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Bob Watson

Stories by Bob

Interns program to be studied for possible improvements

They’ve come to Missouri's Capitol for years. But events of the past couple weeks have put the legislative interns program in a spotlight few wanted to see or experience.

Chronic offenders seek early release

Missuri Supreme Court hears 2 cases on same issue

Lawyers for two prison inmates told the Missouri Supreme Court this week their clients should be released from prison now that they successfully completed a state-run one-year treatment program — even though a different law says they must stay in prison at least two years.

Appeals court rules former teacher can't recover attorney fees

In connection with child abuse investigation

Judge had tossed child abuse case against former Eldon coach

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Home care workers want Nixon to activate contract

Missouri Home Care Union members and their supporters stood outside Gov. Jay Nixon’s Capitol office for more than an hour Wednesday, urging him to order their new contract be put in place.

School board committee discusses ‘Open Forum’ policy, EpiPens

Rule changes ahead?

Three Jefferson City School Board members spent more than an hour Wednesday morning talking about whether the “Open Forum” portion of board meetings needs to be changed.

Report: Missouri’s poor roads just part of a national problem

A national report confirms what state officials have been saying for some time: Missouri’s roads and bridges are deteriorating — especially in the state’s rural areas.

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Blair Oaks sends 100 seniors out to world

Blair Oaks High School’s 100 graduates heard a lot about “family” during Sunday night’s Commencement Ceremony.

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Observers: Senate’s end both rare and no big deal

Long-time Missouri Capitol observers kept saying they never had seen the type of filibuster the Senate’s Democrats launched during the session’s final three days. And both parties accused the other of stopping action on bills that still needed to be debated.

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Mid-Missouri lawmakers rate legislative session as good

Mid-Missouri lawmakers generally were pleased.

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Dysfunction crowds final day of session

Senate meets for less than 45 minutes on Thursday

The Missouri Legislature came to a standstill Thursday, jeopardizing scores of bills with just one day left in the session, as the Republican House speaker announced his resignation amid a scandal and Senate Democrats blocked all debate because of lingering animosity over a bill limiting union powers.

Schaefer: Special session could change Medicaid

Among the 175 bills and resolutions still waiting for the Missouri Senate’s approval today — the Legislature’s last day for the 2015 session — is the federal reimbursement allowance, or FRA, that means more than $3.6 billion in Medicaid funding for the state budget.

Senate Democrats make good on pledge to stall bills in session’s final days

State of inaction

With only three days to go before the end this year’s General Assembly, state senators on Wednesday took no votes on any bills.

Parson changes recording rules for his committee

For the entire legislative session, state Sen. Mike Parson has prohibited people from using cameras or audio recorders at meetings of the Small Business, Industry and Insurance Committee he chairs.

Joint committee rejects proposed home care pay rule

Missouri’s Health and Senior Services department doesn’t have the authority to propose raising the base wage home health attendants are paid in the Consumer Directed Services (CDS) Program, members of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) said Tuesday.

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Senate stops debate, sends ‘right to work’ back to House

With several hundred union members watching from the Senate gallery and on closed-circuit TV screens in a couple of hearing rooms, Missouri senators Tuesday evening halted an 8½-hour debate, then passed and sent back to the House a bill that would add Missouri to the list of 25 “right-to-work” states.

Senate Committee endorses right-to-work bill

Issue could be debated today

State Senate Floor Leader Ron Richard said last week debating a right-to-work bill was a top priority for this, the General Assembly’s last week.

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Home care workers, clients urge lawmaker support for wage hike

When the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules meets this morning, they should approve a proposed rule affecting home health care wages.

Education groups urge veto of schools transfer bill

Three of four prominent education lobbying groups want Gov. Jay Nixon to veto the schools transfer bill lawmakers passed last week.

Budget includes pay study, but no pay raises

Last week, some state workers rallied at the Truman State Office Building and met with Missouri lawmakers in the Capitol, delivering a message that they need better wages and a long-term plan to get there.

