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Senate rejects $120 million contingency
fund for Bombardier deal
The Star’s Jefferson City correspondent
JEFFERSON CITY | The Senate rejected a proposal Wednesday to set aside $120 million to cover the early
costs of an incentive package aimed at luring aircraft maker Bombardier to Kansas City.
The vote was the first test of Senate sentiment toward the package of tax credits that could reach $880 million
over 22 years. But it also was an emphatic statement that the state has pressing needs that have been deferred
too long.
The proposal would have created a $120 million contingency fund within the Economic Development
Department. The money represented three years’ worth of tax credits that would be paid to Bombardier if
lawmakers approve a new subsidy program that succeeds in persuading the Montreal-based company to open a
plant in Kansas City.
Appropriations Committee Chairman Gary Nodler, a Joplin Republican, said setting aside the money now while
state revenues are still strong would protect the state from the cost of the Bombardier plan when the tax credits
start coming due.
But other senators said such spending was shortsighted because it would take away money needed now for
major repairs on state buildings. By setting aside that money, the maintenance problems will grow worse and
leaky roofs will begin to cause damage to the rest of the buildings.
Sen. Victor Callahan, an Independence Democrat, said the proposal was more corporate welfare at the expense
of Missouri’s needs. He said the budget was out of control with the recent explosion of tax credits and other
“All we’ve done in the last few years is shift entitlements away from health care for women and children and into
guaranteed deals for corporations,” Callahan said.
Sen. Jeff Smith, a St. Louis Democrat, was angry. He said Nodler had told him repeatedly that the state did not
have enough money to expand early childhood education, in-home care for the elderly and other programs. But
the state could come up with $120 million for a foreign company, he said.
“We are choosing to court our French-Canadian mistress over our Missouri wife,” Smith said.
Nodler defended the plan, saying the money would be put into the contingency fund only if the Bombardier deal
is completed. Unlike social programs, the fund represents a wise use of one-time money because it would not
commit the state to ongoing expenses, he said.
In the end, the Senate shot down the proposal 22-11.
The vote has no effect on the ongoing debate about whether to approve the incentive package.
On the first day of debate on the state’s $22.6 billion budget, senators also wrangled over funding for life
sciences research, efforts to block illegal immigration and college scholarships.
Sen. Chris Koster proposed boosting Life Sciences Research Board grants from $7.6 million to $25.2 million
next year. The change would have restored funding to the level approved by the House.
The Harrisonville Democrat argued that the higher funding was still well below the target of 25 percent of the
state’s annual receipts from a 1998 tobacco settlement. Sen. John Loudon, a St. Louis County Republican, tried

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to cut the funding to zero because lawmakers would have no way to stop the board from approving grants for
stem-cell research.
Senators defeated both Loudon’s and Koster’s proposals, leaving the board’s funding at $7.6 million.
Koster also tried to boost funding for the state Labor Department by $800,000 to hire 20 inspectors to investigate
wage violations involving illegal workers at construction sites.
“Moments ago, we were discussing spending $880 million to create 2,000 jobs (by attracting Bombardier),” he
said. “I suggest spending $800,000 to create tens of thousands of jobs — good-paying construction jobs — that
are being chased away now.”
The proposal failed, 30-4.

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Bombardier tax breaks not in Mo.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) An effort to entice a Canadian airplane maker to Kansas City has taken a hit in the
Missouri Senate.
Senators defeated an amendment Wednesday that would have set aside $120 million in the state budget to
offset tax credits that could be awarded to Bombardier Aerospace in future years.
The amendment failed 22-11 after some senators expressed concern about tying up money that could be used
for construction at state buildings.
Bombardier is considering placing a plant near the Kansas City airport to build a new series of passenger jets.
The House on Tuesday endorsed legislation that would provide up to $40 million a year in tax credits for jobs
created by the plant.
A similar bill has yet to reach a vote in the Senate.

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Budget considerations take wind out of
plane talk
by Alyson E. Raletz
Thursday, April 17, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Lawmakers haven’t yet sealed the fate of a possible deal with a Canadian jet
company to set up shop in Missouri, but Wednesday’s budget discussion looked less than promising for the
The Missouri Senate defeated a proposal to offset the negative cash flow the state would experience in its initial
years of the mega project, putting into question any later success in the Legislature.
The House of Representatives this week backed a tax incentive proposal that could entice Bombardier to build
an aerospace production facility near the Kansas City International Airport in exchange for bringing 1,000 to
2,100 jobs to the area.
Senators, however, have yet to endorse the controversial package, instead tabling consideration to make room
for state budget discussions Wednesday.
Opponents of legislation from Sen. Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, that could send up to $880 million in credits to
Bombardier over a 22-year period have criticized the plan for such a hit to the state’s budget.
The plan calls for the company to repay the credits through plane sales, but Mr. Shields said he believed the
state would experience a negative cash flow on the project for six to eight years before it would begin to recoup
Senate budget chairman Rep. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, proposed setting aside $120 million of one-time monies
into a separate fund to offset the negative cash flow if the project comes to Missouri.
“I have not been totally sold on this thing from the start, but if you do, you better cover yourself,” Sen. Kevin
Engler, R-Farmington, said.
But the amendment to the Department of Economic Development budget failed, 11-22, with critics pointing to
many other uses for the $120 million in one-time funds, such as capital projects.
“What we are doing here is very poor public policy,” Sen. Tim Green, D-St. Louis, said of the amendment.
Also, Wednesday, senators approved HB 2003, which included across-the-board increases for the Department
of Higher Education and all state universities and colleges.
At Missouri Western State University, the House this winter approved a roughly $23.52 million budget, less than
Gov. Matt Blunt’s initial $23.9 million recommendation.
Nearly $69,000 of the House reduction hit core funding for the university, while the remainder stemmed from its
decision to cut funding to “Prepare to Care,” a program intended to increase graduates in health-related fields.
The Senate’s version, however, restored Mr. Blunt’s recommendation for Western’s operating budget by 100
percent, upping the budget to nearly $23.6 million.
“We are pleased and hopeful that the Senate committee and governor’s recommendation for Western’s budget
will prevail,” said Beth Wheeler, director of university external relations.
Northwest Missouri State University’s changed too. The governor originally recommended $33.167 million in
total for Northwest. The House approved $33.045 million, while the budget senators approved Wednesday would
send nearly $33.099 million to the Maryville university.
Appropriations leaders soon will negotiate the differences, but the Senate still has six more budget bills to
consider. May 9 is the final deadline.

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Missouri luring Canadian aircraft maker
By Virginia Young

