economic vitality of the state no matter where the affected campuses
are located.
Of course, here at the flagship campus we have an extraordinary interest in this equation, but an even larger
goal is to persuade citizens and voters throughout Missouri to support higher education funding. Once this
general enthusiasm is developed, we will have a healthy debate about how to allocate the money, but no
allocation fun can be had without a decent pool of money.
In this context of need, Forsee’s leadership is challenged, and my informal survey of people on and off campus
who have worked closely with the new president produces a uniformly positive reaction. Recently one of the
system officers most intimately involved in fiscal planning with Forsee echoed a comment made in this column
earlier: Forsee is a quick study. He understands financial issues in a hurry, reflecting his skill in handling large
private-industry budgets. Right now this skill is of particular importance at UM.
The president also receives high marks for his demeanor, a good blend of central administration activism with a
willingness to delegate authority to campus leaders. His personality is quiet and receptive, creating cooperation
in the ranks for handling tough problems.
It won’t necessarily shake money from the trees, but good leadership in tough times produces hope instead of
despair and the best organizational energy for moving ahead.


President Fraser
At this parlous moment, our own Columbia member becomes president of the University of Missouri Board of
Curators. Bo Fraser has the attitude and personality to do a good job, and his skills complement those of
president Forsee.
Fraser, a former bank president, and Forsee, a former CEO of one of the nation’s largest corporations, will not
be daunted by the fiscal road ahead. The long view is positive. The immediate situation is something to be
managed, not simply bemoaned.
And look: The university budget is not the only bit of business to be handled in the next year or two. With the
help of campus chancellors and everyone else in the university family, lots of progress is possible, particularly in
the area of economic development, where paradoxically the future looks brighter than it has for years.
Nobody likes tough times, but temporary budget restrictions do bring streamlining and prioritizing that can
strengthen organizations. As this opportunity arrives, we can be happy for good top-level leadership.


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The right person to lead UMKC
Even in tough economic times the University of Missouri-Kansas City has opportunities to grow.
Workers who have been laid off by their employers often return to school to make themselves more marketable.
Bright high school graduates who might otherwise enroll at a private college may look, during a recession, to the
more reasonable rates of a public university.
And there is the prospect of UMKC claiming a greater share of the high-tech and biomedical research that has
powered other schools in the region.
But to capitalize on opportunities, UMKC needs stability. It must reassure prospective students and funders that
the internal turmoil and town-and-gown rifts of past years have been put to rest.
That’s one reason the naming of Kansas City businessman Leo Morton as chancellor makes sense.
Morton, the recently retired chief administration officer of Aquila, has long enjoyed respect from Kansas City’s
business and civic communities. And he has done a remarkable job gaining the trust of students, faculty and
staff in the five months he has served as UMKC’s interim chancellor.
Gary Ebersole, chair of the faculty senate, said his experience working with Morton had reversed his conviction
that only an accomplished academic should hold the top job at a university.
―In five months I’ve been converted to a real fan of Leo Morton,‖ he said.
Morton’s appointment comes with a bonus. Gail Hackett, UMKC’s well-regarded interim provost, will work with
him as vice chancellor and provost. Hackett was being recruited by former UMKC Chancellor Guy Bailey, who
took a job at Texas Tech University last summer.
The appointment of a businessman at UMKC comes as Missouri officials are warning the state’s public
universities to prepare for severe budget cuts.
Morton and Gary Forsee, the University of Missouri system’s president, said this week that UMKC would
promote its strengths and seek out new opportunities.
That strategy is in keeping with recent moves by the University of Missouri system.
Forsee has notified members of Missouri’s congressional delegation and incoming Gov. Jay Nixon that the
university’s four campuses have construction projects totaling $737 million ready to go should federal economic
stimulus money become available.
The University of Missouri system also has announced it is forming an Economic Development and Research
Council to assess how the four campuses can enhance research opportunities and use them to promote
development.
The council will focus on energy and life sciences.
―The University of Missouri is the place where ideas and plans should come from,‖ Forsee said.
Leaders in Kansas City have long wanted UMKC to be more of a catalyst for ideas and economic development
in the city.
Partly because of internal turmoil, the university has watched valuable opportunities for partnerships go
elsewhere.
Now, for the first time in many years, UMKC is stable enough to contemplate living up to its potential to be a
catalyst for ideas and economic development in Kansas City.
Morton, a familiar face and a fast learner, is the right person to lead the effort.
KC STAR