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt's administration wants the Legislature to give a Canadian aircraft maker
the biggest tax incentive the state has ever issued to a business.
Headed for House approval as early as today is a bill that would provide Bombardier Aerospace up to $40 million
a year for 22 years to build a $375 million assembly plant near Kansas City.
Greg Steinhoff, director of the state Department of Economic Development, calls it "an unbelievable opportunity
for the state of Missouri to gain a mega-project." He said the state would easily recoup its money when the plant
started making planes.
But the package's unprecedented size and secrecy, along with the volatility of the airline industry, have prompted
critics to call it a risky deal for taxpayers.
"There's no other joint-venture partner in the world that's going to turn over $880 million without details, but we
are," said Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau.
Bombardier's ties to Blunt's family also are drawing scrutiny. According to senators, Blunt's sister, Amy Blunt,
works for a Kansas City law firm that represents Bombardier. One of the company's Washington lobbyists used
to work for Blunt's father, Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield.
While those concerns have slowed the plan's progress in the Senate, the bill is speeding through the House. A
140-8 vote Tuesday put it in position for House passage today. Both chambers must approve the bill for it to
move to the governor.
Montreal-based Bombardier is the third-largest airplane maker, behind Boeing and Airbus. It confirmed it is
talking to Missouri officials but didn't elaborate.
"I don't want to go public on what exactly we're looking for," said company spokesman Marc Duchesne.
State officials say Bombardier is looking for the best place to build its new C Series of 110-seat and 130-seat
airliners. While the firm has long eyed a Canadian site, Missouri is in the running because of the declining value
of the U.S. dollar, thousands of acres of vacant land near Kansas City International Airport and a large
aerospace talent pool.
Officials say the union plant would provide 2,000 jobs, with average wages of $55,000.
"This opportunity represents a landmark opportunity not just for Kansas City but the whole state," said the bill's
sponsor, Rep. Ron Richard, R-Joplin.
To be eligible for the incentives, a company would have to invest more than $300 million over eight years and
provide at least 1,000 jobs. The jobs would have to offer health insurance and pay an average wage that
exceeds the area average.
The state would issue tax credits equal to 80 percent of the payroll for three years. That would drop to 60
percent, 50 percent and 30 percent for three more two-year periods. Afterward, the state would pay 25 percent.
The subsidy could not exceed $40 million a year. If the state pays the maximum, it would give the company $880
million over 22 years.
To put that in perspective, the state expects to issue about $710 million in tax credits for all its incentive
programs this year. Tax credits reduce the amount of income tax owed. They also can be sold for cash.

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In Bombardier's case, the credits would be more valuable because they would be "refundable." That means that
if the company had no state tax liability, as expected, Missouri would write the firm a refund check, as if the firm
had overpaid its taxes.
Steinhoff said that makes the tax credits more efficient because Bombardier wouldn't have to pay a broker to sell
Steinhoff said Bombardier would repay the tax credits, with interest, beginning in about 2013, when production
begins. A repayment plan is required by the World Trade Organization, which restricts aircraft subsidies.
"This deal will cost the state nothing," Steinhoff said. "When they start making planes, they pay us back."
Steinhoff termed the chance that the state could lose money on the deal "very remote."
But senators want more details. They said the agreement's secrecy makes it unclear when the state would be
Steinhoff has refused to release the projected repayment schedule. He also declined to release copies of two
studies the state commissioned to review Bombardier's business plan.
"We're trying to beat Canada on this deal," he said.
To prevent conflicts of interest, senators amended the bill to prevent relatives of elected officials or of top
economic development officials from working for Bombardier for five years after the firm's incentive package was
approved. The ban, sponsored by Sen. Victor Callahan, D-Independence, would cover indirect work, including
acting as the company's bond counsel, law firm or lobbyist.
The amendment was apparently directed at the governor's sister, Amy Blunt, who works for the Kansas City law
firm of Lathrop & Gage. The bill's Senate sponsor, Sen. Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, said Bombardier has
hired Lathrop & Gage.
"I assume they're engaged because of their expertise putting these kinds of projects together," Shields said.
Amy Blunt could not be reached. Art Menke, public relations manager for Lathrop & Gage, said he could not
reveal whether the law firm represents Bombardier.
The other connection drawing attention concerns Gregg Hartley, a Washington lobbyist who used to work for the
governor's father. Hartley's firm represents Bombardier in federal matters, but a company spokesman said the
firm is not involved in the Missouri proposal.
The governor's office said his family members aren't connected to the aircraft project. Jessica Robinson, the
governor's spokeswoman, played down the governor's enthusiasm for the company's plan. While he authorized
Steinhoff to pursue the legislation, Blunt is reserving judgment on it, Robinson said.
"He is not committed to sign any legislation nor has he committed to enter into an agreement with Bombardier,"
she said.
The bills are HB2393 and SB1234.

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Bill to create more tax holidays clears hurdle

JEFFERSON CITY — Missourians would get two more tax holidays encouraging them to shop, under legislation
given initial House approval Wednesday.
The measure would establish a tax holiday for up to $1,500 spent for energy-efficient dishwashers, air
conditioners, furnaces, light bulbs and other appliances.
To qualify, appliances would need to be designated as meeting the Energy Star program standards by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency or the U.S. Department of Energy. But the sales tax waiver wouldn't apply to
appliances bought on state fairgrounds or for products bought for trade, business or resale purposes.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Mike Sutherland, R-Warrenton, said tax holidays encouraged spending, which spurred
the state's economy.
The appliance tax holiday this year would be Nov. 7-13. In future years, it would be April 19-25 to coincide with
Earth Day.
Another new tax holiday this year would waive the state sales taxes on any purchases June 27-29 totaling less
than $600, in an attempt to get Missourians to spend their federal tax rebates.
Gov. Matt Blunt issued a statement praising the bill, which needs another vote before it can move to the Senate.
House Minority Leader Paul LeVota said lawmakers should next come up with ways to persuade people to use
only energy-efficient appliances.
"If we have people incentified to buy a more energy-efficient appliance, somehow we have to get them to get rid
of the old one," said LeVota, D-Independence. So they don't "get a new fridge and put the other one in the
The state already has a sales tax holiday for school supplies in August.
Local governments would not automatically be included in the June sales tax holiday, so it would be at their
discretion to waive local sales taxes for that period.
However, they would be automatically included in the energy-efficient appliance tax holiday. To opt out, a
municipality would need to pass an ordinance after Aug. 28.
Legislative staff members estimate the appliance portion of the tax holiday would cost state and local
governments more than $1.1 million.
Staff members estimate the portion designed to spur the spending of the rebate checks would cost more than
$24 million.

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Missouri gets additional $146M from tobacco
St. Louis Business Journal - Kansas City Business Journal

Missouri received an additional $146 million from tobacco companies on Tuesday as the state's payment from
the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement.
The MSA was a deal struck between leading tobacco companies and state attorneys general who had been
suing the companies for years trying to recover government costs associated with people who became ill from
smoking or tobacco-related illnesses.
With Tuesday's payment to Missouri's coffers, the Show Me State has received nearly $1.4 billion in the past 10
The MSA has been criticized in recent years because states haven't used the money for smoking-cessation
programs, which was part of the original agreement.
Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon said the state has had little to show for its financing of such programs after
recently moving to No. 50 among all states and Washington in financial commitment to the programs.
"After many years of being dead last, there's little to brag about that Missouri has moved from 51st to 50th in
using its tobacco money on prevention programs," Nixon said in statement.
Missouri will have plenty of time to change its course on devoting money to smoking-prevention programs;
payments from the MSA continue into perpetuity.

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Bill opens door to professionals who
want to teach
By Lee Logan

JEFFERSON CITY — People without teaching degrees could become public school teachers under a bill sent to
Gov. Matt Blunt on Wednesday.
The House voted 85-63 to pass the bill, which would require those without teaching degrees to be certified by
the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence before they could be hired as teachers.
Because the House passed a Senate version of the measure, the bill will be sent to Blunt, who is expected to
sign it.
Proponents argue the bill makes it easier for people to switch careers and become teachers.
"We've got a crisis of a teacher shortage facing us," said Rep. Scott Muschany, R-Frontenac, the sponsor of the
House version of the bill. "If Harry S Truman were alive today, he wouldn't be allowed to teach history to 12th-
The Washington-based group requires prospective teachers to hold at least a bachelor's degree, complete a
teaching methods course and spend 60 hours in a classroom before they are certified.
Seven other states allow the group to certify teachers. The program's costs range from $650 for history to $850
for sciences. The bill prohibits people to use the certification to teach early childhood education, elementary
education or special education.
Republicans forced a vote on the bill after about an hour of debate, most of which focused on a proposed
change that was criticized by members of both parties. Democrats said they had a pile of amendments they
were ready to offer.
"We couldn't even make the bill better," said Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, who is a former principal.
Lampe said low pay is the main reason most people leave teaching and that the alternative certification wouldn't
solve the state's teacher shortage.
She also argued that the alternative certification is a "piece of the puzzle" to weaken public education and
strengthen the case for school-choice proponents.
Muschany said if school districts are queasy about the certification method, they are not obligated to hire those
certified by the program.
The bill is SB1066.