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Higher ed cuts will hurt our economy
By ROBERT B. STEIN
COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Published Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For the past two years, higher education in Missouri earned a grade-point average just above a D. If we were
graduates searching for a job, employers wouldn’t look at us twice.
Every two years, the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education issues a report card for states and
the nation on criteria essential to our future security: making college affordable, preparing high school students
for college, how many attend and earn a college degree, and how well the graduates put their college educations
to use in society.
On all the criteria except affordability, Missouri was resoundingly average. While there are pockets of excellence
throughout the state, we must improve if Missouri’s diverse and expansive higher education system is to support
the work force needs of the future.
Missouri, along with all other states except California, flunked affordability. Knowing we have lots of company
doesn’t provide much solace for the fact we are failing to provide a college education to students with limited
resources. The issue of college affordability is a national priority, as elected officials develop greater
understanding of the public benefits that accrue to nations and states that produce educated, globally
competitive workers.
Unless affordability is addressed, states such as Missouri and the nation as a whole will be racing in the wrong
direction - toward the bottom of college attainment, rather than back to the top.
Since the late 1990s, the share of a Missouri family’s income needed to pay for college at public four-year
institutions has increased from 18 percent to 29 percent, even after financial aid. Missouri families in the lowest
income bracket - those earning just more than $17,000 - must pay 41 percent of their income to attend a four-
year public college or university. Sixty-five percent of Missouri students graduate with student debt, compared to
59 percent nationally, and the average amount of debt is almost $19,000.
The disparity in access to higher education between rich and poor, majority and minority leads to lost personal
income and a stagnant tax base. Recently, Missouri has taken positive steps by significantly increasing need-
based scholarships, but much more outreach is necessary to prepare and enroll low-income students.
It’s no secret Missouri ranks 47th in the nation in per capita support for higher education, spending just $159 per
student compared to our neighbors in Kansas ($297), Illinois ($227) and Arkansas ($303).
This ranking results from the state’s budget shortfall in fiscal years 2001-2002, when the budget was balanced
on the back of higher education institutions, students and their families. The past two years have seen modest
increases in state funding, but public colleges and institutions have yet to receive state support at pre-2002
levels. Enrollment, however, has grown from fewer than 150,000 students to more than 165,000.
To be sure, colleges and universities must do their part to maximize efficiency. However, while institutions strive
to contain costs, the entire system must also think creatively about new structural arrangements to meet
residents’ demands for education and training.
The shift from state support to family support has profound implications for higher education and our state and
nation. After World War II, the GI Bill paid for thousands of returning soldiers to attend college, obtain good jobs
and live more comfortably than their parents ever dreamed. Their children, the baby boomer generation,
benefited from their parents’ affluence and education.
Now, decreasing public support affects the ability of the middle class to pay for college and threatens to wipe out
any hope those at the bottom of the economic ladder might have for a better life. Meanwhile, baby boomers are



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retiring just when the need for an educated work force is greater than ever. Now 22 of the 30 fastest-growing
career fields require some postsecondary education. By 2020, the United States is expected to face a shortage
of 14 million workers with college-level skills. The need for a well-supported, accessible higher education system
is greater than ever, yet the United States lags behind nine other industrialized nations in the number of young
adults enrolled in college.
Projected declines in state revenue have prompted the General Assembly to ask state agencies and public
higher education institutions to describe the impact of cuts of 15, 20 and 25 percent in state support. Institutions
might have to make difficult decisions to cut programs and services and to raise tuition. In either scenario,
students would feel the greatest pain.
Such short-term fixes will have a serious, long-term impact on Missouri’s economy. More students are pursuing
postsecondary education all across the state, and as the economy continues to struggle more and more workers
turn to public higher education for new knowledge and skills.
If Missouri is to turn around the downward spiral in quality and cost, it will take all of us working together. We
must restore higher education to its place of prominence as a public good, maximize efficiency without sacrificing
quality, provide adequate support to institutions and open college doors to students who otherwise could not
afford to attend.


Robert B. Stein has more than 40 years’ experience addressing issues in higher education, including 21 at the Missouri
Department of Higher Education, the last two as commissioner.




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Competitive bidding for license fee
offices: What a concept!
STL TODAY - By Editorial Board
Missouri Governor-elect Jay Nixon on Friday boldly took the state’s license fee office system into the 20th
century, announcing that management rights to the 183 offices that charge residents for drivers licenses and
vehicle license plates would be decided by competitive bidding, not political allegiance.
He also announced plans to bring the offices into the 21st century by putting as much of the process online as
possible. Computers, Earl! Who’d a-thunk it?
Fee at last, fee at last! One of Missouri’s longest-standing political embarrassments has taken a mighty blow —
and at the hands of a man who 10 years ago, as state attorney general, defended the political nature of the fee
offices: ―While not requiring a confidential relationship with the governor or the making of policy, fee agents must
demonstrate loyalty, efficiency and partisan pride in representing the governor who appointed them,‖ Mr. Nixon
wrote in a legal brief defending then Gov. Mel Carnahan’s fee office practices. ―Government employees are
restricted in their political activities. Fee agents, on the other hand, are completely political animals.‖
To be sure, regardless of party, every other Missouri governor since the invention of the internal combustion
engine has used the fee offices as patronage awards for political allies and contributors. Four years ago, newly-
elected Gov. Matt Blunt even went so far as to close a dozen state-run license offices, freeing up more
customers for offices managed by political cronies. Some of the biggest offices generate $500,000 or more in
fees. After paying salaries and overhead (including rent), the cronies keep the profits.
Now the state will get to keep more of that. Small license offices currently operated by civic clubs and other not-
for-profits will have a chance to compete. They’ll get extra points in a bidding process that also awards points for
efficient customer service, financial stability and past performance and for paying a small percentage of gross
income to the Department of Revenue to offset management costs.
But the best part of Mr. Nixon’s plan is the one that calls for putting the licensing process online. It’s simply
absurd that Missouri still requires its citizens to find half a dozen different documents and schlep to a strip mall to
obtain two one-inch stickers to affix to their license plates.
Dare we dream? A way to keep thieves from stealing those stickers? And maybe a hyphen in ―Show Me State‖
on the plates?




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Shut off teen texting in cars
Missouri lawmakers should support a proposal banning new drivers from using cell phones.

SFETE! TISC!! I PAST!!!
In cell-phone text that means: "Smiling from ear to ear. This is so cool. I passed."
Currently, there's no prohibition in Missouri against a new, 16-year-old driver text-messaging his friends -- just as
soon as he drives away from the license center -- that he's now a legal driver.
Evidence mounts that distraction caused by such messaging is more dangerous than driving after drinking.
But texting while driving remains perfectly legal, no matter your age or driving experience.
During a rainstorm, through a school zone, while taking little sister to day care -- all legal, even if the driver hasn't
yet learned how to check for a blind spot on his left.
Wisely, some Missouri legislators plan to again debate cell phone restrictions during the next session. Several
lawmakers have said they want to try to limit the use of cell phones for everyone. Some want to require hands-
free listening devices.
Attempts to enact cell-phone laws last year failed. We hope that this year the lawmakers will focus on new
drivers, as Rep. Charlie Norr, D-Springfield, is suggesting. We think they should be forced to spend at least their
first year as drivers phone-free.
Norr, a former firefighter in Maryland, said the dangers of trying to drive while distracted are widely known, and
have caused much carnage. He is realistic enough to know that lawmakers cannot do anything about many of
those distractions -- like eating or trying to handle business matters by phone while on the road -- but he is
hoping to push legislation this session focusing on the young drivers.
Of course, some will call such a restriction "ageism," or presumptuous or an overreaction. Those arguments
should be ignored. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and studies routinely show that teenagers take too many
chances on the road.
It's bad enough to have the loud friends in the back seat, or windy, hilly roads, or bad weather. Leave the cell
phone out of the equation, at least long enough for a teenager to have some sense of the responsibility -- and
the danger -- that comes when you get behind the wheel.




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Missourinet
Lawyers offer free advice for the financially troubled
Tuesday, December 16, 2008, 7:18 PM
By Bob Priddy

Missouri's lawyers are offering information for people having a financially hard time avoid having to hire a lawyer.
The Missouri Bar's Money Guide is on the Bar's web page. A couple of clicks will get you free lawyer's advice in
language you can understand about the kinds of personal financial problems people are increasingly likely to
face as the economy continues to fall.
The page addresses such things as bill collectors--how to deal with them; credit counseling agencies and which
are real and which are scams; how to handle foreclosures, whether bankruptcy should be considered a refuge
and what the pros and cons of it are....
Bar President Tom Burke says the Bar tries to answer a lot of questions: "When we all face bills and debts, our
natural reaction is to sort of bury our head in the sand and ignore it or hope that it will go away. And
unfortunately 999 times out of a thousand, that doesn't happen. So it takes a little courage but the first step is
really facing the situation and arming yourself with information and knowledge...and this is what the website
helps people to do."
Among other topics--myths about credit and how to handle medical bills.
To get information from the Missouri Bar Money Guide
http://www.mobar.org/moneyguide/index.html

Prepping for the bikes of summer
Tuesday, December 16, 2008, 10:01 PM
By Bob Priddy

Cities wanting to play host to one of the world's best bicycle races have made their case. Next up: about six
weeks of evaluations. Cities wanting to be part of the action for the 2009 Tour of Missouri had to get their
applications in by Monday. The race has become a bigger deal in its first two years and now has been upgraded
to the status of only a few professional races outside of Europe.
Cities are competing to be a starting city or a finishing city.--or to fill both roles. They have to show thousands of
dollars in financial and logistical support. Project director Stacey Blomberg says the efforts to be key cities during
the seven-day event have become more competitive. "We've had a lot more cities contact us this year," she
says. She says the Tour of Missouri website had hits from people in 139 countries last year---showing the event
provides exposure for the state and its cities it could never get any other way. Organizers will make site visits
and do other evaluations for the next few weeks. The winning cities will be announced in late January.