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Bill expanding teacher certification options heads to
The Star’s Jefferson City correspondent
JEFFERSON CITY | Professionals looking to become teachers could have an easier path into the classroom
thanks to a bill approved Wednesday in the Missouri House.
The bill, which now must be signed into law by the governor, allows individuals who have earned certification
through the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence to teach in Missouri schools.
Proponents in the House and Senate say expanding certification options for teachers could help address a
looming shortage of educators in the state and encourage professionals who are interested in teaching but
daunted by the current requirements for obtaining certification
“This will provide a cost-effective and time-effective way for a career-changing professional to enter teaching,”
said Sen. Luann Ridgeway, a Smithville Republican and the bill’s sponsor.
Teachers unions have opposed the measure, arguing that the requirements for certification are not stringent
enough and do little to keep teachers in the field.
“It’s not fair to the kids in the classrooms to have teachers who don’t understand student development, how kids
learn and how to manage a classroom,” said Chris Guinther, president of the Missouri National Education
Association. “Just because you know a content area doesn’t mean you can teach kids.”
To earn certification, individuals must hold a bachelor’s degree, pass a background check and pass a “teaching
knowledge exam” and a test in a specific subject area, such as English or math.
Under the bill, a teacher also would be required to complete 60 hours of instruction in a classroom. Teachers
certified through the program would not be allowed to teach early childhood, elementary education or special
education classes.
Sales-tax holiday
The House on Wednesday also approved a bill creating sales-tax holidays for energy-efficient appliances and
purchases made with federal stimulus rebates.
House lawmakers must approve the bill once more before sending it to the Senate for consideration.
If approved, the bill would exempt state sales tax on purchases of items priced less than $600 between June 27
and June 29.
The holiday is intended to improve consumers’ purchasing power with the funds they’ll be receiving from the
federal government beginning in May. Most taxpayers will receive rebates of at least $600 to spur spending and
boost the ailing economy.
The tax holiday for energy-efficient products would apply to appliances and other consumer goods that meet the
requirements of the federal Energy Star program, including refrigerators, air conditioners, lightbulbs and
The bill establishes the tax holiday for a week in early November of this year and then for a week in late April —
to coincide with Earth Day — in every year thereafter.
Illegal immigration

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Lawmakers also gave preliminary approval to a bill intended to prevent illegal immigrants from receiving public
benefits such as welfare or subsidized housing.
Under the bill, applicants for public benefits would be required to provide documents showing citizenship or legal
residency status. Individuals who could not provide such documents would be eligible to receive benefits for up
to 90 days, during which time they would have to prove their legal status.
The bill requires state offices providing public benefits to report to federal authorities all applicants who are found
to be in the country illegally.
The bill won approval over opposition from Democrats, who argued the bill did not adequately address the issue
of illegal immigration and could be detrimental to the children of illegal immigrants.
The law would not prevent access to emergency medical service and some other forms of public health

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Mo. House OKs sex offender driver's
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) The House has voted to require sex offenders get a driver's license with a special
code identifying them as such.
Sex offenders would need to get the special driver's license to be released from prison on parole or probation.
The license would need to be renewed annually and costs $7.50.
The bill needs another vote before moving to the Senate.
Anyone who doesn't register as a sex offender when they're supposed to would be barred from getting a driver's
Bill supporters say only law enforcement would know what the special code on the license means. They argue it
would make it easier for officers to identify sex offenders.

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Lawmakers consider bill to restrict
labels on milk containers
By Rachel Melcer

Missouri lawmakers are getting a glimpse of how complicated the once-simple act of buying a gallon of milk has
Legislators are mulling over a controversial measure that would restrict the information dairies can stamp on
containers of milk.
Missouri is the latest state to take up the issue, prodded by dairy farmers who have the support of Monsanto Co.
They are concerned about milk that is labeled as being "hormone free."
"It's a very complicated issue," said Rep. Brian Munzlinger, chair of the House Special Committee on Agri-
Business. That panel, as well as the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, Parks and Natural
Resources, this month conducted public hearings on proposed legislation.
At issue is the use of Posilac, or recombinant bovine somatotropin, a synthetic hormone made by Creve Coeur-
based Monsanto that increases the milk production of dairy cows. Certain dairies and retailers are labeling milk
as being produced without its use, charging more and implying that it is healthier than other milk.
They are capitalizing on some consumers' concerns that milk from Posilac-treated cows might cause health
problems. Other shoppers believe that Posilac is unhealthy for cows, and they would prefer to buy milk that
comes from happy herds.
The Food and Drug Administration has found no difference in milk that comes from Posilac-treated cows. It says
there are no related human health concerns.
Consumer advocates say shoppers should have all available information about their milk.
"We're advocating for consumers' right to know" said Heather Whitehead, director of the True Food Network of
the Center for Food Safety, a Washington-based advocacy group that challenges "harmful food production
technologies," according to its website.
There are "free-speech issues for dairies and producers that want to be able to tell their consumers, 'We're
responding to you … and providing the products that you're asking for'" with rbST-free milk, she said.
The FDA issued guidance saying dairies that label milk as being produced without the use of synthetic
hormones, which are also referred to as rbST and rbGH, need to add a disclaimer: The FDA has found no
significant difference in milk regardless of whether Posilac is used.
But, often, that disclaimer is reduced to fine print. Or, retailers place hormone-free claims in advertisements and
in-store fliers that aren't subject to FDA oversight — and wouldn't be covered by the proposed Missouri
That's a problem for producers who want to use Posilac to boost their production and, as a result, their
profitability — but find dairy and retail buyers are requiring them to forgo it.
"The (dairy) processors and the food retailers are taking advantage of the consumer," said Nikki Whitehead (no
relation to Heather), a fifth-generation dairy farmer in Conway, Mo. "Trust between the farmers and the
consumers is what keeps us in business," and it's being damaged by this issue.

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So are producers' bottom lines.
Milk that is not organic, but labeled as free of synthetic hormones, can fetch 40 percent more in stores than
"regular" milk. Retailers benefit from the additional profit — and from the affluent consumers this type of milk
tends to attract — but that gain is not passed on to dairy farmers.
When the category of rbST-free milk was created, producers were paid a small premium for giving up the use of
Posilac and signing legal statements to that effect.
But the tables turned. The premiums largely disappeared when demand grew and major retailers such as Wal-
Mart Stores Inc. and Kroger Co. began buying only milk that is rbST-free.
These days, producers who use Posilac sometimes are charged a penalty by dairies that must segregate their
supply from the majority. Or, Posilac-using producers must ship their milk an extra distance to reach a dairy that
will accept it — which is costly with today's sky-high gas prices.
In the St. Louis area, Dierbergs Markets' circulars advise consumers, "We've left something out of our milk:
rbST" — and include the FDA advisory in smaller print. Shop 'n Save said that "nearly all" of its milk comes from
dairies that are rbST-free. And Schnuck Markets sells only rbST-free milk locally, but it does not advertise or
promote that fact.
"Both the processors and the retailers are making a profit off of (rbST-free milk) … and none of it is getting back
to the farmers. And we're losing money because we're not producing as much milk," said Nikki Whitehead, who
brought the issue to the attention of Rep. Mike Cunningham and helped him draft the House bill.
Lawmakers are concerned with the financial viability of Missouri dairy farmers, and that's why they took up the
issue, Munzlinger said.
Yet that dollars-and-cents issue is not what has produced headlines as similar labeling bills were taken up by
states including Pennsylvania and Kansas.
Rather, attention has focused on Monsanto and its involvement with an organization known as American
Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology, or AFACT. AFACT says it wasn't involved in the
Missouri bills, though Nikki Whitehead is a member of the organization.
AFACT, founded by a pair of dairy producers, is promoting laws nationwide that crack down on milk labeling that
they see as deceptive.
The group says the disclaimer, that the FDA sees no difference in milk regardless of synthetic hormone use,
should be equal in size, placement and prominence to any label claim that milk comes from dairies that are
That's what would be required in the latest version of Missouri's Senate Bill 1279 — a change made Tuesday
over an earlier draft that would have prohibited rbST-free claims altogether.
Monsanto said it contributes cash to AFACT, though the company would not say how much. It also funds a lot of
other farmer organizations, said Renee Rippchen, Posilac brand manager.
Monsanto supports some milk labeling-related legislation. But it did not initially back the Missouri proposal
pitched by Whitehead calling for a ban on rbST-free claims, said Frank Plescia, senior director of state and local
government affairs for Monsanto.
The original bill was "overreaching" and would have restricted free speech, he said. Monsanto also was
concerned about early impressions that it — and not producers — devised the bill.
"Everybody did start speculating that it was us behind it, which isn't true. So you do need to be a bit careful in not
feeding the fire," Plescia said.

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But with changes to the bill — and lawmakers' growing familiarity with Nikki Whitehead as its initiator — Plescia
testified in its favor during the Senate hearing.
Several dairy farmers testified that they, too, would like the measure to pass. They said that any absence claim
made on a milk label makes other bottles seem less desirable, even though the milk is indistinguishable.
"Somebody could say there's no battery acid in their milk," said Rick Scheer, a producer from New Haven, Mo.
"Their assumptions make my milk look bad."
Opposing the bill were consumer groups, dairies and farmers who say that they shouldn't be limited in what they
can communicate to shoppers.
Indeed, the marketplace is changing. Posilac opponents say its use is declining in response to consumer
The portion of cows in the U.S. that received Posilac dropped to 17.2 percent in 2007 from 22.3 percent in 2005,
according to the Food and Drug Administration. But the number of farms that use the synthetic hormone
remained constant at 15.2 percent — reflecting its continued popularity among small producers.
Monsanto said sales of Posilac are up, year over year, in both volume and revenue, though it would not release
figures. The company also noted that fluid milk — the area in which rbST-free labels are used — accounts for
between 25 and 30 percent of national milk production; the rest goes into cheese, powdered milk and other
"Producers recognize the value of the product … and they are advocates of the technology," said Kevin
Holloway, president of Monsanto's dairy business.
Liz Doornink, co-founder of AFACT, said her group favors the Missouri bill.
"We're supporting it for the benefit of consumers," she said. "Because we want to see more truthful and less
misleading labeling."
Lee Logan of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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Missouri set to raise driving record fees
By Joe Mahr

The Missouri Department of Revenue plans to charge more than five times what it is currently asking the public
to pay for driving records under a plan that news media outlets say violates state law.
Under the policy set to go into effect May 1, the Department of Revenue will raise the cost for each driving
record to $7 from $1.25. It also will exponentially increase the fees charged to those requesting records in bulk,
including news media outlets.
The records contain information on licensing and driving convictions for Missouri motorists. Residents can
request the records of any licensed driver to check whether a license has been revoked or someone has been
convicted of drunken driving, for example. The release of personal information is limited by state and federal law.
Department of Revenue officials have said the agency needs to increase fees to recover its costs for providing
the information.
Agency spokesman David Griffith said Wednesday that the agency would not talk further about the plan because
it anticipated there will be legal action by opponents.
The new fees anger companies that periodically obtain and analyze the 4 million driving records. That includes
companies providing background checks for employers and news media outlets researching stories on public
The Post-Dispatch analyzed a database of all motorists this year to confirm that Missouri officials were giving
drivers licenses to fugitives.
In the past, the Department of Revenue charged fees based on its actual costs to produce the records. In 2006,
the agency charged the Post-Dispatch $500 for the bulk database.
Under the new policy, the same database will cost $28 million.
The Post-Dispatch, the Kansas City Star and the Missouri Press Association sent letters to the Department of
Revenue this month complaining that the new policy violated the Sunshine Act. The act allows an agency to
charge the public only as much as it costs the agency to provide the records.
"By charging excessively for this information, the state is, in effect, making the database impossible for
journalists to obtain and closing off our ability to use it to analyze and report on driving and safety issues," said
Pam Maples, managing editor of the Post-Dispatch. "It's ridiculous."

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MOHELA misses payment
The UM system is prepared to start projects without the payment.

THE MANEATER - By Elliot Njus
April 15, 2008

A plan to sell assets from a state student loan agency and use the profit to fund building projects is taking heat
after the agency put off part of a payment to the state, but officials from the agency said there’s nothing to worry
The plan sold assets of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority to fund higher education construction
projects and arranges for the agency to make quarterly payments to the state.
After MOHELA only sent a part of the expected payment earlier this month, Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia,
sent a letter to Gov. Matt Blunt’s office asking him to immediately release funds to build a new facility for Ellis
Fischel Cancer Center.
“The news of MOHELA’s decision Friday to skip its quarterly payment to Missouri’s universities and colleges for
construction projects was disturbing to say the least,” Graham said in the letter. “I believe this decision and
MOHELA’s overall financial distress calls for drastic changes in how the construction projects authorized in
previous legislation are funded.”
The law authorizing the MOHELA asset sale allows the agency to put off its payments if making one would
adversely affect “the services and benefits provided Missouri students or residents in the ordinary course of the
authority’s business, the borrower benefit programs of the authority, or the economic viability of the authority.”
The agency is headed toward its first net loss in its history. A bill in the Missouri House would allow the agency
to originate some student loans, which would avoid premiums the agency has to pay to lenders.
In the letter Graham said this measure might be “too little, too late.”
Nikki Krawitz, UM system vice president for finance and administration, said the state is scheduled to release
funding for the Ellis Fischel project in fiscal year 2012. She said the university can start the project without state
funding, and the funding doesn’t become available until after the project has incurred cost.
“We are prepared to absorb some of the cost until reimbursement is available, so it shouldn’t delay the project,”
Krawitz said. “It’s not a question of the timing of the funding, but whether we get it.”
The law requires that the full $350 million to be distributed September 30, 2013. MOHELA released $230 million
in September and $5 million by Dec. 31. It’s required to release another $5 million every quarter until September
MOHELA Executive Director Raymond Bayer said he’s confident that the agency would be able to fund the
“My opinion is that MOHELA will be able to make all of the future payments,” he said.
MOHELA Business Development Director Will Shaffner said the agency’s governing board made a partial
payment because of instability in the credit market. He said many larger organizations are evaluating their
finances because of the market.
“All they’re doing is what’s allowed for them in the legislation,” he said.
He said the board would meet in four to eight weeks to re-evaluate making the entire payment.
The new cancer center, part of a surgical tower being built at University Hospital, would cost about $54 million,
and the Lewis & Clark Discovery Initiative was slated to provide $31 million.