State board approves $25-million in tax credits for KC Chiefs
Tuesday, December 16, 2008, 2:33 PM
By Steve Walsh

The Missouri Development Finance Board has voted unanimously - 10-0 - to approve a request from the Kansas
City Chiefs and the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority for $25-million in tax credits. The credits are
separate from the $50-million in tax credits issued in 2006.




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The team and the Sports Complex Authority claim they will use the credits for renovations to the Truman Sports
Complex and the surrounding area. Bill Newman, Senior Vice President of Administration for the Chiefs, says a
portion of the credits would be sold to come up with $10-million to be applied toward the construction of a
$13.45-million indoor events and football training facility on the campus of Missouri Western State University in
in St. Joseph. The Chiefs would maintain their training camp in St. Joseph for a minimum of ten years.
Having been approved by the Board, this project does not need legislative approval. It only requires the approval
of the Director of Economic Development, the Director of Revenue, and the Commissioner of the Office of
Administration.


Mixed results for Missouri in "Judicial Hellholes" report
Tuesday, December 16, 2008, 12:01 AM
By Steve Walsh

The American Tort Reform Association has released its annual "Judicial Hellholes" report, naming what the
Association calls some of the nation's most unfair civil court jurisdictions. And, while there are no Missouri areas
on the list - St. Louis, St. Louis County, and Jackson County make the Association's "Watch List" jurisdictions
that are on the cusp, meaning they could fall into the "Hellhole" category.
Brad Jones, Missouri State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business, says there have been
big improvements since litigation reform was passed in Missouri in 2005, but he says legal challenges have been
chipping away at that law, adding there is reason for small businesses to be concerned. He fears frivolous
lawsuits will cause small businesses to spend time and resources defending themselves against lawsuits.
Jones borrows a line from the movie "Animal House," saying that while Missouri is not on the "Hellholes" list,
making the "Watch List" is comparable to being on what he calls "double secret probation."

Advocating for the electoral college
Monday, December 15, 2008, 10:01 PM
By Bob Priddy

The eleven Missourians who voted against Barack Obama and Joe Biden yesterday say they have helped
protect the people of Missouri----regardless of who they voted for.
Missouri's presidential electors had to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket because McCain and Palin won Missouri's
popular vote. In the electoral college,the 1.4-million-plus votes that the Obama-Biden ticket got last month
amounted to a zero in Missouri's electoral vote.
The electoral college has its detractors but it has defenders such as elector Melleen Shudy of Mountain Grove
who is glad it would be "almost impossible" to change the constitution to get rid of it.
Oakville resident Bob Hall, who calls casting an electoral college vote a "tremendous honor," says America
needs the electoral college because it protects the voters in each state. "Any resident of the state of Missouri
should like to have the electoral college otherwise it goes to the popular vote and whatever California decides is
what the rest of us are stuck with," he says.
Some of the electoral college voters have done this before and some of their spouses have cast electoral votes.
One voted in the electoral college for the first time when he voted for Ronald Reagan in 19-84.




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USA TODAY MISSOURI NEWS
Wednesday, December 17
University City - The daughter of a suburban St. Louis woman killed by a flash flood in September is suing the
Metropolitan Sewer District of St. Louis, which is part owner of the river that flooded. Remnants of Hurricane Ike
caused the storm that led to the sudden surge of water from the River Des Peres, washing away Louise Bryant,
64.

Tuesday, December 16
Springfield - Gov. Blunt has helped open the state's second full-service crime lab. Blunt said the impact of the
new lab will be felt statewide and lead to faster results for law enforcement agencies. The $6.2 million lab is
assisted by six field labs around the state that can run only a limited range of tests.

Monday, December 15
Kansas City - Gregory Baker, a former assistant to the city manager, was named executive director of the Negro
Leagues Baseball Museum, a privately funded organization dedicated to preserving the history of African-
American baseball. Baker replaces Don Motley, who is retiring after 18 years as the museum's executive director




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