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Highway commission comings and
By Virginia Young
04/16/2008 11:26 am
Senators lavished praise this morning on the governor’s appointment of Grace Nichols to the State Highway
and Transportation Commission.
At a brief hearing, her sponsor, Republican Sen. Tom Dempsey, called Nichols “very fairminded” and “an
excellent addition.” Nichols, a former St. Charles mayor, will fill a Democratic slot on the commission.
The Gubernatorial Appointments Committee easily approved her nomination. But not before another senator got
in a dig at the departing highway commissioner, former Sen. Bill McKenna , a key mover and shaker in the
accord with Illinois on a new Mississippi River bridge.
“It’s nice that we finally got rid of the dead weight on that commission,” cracked Sen. Ryan McKenna. He is the
son of the outgoing commissioner.

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MoDOT’s $5 million problem
It’s not road repairs, but the litter that lines the side of Missouri highways
ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS - by Marshall White
Thursday, April 17, 2008

With 3,141 miles of state roadways to maintain in Northwest Missouri, litter can be a problem.
Litter thrown on the roads tends to fly off asphalt and concrete and accumulate on shoulders, especially after a
long, hard winter with plenty of snow.
The sandwich wrapper, the plastic foam cup, a white napkin, a plastic straw or a paper sack by itself doesn’t look
like much, said Holly Murphy, the northwest Adopt-A-Highway coordinator. It costs taxpayers about $5 million
annually for the department to try and pick up trash in an effort to keep the state from being buried in litter, she
Money spent on litter cleanup could resurface many miles of roads, replace and repair bridges, improve habitats
for wildlife and people and enhance parks and nature centers, said Stacy Armstrong, Missouri Department of
Transportation roadside management supervisor.
“Ultimately, we’d like to get people to stop littering altogether,” Ms. Armstrong said.
Missouri Department of Transportation work crews and volunteers in Northwest Missouri are cleaning up litter
during the annual “No MOre Trash! Bash” throughout the month of April.
“In Northwest Missouri, we currently have 228 Adopt-A-Highway groups with over 328 miles adopted in the
district,” Mrs. Murphy said.
Supervised prisoners on work release help in the effort, too.
Last year, prisoner work crews in Northwest Missouri picked up 4,412 bags of litter in April, and most of it was
deliberately thrown out by passing motorists, Mrs. Murphy said. Highway work crews are already out on the job
and it looks like trash collection will require a lot of work, she said. Northwest Missouri could set a record
collecting more than 6,500 bags this month, Mrs. Murphy said.
Many sections of roadside are available for adoption in Northwest Missouri. If you or your organization would like
to join the Missouri Adopt-A-Highway program, contact Mrs. Murphy at 387-2495.

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Mo. Gov.'s Mansion to hold Saturday
tours starting in May
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) The Missouri Governor's Mansion is opening its doors for Saturday tours
beginning in May.
It's the first time in 30 years the public can tour the 1871 home during the weekend. Those seeking a Saturday
tour must get a reservation a day in advance through Missouri Mansion Preservation Inc.
All tours of the home will be stopped in July to start a renovation to fix water damage, peeling lead paint, and
damaged roofs and ceilings. The mansion's kitchen and ventilation system also will be updated.
Lawmakers have approved $3 million for that project.
On the Net:
Missouri Mansion Preservation Inc.:

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Supreme Court lets executions resume
By Heather Ratcliffe

Missouri, 35 other states and the federal government are free to resume executions under a U.S. Supreme Court
decision Wednesday rejecting a claim that the three-drug "cocktail" may be inhumanely painful.
Despite the 7-2 ruling, the court was split on finer points, with only two colleagues joining in Chief Justice John
Roberts' written opinion.
One of the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens, even suggested for the first time that the death penalty itself
may be unconstitutional.
But that was not the issue in the case from Kentucky that led to the decision. Lawyers for two convicted killers
there said the method of death could amount to cruel and inhuman punishment.
Missouri officials were cautiously absorbing the ruling, and uncertain of who might be executed next, or when.
There was no immediate impact in Illinois, where an unrelated freeze on executions remains in effect.
"We need time to carefully review it," said Brian Hauswirth, spokesman for the Missouri Department of
Corrections. "At this point, we have no immediate reaction."
There are 46 prisoners in Missouri's death row, in Potosi. Last year, state officials asked the Missouri Supreme
Court to set execution dates for at least 10.
"There are several requests still pending," said Beth Riggert, a spokeswoman for the court. "There's no way to
predict when or how the court will rule."
Michael Taylor, convicted of murdering a teen in Kansas City, was scheduled to die Feb. 1, 2006. But a federal
judge stopped it, after hearing evidence of problems with lethal injection procedures.
In that case, a doctor who developed Missouri's procedure, and supervised 54 executions, testified that he was
dyslexic, had problems with numbers and knowingly varied doses of the lethal drugs by as much as half. A Post-
Dispatch investigation later identified him as Dr. Alan Doerhoff.
Questions also have been raised about whether execution mistakes have been made in Ohio and Florida.
Kentucky has had only one execution by injection and it did not present any obvious problems, both sides in the
latest case agreed.
A federal appeals court eventually lifted Taylor's stay of execution, but he still has an appeal pending with the
U.S. Supreme Court, which may decide as early as Friday whether to hear it.
Kent Scheidegger, executive director of the pro-death-penalty Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, said Missouri
could be one of the first to resume executions. "There really is no reason for them to be on hold anymore," he
said. "The court went through the challenges one by one and rejected most of them."
The execution procedure uses three drugs in sequence: one to sedate, one to paralyze and one to stop the
heart. Critics argue that if the first does not work, the second would prevent the condemned from showing signs
of excruciating pain from the third.
The high court's review of the Kentucky case effectively halted executions nationwide since September.
The court majority found that there was no proof of a "substantial risk or objectively intolerable risk of serious
harm." Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter were the two dissenters.
Observers said the wording sets a new bar for challengers.

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"Executions will be rescheduled throughout the country," said Deborah Denno, a law professor at Fordham
University in New York and expert on lethal injection. "By no means has this issue gone away. What the court
has done is provide a standard, and that's very helpful. Now attorneys in other states will uncover more evidence
of maladministration."
Michael Gorla, a St. Louis lawyer on a team challenging Missouri's injection process, agreed: "Now we have a
standard, and that's what we'll have to show in order to win."
Death penalty proponents hailed the decision.
"This ruling comes in the middle of National Crime Victims Rights Week," noted John Fougere, spokesman for
Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon. "We should not forget how many families of murder victims in Missouri
have waited 15 years or more for justice in their cases and for sentences to be carried out."
The governor of Virginia lifted his state's freeze on executions just two hours after the decision was announced.
Illinois has 14 people on death row, but an execution freeze put in place by former Gov. George Ryan remains in
effect. "Since Illinois is still under a moratorium, there is no practical impact," corrections spokesman Derek
Schnapp said.
The Associated Press and Kathleen Haughney of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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Blunt, Nixon urge state supreme court
to proceed with executions
Adam Allington, KWMU

ST. LOUIS, MO (2008-04-16) Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding Kentucky's use of lethal
injections, two of Missouri's top elected officials want to proceed with all pending death penalty cases.
Governor Matt Blunt and Attorney General Jay Nixon are both urging the state supreme court to begin
scheduling executions.
Both the Democratic attorney general and the Republican governor are urging the state supreme court to bring
closure to the victims' families by proceeding with the executions.
A judge placed a moratorium on lethal injections in Missouri in 2006, but that freeze has since been lifted.
Still, Greg Mermelstein of the Missouri Public Defender System doesn't feel that the Kentucky ruling will establish
a clear mandate for other states to follow.
"I think they're leaving the door open for people in individual states to be able to say that there is something
about an individual states procedures that would lead to substantial pain and suffering," said Mermelstein.
On Wednesday the high court turned back a constitutional challenge to Kentucky's three-drug procedure. Similar
methods are used by about three dozen states, including Missouri.
Brian Hauswirth is a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Corrections. He said regardless of the Supreme
Court ruling and calls from elected leaders, Missouri is not likely to start executing death row inmates any time
"We simply don't know what this ruling out of Kentucky means for the state of Missouri," said Hauswirth.
"And we're not in any rush [to proceed with the executions.] We need to take our time and make sure we have a
perfect opportunity to read over everything and see where we're at."
The last execution in Missouri was in 2005. The state currently has 46 pending capital punishment cases.

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Insurer accuses Missouri lawyers in Katrina case
By TERRY GANEY of the Tribune’s staff
Published Wednesday, April 16, 2008

State Farm Insurance Co. is attempting to disqualify two high-profile Missouri attorneys from representing two
"whistleblowers" who claimed State Farm over-billed the federal flood insurance program in the wake of
Hurricane Katrina.
State Farm alleges that former state Supreme Court Judge Edward "Chip" Robertson, former U.S. Attorney Todd
Graves and two of Robertson’s associates were present at meetings in 2006 in which the two whistleblowers
accessed State Farm’s confidential databases. The accusations are contained in motions filed last week in
federal court in Mississippi.
The insurance company’s motion said the four lawyers committed "substantial misconduct" by attending
meetings in which the two whistleblowers "arranged for them to have unfettered access to State Farm’s
password-protected confidential databases." State Farm asked the court to disqualify Robertson’s and Graves’
law firms from further work on the case.
In an initial response filed with the court, the law firms said State Farm’s disqualification request "is nothing more
than a transparent attempt to focus attention away from the fraud State Farm perpetrated on its own
policyholders and on the federal government and create a sideshow big enough to camouflage its own obvious
Graves and Anthony DeWitt, an associate in Robertson’s law firm, said they would be filing a substantial, formal
answer to State Farm’s motion, which both said was inaccurate.
"I’ve never been around a computer that was on a State Farm database," Graves said. "The allegation is
ridiculous. They don’t have a basis for it."
DeWitt said the law firms’ answer would be filed by Friday, unless the court granted an extension.
"The facts that are in the motion are all wrong," DeWitt added. "We never went onto their computer system. We
never did the things we are alleged to have done. We have not violated any of the rules of professional conduct
in Missouri or Mississippi."
Graves, the former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is associated with the Kansas City law firm
of Graves, Bartle and Marcus. Based in Jefferson City, Robertson and DeWitt are with the Kansas City-area firm
of Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson and Gorny. State Farm is also attempting to disqualify Mary Winter, an
associate in the Robertson firm.
Both firms were part of a group of lawyers representing Cori Rigsby and Kerri Rigsby, two insurance claim
adjusters who said State Farm attempted to manipulate losses caused by Katrina, shifting wind damage claims
covered by the insurance company’s policies into flood coverage that is paid by taxpayers through the federal
flood insurance program.
The Rigsbys, who are sisters, sued State Farm under the federal False Claims Act, which allows plaintiffs to
recover a portion of payments made to the government if it can be shown they were based on fraudulent claims.
State Farm has denied any wrongdoing in the handling of the claims and has filed a counter-claim accusing the
Rigsbys of fraud in the handling of the company’s computer data.
The lawsuit is one of several insurance-related cases filed in Katrina’s wake. Policyholders have sued State
Farm. The claims adjustment company that worked for State Farm under contract and employed the Rigsbys
has sued the two sisters.

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U.S. District Judge L.T. Senter ruled earlier this month that Cori and Kerri Rigsby could not testify against State
Farm in the policyholder’s suit because well-known plaintiff’s lawyer Richard "Dickie" Scruggs paid each woman
$150,000 consulting fees. Scruggs pleaded guilty last month to charges that he conspired to bribe a Mississippi
state judge in another case related to Hurricane Katrina.
In his ruling barring the testimony of the Rigsby sisters, Senter also disqualified a group of Mississippi lawyers
who had been representing policyholders in the suit against State Farm. Senter said the lawyers were aware that
Scruggs was making the payments to the Rigsbys and did not stop them.
State Farm said the two Missouri law firms should be disqualified from the Rigsbys’ case as well.

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Brush the Cobwebs out of the Sky
The state’s campaign finance system is governed by limits on how much a political candidate can receive from
an individual person. But candidates for office often take cash well over the individual threshold through a series
of political party committees.
All three leading candidates for governor utilized this vast array of committees to take in donations that are over
the $1,375 contribution limits for individuals. Consider:
- Attorney General Jay Nixon — who raised the most money in this fundraising quarter — took around $635,851
in cash and in-kind contributions beyond the $1,375 limit from these party committees. That’s the most out of the
three gubernatorial candidates.
- State Treasurer Sarah Steelman racked up $376,750 in cash and in-kind contributions from party committees
over the individual limits.*
- U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Columbia, took in $276,625 in cash and in-kind contributions from committees
over the individual limits.
There’s nothing illegal about what the three candidates are doing. In fact, the widespread usage of legislative
district committees was an almost certainty after the Missouri Supreme Court knocked down a campaign finance
system allowing for unlimited donations to campaigns. The committees are common conduits for legally
chopping large donations and spreading them out to campaigns. They’re one of the prime reasons why
Republicans and a few Democrats have come out in favor of repealing campaign finance limits during this
legislative session.
Here are examples that were replicated many times over during this fundraising quarter:
- The Republican Sixth District Congressional Committee sent $13,450 to the DeKalb County Republican Party
Central Committee. That committee then sent $13,450 to Steelman’s campaign.
- In an example for Hulshof’s case, a max contribution from the Republican State Committee’s general fund was
sent to a district committee. That committee then sent a contribution to Hulshof’s campaign.
- $13,450 emanating from the Missouri Democratic State Committee State Account went to the 15th District
Legislative Committee. That same amount was then was sent to the attorney general’s campaign.
When replicated over and over again, the contributions from these committees add up. Contributions from
committees that went over individual limits accounted for roughly 55 percent of Nixon’s total recipients in the
quarter stretching from January 1 to March 31. They accounted for 30 percent of Hulshof’s haul. Counting a
$500,000 loan, they accounted for roughly 32 percent of Steelman’s contributions. Without taking the loan into
consideration, they made up 57 percent of Steelman’s contributions.
Back in early January, Nixon called on legislators to limit the amount political party committees could donate to
candidates to the same amount that individuals can contribute to candidates.
“There is no good reason why party committees should be able to contribute up to ten times the amount that an
individual can contribute,” Nixon said at the time.
Oren Shur, a spokesperson for Nixon, said the “vast majority of money” going to Nixon’s campaign has come
from individual campaign contributors. He pointed to more than 16,000 contributions from individual donors
flowing into Nixon’s campaign coffers.
But when asked whether Nixon was contradicting himself by criticizing district committees and then taking more
money from them over individual campaign finance limits than his Republican opponents, Shur said: “We believe

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our state’s campaign finance system has flaws and we’ve aggressively called on legislators to make changes.
Unfortunately, the Republican leaders killed a bill that would have done just that.”
“We’re certainly not going to fight with one hand tied behind our back,” Shur said. “There has not been a stronger
supporter of campaign contribution limits than Jay Nixon. He’s fought for contribution limits all the way up to the
Supreme Court and he won that case. On this issue, the differences between the two candidates are clear. Jay
Nixon wants a strict system of contribution limits, at least one — if not both — of our opponents want to eliminate
contribution limits completely.”
Shur was referring to the fact that Hulshof has said he would sign a bill currently moving through the legislature
to repeal campaign finance limits. Steelman told the Tribune that she supports keeping the finance limits in
Still, Steelman also said that she wanted the system to be more “transparent.” When questioned whether taking
thousands of dollars through the committees made that goal more difficult, Steelman adviser Doug Gatson said:
“She’s always and will always support increased transparency and disclosure and limits on campaign
contributions,” he said. “And as governor, she will continue to do that.”
Hulshof seemed to get tripped up when the St. Louis Post-Dispatch revealed yesterday that the six-term
congressman said: “My preference would be that we would have a system where there would be limits in place,”
he said in an interview last week.
Hulshof spokesman Scott Baker expounded upon Hulshof’s position on the issue of campaign financing.
“Kenny’s opinion is that as much transparency as possible needs to be injected into the system, Baker said.
“There’s varying lines of thought there. Is it removing the limits? I think you can make that argument. You make it
clear as day where the donations come from. Do you want to have maybe higher limits, but not only very, very
clear requirements in terms of reporting, but then a way to enforce when you don’t meet those requirements?
There are lots of ideas on the table, but it’s an issue that should be moving to the forefront.”
* A number of Steelman's contributions in her April report - including donations from district committees - were
dated after March 31.


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   Editorials. . .
Budget cap
A bad idea
By HENRY J. WATERS III, Publisher, Columbia Daily Tribune
Published Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Missouri House of Representatives has passed a resolution calling for yet another state constitutional
amendment limiting how much legislators can spend.
The law would limit increases in year-by-year state spending to the sum of the rates of increase in inflation and
population growth. This simply is a nonsensical idea. Who knows what sort of pernicious result such a mythical
concoction might produce in any given future year?
More important, lawmakers should not be hampered in crafting annual budgets beyond effective limits already in
place. The very state constitution pandering lawmakers would pollute one more time already requires
legislatures and governors to adopt balanced budgets, a fundamental restraint that has kept Missouri budget
makers responsible.
Moreover, the document contains the revenue limiting Hancock Amendment, and state statutes require a public
vote to approve tax increases of any significance. We simply do not need and should not be burdened with this
latest scheme. We have inflexibility enough.
One can only surmise electioneering is in the minds of majority Republicans who provided the majority for the
resolution. We should be pleased when they and parsimonious Democrats exercise moderation in budget
making, but showing such restraint as they make each year’s budget is the right way to do it.
Perhaps the Senate will ignore this bit of demagoguery from the House and save voters the chore of defeating it
at the polls.

Tax credit excess
Let senators also say no to the massive tax credit scheme being floated to bribe a Canadian airplane maker.
Driven by the faint hope Bombardier Aerospace might build an assembly plant near Kansas City, state economic
development officers want legislative approval to hand out up to $40 million in tax credits each year for 22 years.
If Bombardier shops its factory around, promising to spend some $375 million and hire 2,100 workers, it will find
an army of state officers, who measure success mainly on how many fish they can land, ready to offer lucrative
bait at taxpayer expense.
This is a risky deal for the state. The aircraft maker might or might not settle in Kansas City or anywhere else. As
we’ve seen in the automotive industry, tax handouts don’t ensure long-term benefits. Over the long haul our net
gain in jobs could be zero, despite the multi-millions handed out.
Word is Bombardier’s first choice is to relocate in Canada. The company probably is getting bids from places like
Missouri to use as leverage against its own government. State and local governments too often believe they
must pay bribes to achieve economic good health. They don’t. We can lose some of these deals and be better
off. If a company will come only because it gets the largest tax incentive, we can do without. It’s an unholy

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bidding war that puts us on a slippery slope. We should carefully analyze the cost and benefit of huge auto or
airplane manufacturing installations located elsewhere, with their economic ups and downs. They compete with
builders all over the world. They can go broke or decide to move, regardless of how much tax incentive money
they are able to extract at the outset.
Moreover, the proposal program is not limited to Bombardier. Any perceived prize approved by the Department
of Economic Development this year could qualify.
The Senate would do good work to pass.

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Editorial: MoCRI lacks clarity and depth
THE MANEATER - April 11, 2008
You’ve probably all been asked if you’re registered to vote in Missouri a few of times throughout the past few
weeks. You might have even stopped to read the petition that was waved in your general direction.
Some of you maybe even signed it, probably thinking it was something great: full of intent to restore the civil
rights lost through many centuries of racial inequality.
It’s irrelevant how you feel about the nature of affirmative action in general. The Missouri Civil Rights Initiative,
which is the bill that the petitioners are hoping to get on the ballot, is an inappropriately named, misleading piece
of legislation that aims to essentially rid the state of Missouri of all affirmative action programs at its universities.
But you wouldn’t be able to tell that just from reading it — the initiative is full of flowery language that intends to
“level the playing field,” so to speak, by taking away privilege from those who are not granted it from birth and
restoring it to those who commonly take it for granted. We hate the backhanded, sly nature of the initiative — it’s
not quite lying, but almost. We’ve written ad nauseam in the past about the importance of transparency, and this
case does not escape that necessity.
That said, affirmative action is an issue that is complicated but right in the end. It would be hard for us to see it
slip through the university’s fingers. It’s easy to dismiss affirmative action as a handout, as unnecessary
distribution of opportunity that is only supported by those who are benefited by it the most readily.
But that’s not true.
Our editorial board is predominantly white, and the vote for this editorial was nearly unanimous. Affirmative
action is merely a decision by those who know to do what is right — which is to actually level the playing field by
making up for any privilege taken without reason.
It’s also unreasonable to accuse affirmative action programs of being ineffective. The major facts and figures that
most opponents refer to when trying to prove its ineffectiveness are the ones from California, which show an
increased graduation rate among black students from state schools after a similar bill was passed. But the most
important figure to look at is the minority enrollment rate, which dropped significantly after the California Civil
Rights Initiative was passed and continues to decrease. All students should be given an equal opportunity to get
an education. Anything past that is each individual’s own right to fulfill.
And to anyone who still refuses to recognize that affirmative action programs offer more benefit to a community
than detriment, that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion on any issue.
But instead of complaining and then ridding the state of every program that is controversial, we challenge them
to find a better solution. Affirmative action has its problems — we’ll acknowledge that — but we can’t see any
realistic solution in the future. And we’d rather have a plan, albeit flawed, than no plan at all.
So students, next time you are accosted outside of Middlebush Hall or Brady Commons by someone wielding a
clipboard, at least take the time to read the petition carefully and be sure you know what you’re signing.
But we’d argue that’s not enough due to the deceptive language and unreliable nature of the initiative. It’s time
for everyone to become well-versed in not only the proposition but also their own feelings about the subject.
There is an anti-Missouri Civil Rights Initiative rally at 1 p.m. Tuesday outside of Plaza 900. It’s a good
opportunity to go and experience one side of the issue to glean information.
That way, come election time, no one mis-votes due to trickery on the part of the initiative’s authors. Ballot
language has proven to be confusing at best in the past, so all we can do to protect ourselves is become as
educated as possible on the issues. Sample ballots are sent out in the mail before every election. Read them.
And to the administration: Take a solid stand against this. It’s an initiative that directly affects diversity at MU,
which is an issue that is often touted but has rarely been actually protected. Now’s your chance.

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Absolute hogwash
POST-DISPATCH - 04/17/2008
The impediment that an absolute, unqualified privilege would place in the way of primary constitutional duty of
the Judicial Branch to do justice in criminal prosecutions would plainly conflict with the function of the courts
under Art. III.
— United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974).
So let's see: The United States Supreme Court, on an 8-0 vote, rejected President Richard M. Nixon's claims of
absolute privilege from criminal prosecution. But the court didn't say anything about state governors in civil
actions. So that leaves Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt free to say anything he wants, including outright lies, without
getting sued?
"Unqualified privilege" is the outrageous legal theory put forth by lawyers defending Mr. Blunt in a defamation
lawsuit brought by Scott Eckersley, the governor's former deputy counsel. What's next? A claim that national
security is involved?
The Post-Dispatch's Jo Mannies reported this week that Mr. Blunt's lawyers argue, in documents filed with the
Jackson County Circuit Court in Independence, that "The absolute privilege provides complete immunity to its
holder — even for intentionally false statements. . . . Under this standard, absolute immunity prevents Governor
Blunt's alleged conduct from giving rise to defamation liability."
The lawyers say the secret cloaking powers of executive privilege not only cover the governor, but also two of
his current or former staff members: acting Office of Administration Commissioner Richard AuBuchon and former
chief of staff Ed Martin.
If we follow this argument correctly, it means that if Mr. Blunt or his minions, acting in their official capacities,
intentionally smeared the character of an idealistic 30-year-old lawyer, there's nothing the lawyer can do about it.
They can allege, as they did, that he used state computers to visit a group sex website. They can hint, as they
did, that he had drug problems. They can say, as they did, that he improperly conducted private business during
office hours with state computers and that he had a violent temper. They can say all this, even if they knew it
wasn't true, and trash a young man's reputation and ruin his career, and nobody can touch them.
We have but one word for this argument: hogwash. (It's not the word we wanted, but it will have to do). The
divine right of kings went out in the 16th century.
Mr. Eckersley's only offense before being fired last September was pointing out, as the governor's deputy
counsel, that the governor's office was violating its own policies on record retention. Tony Messenger, then the
editorial page editor of the Springfield [Mo.] News-Leader, now a member of the Post-Dispatch's Jefferson City
bureau, had filed a Sunshine Law request for copies of e-mails Mr. Martin had written last August.
Mr. Martin replied that he'd deleted them and that no back-up copies existed. On Sept. 18, Mr. Blunt said that
although e-mails were public records, he was unaware of any policy about retaining them in his office. Mr.
Eckersley says he repeatedly warned his fellow staff members in the governor's office that there was, indeed, a
written retention policy. Three days later, he learned he'd been fired. Then the sliming started.
Now the question of what happened to the e-mails is the subject of an investigation by an independent panel
appointed by state Attorney General Jay Nixon, to say nothing of the lawsuit Mr. Eckersley filed 12 days before
Gov. Blunt announced he would not seek re-election.
The governor and four current or former members of his staff are being represented by lawyers paid with public
money. Mr. Nixon's investigators are being paid with public money. Mr. Blunt's lawyers have demanded more
than $540,000 (more public money) to produce copies of public records.
Which raises this question: If taxpayers are paying Mr. Blunt's lawyers up to $370 an hour, and the best they can
come up with is "absolute privilege," aren't the taxpayers getting short-changed?

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Representative accuses Speaker of playing abortion politics
Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 5:00 PM
By Brent Martin

An opponent of an anti-abortion bill working its way through the House accuses the Republican majority in
general and the Speaker in particular of pushing the measure because of politics.
The House has given preliminary approval to HB 1831 that adds to the state's informed consent law. Opponent
Beth Low, a representative from Kansas City, sees politics behind the move to push the anti-abortion bill. First,
she questions why the sponsor, Rep. Bob Onder (R-Lake St. Louis) has been allowed to move his bill rather
than the sponsors of other similar bills.
Then, Low insinuates leadership has pulled strings, "Perhaps it's because the Speaker is running his race."
Low was gaveled down after that statement and told to confine her remarks to the bill.
House Speaker Rod Jetton (R-Marble Hill) is also a political consultant. He has worked with Rep. Onder on his
bid for Congress. Onder sponsors the bill and is among the Republicans who filed in the northeast Missouri
district after incumbent Kenny Hulshof decided to run for governor.
Jetton says his professional relationship with Onder has nothing to do with the bill coming before the House for
"That couldn't be any further from the truth," Jetton tells the Missourinet when asked about Low's accusations,
"I'm disappointed Beth would say something like that."
Jetton denies politics is playing any role in the House action on the bill.
The bill would make it a crime to coerce a woman to have an abortion. It requires a woman seeking an abortion
to be informed of alternatives and that a fetus can feel pain.
Another favorable vote sends it to the Senate.

Impact of death penalty decision on Missouri unclear
Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 4:42 PM
By Jon Allison

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Kentucky's use of lethal injections, and that may pave the way for Missouri
to resume the death penalty as well, something that Brian Hauswirth, with the Missouri Department of
Corrections, says is not up to his department. Hauswirth says the public often misunderstands their policies
when it comes to the death penalty
"A lot of people think the Missouri Department of Corrections is pro death penalty," said Hauswirth, "we simply
carry out the court's orders. We carry out what we are statutorily required to do under Missouri state law."
While the Department of Corrections is already reviewing the extensive ruling, they do not have an immediate
response. Hauswirth says that he is not sure how the ruling will impact the state of Missouri.
"At this point Missouri Supreme Court has not scheduled any execution dates. So, two things," said Hauswirth,
"Number one; we will review the ruling. We'll review it very carefully and take the time we need to review this,
and, number two; we'll await further court action, if any comes. We really don't know what this ruling is going to

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In the meantime, a statement from Attorney General Jay Nixon's office asks that Missourians remember "many
families of murder victims in Missouri have waited 15 years or more for justice in their cases."

Illegal alien amendment defeated as Senate begins budget debate
Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 9:48 PM
By Steve Walsh

The Senate has completed work on seven of the thirteen budget bills (HB 2001, HB 2002, HB 2003, HB 2004,
HB 2005, HB 2006, HB 2007) and has done so with only minor differences. One of those differences involved an
amendment to the bill funding a number of departments including the Department of Labor.
Senator Chris Koster (D-Raymore) proposed an amendment to help the department crack down on illegal
workers. The proposal called for $800,000 to be spent to address this concern.
Several Senators spoke out against the proposed expenditure. Among them, Senator Matt Bartle (R-Lee's
Summit), who says the state cannot afford to spend money of this kind during tough economic times. In the end,
the amendment was defeated on a 30-4 vote.

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USA TODAY In Missouri
Thursday, April 17
St. Louis - U.S. Postal Service inspectors in St. Louis returned $4,500 to a St. Charles County woman duped in
an Internet scam. The inspectors say it's the first time they have recovered funds sent overseas in this type of
scam. An Internet friend falsely told Christine Shepherd, 41, that he needed money after traveling to Nigeria and
being beaten and hospitalized.

Wednesday, April 16
Jefferson City - The House approved legislation that would ask Missourians to raise their taxes to pay for
veterans services. The proposed constitutional amendment would create a one-eighth cent sales tax to boost
funding for the state Veterans Commission. It would be used to build more long-term-care facilities and for one-
stop service centers where veterans could receive care and learn about programs.

Tuesday, April 15
Maplewood - A school resource officer in suburban St. Louis was suspended with pay after allegedly using a
stun gun on a middle school student. The president of the Maplewood-Richmond Heights school board said the
incident happened April 3 at Maplewood Middle School. The student was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
There was no immediate word on what prompted the officer to use the stun gun.

Monday, April 14
Jefferson City - All three leading candidates for governor - Democrat Jay Nixon and Republicans Kenny Hulshof
and Sarah Steelman - vowed not to raise taxes if elected. Steelman, the state treasurer, announced that she
signed a national organization's anti-tax pledge. Spokesmen for Hulshof, a Columbia congressman, and Nixon,
the Missouri attorney general, followed with similar promises.

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