Nixon signs $26 billion state budget

Missouri lawmakers sent the state budget bills to Gov. Jay Nixon two weeks ago, so they would have time in their final days to override any line-item vetoes he might make.

License office ‘pay-to-play’ in jeopardy

Senate debates issue day after judge rules it’s illegal

Missouri lawmakers apparently are reaching the same conclusion as Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green: Awarding Revenue department fee offices based on a promise to pay the state a portion of the office income is illegal.

Budget bills include Mid-Missouri projects

Lincoln University would get more than $4 million from one of the budget bills the state Senate passed Wednesday and sent back to the House.

Schaaf proposes major ethics reform

Although it has almost no chance of passing this legislative session — which must end by 6 p.m. May 15 — state Sen. Rob Schaaf asked a Senate committee Wednesday to support his “Missouri Anti-Corruption Amendment” and put it on next year’s ballot so the people can vote on it.

Riddle’s child-on-child abuse bill sent to governor

Lawmakers sent Sen. Jeanie Riddle’s bill to let the state investigate complaints of children being abused by other children to Gov. Jay Nixon on Wednesday.

Bill seeks to allow Missourians to protect passwords

Missouri students at school and employees at work would be able to protect their personal passwords, under a House-passed bill waiting for Senate debate.

Bill could restore licensing board opinions

The medical doctors, osteopaths and nurses all agree — Missouri law should allow the state's Professional Registration division’s boards and commissions to give educational opinions.

Senate asked to limit professional licenses

Missouri state senators soon could be asked to slow down the rate of growth in the number of licensed professions in the state.

TRIP report outlines need for more transportation funding

‘Prosperity’ group opposes tax increase

A report released Thursday outlines numerous reasons for Missourians to support increasing the money available for building and maintaining the state’s highway system. But Americans For Prosperity-Missouri (AFP) says a proposed tax increase is a “big government solution” when the Legislature should have looked for other options.

MoDOT: Roads have gone over ‘cliff’

Report cites poor conditions, need for better transportation funding

A 22-page report says the poor condition of Mid-Missouri roads costs area drivers more than $1,300 each year in additional vehicle operating costs, congestion-caused lost time and wasted fuel and the financial cost of traffic crashes.

Defendant: ‘Right-to-farm’ cancels marijuana-growing charge

A Mid-Missouri woman indicted for growing marijuana in her home in October 2012 has asked Circuit Judge Dan Green to throw out that charge.

Mid-Missouri lawmakers unhappy with PSC decision

Four Jefferson City area lawmakers said Wednesday the Public Service Commission made a bad decision in its Ameren Missouri rate case ruling.

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Senate committee endorses resolution honoring Lucile Bluford

When she was in high school, Lucile Bluford decided she wanted to be a reporter.

Supreme Court upholds statute of repose

Missouri’s Supreme Court ruled 6-1 Tuesday that a state law blocking some malpractice lawsuits doesn’t violate the state Constitution.

Lawmakers asked to move some offices out of the Capitol

Since the 1970s, two dozen Missouri state representatives’ offices in the Capitol have been on mezzanine levels that people can reach only if they climb a set of stairs.

Auditor names 2 top staff members

New Auditor Nicole Galloway announced the appointment of two stop staffers to her new administration.

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Galloway takes oath as 38th auditor

Former deputy auditor denies her statement he resigned

Nicole Galloway officially became Missouri’s 38th auditor Monday afternoon, during a brief ceremony in the hallway just outside the auditor’s office in the Capitol.

Senate endorses Riddle's immunization notices bill

The Missouri Senate on Monday gave first-round approval to Sen. Jeanie Riddle’s bill requiring child care centers to notify parents if there are students who haven’t gotten their immunizations against common childhood diseases — if the parents request that information.

Insider dispute? Future of Legislative Research modified in budget

State Sen. Bob Dixon is concerned for the future of Legislative Research — and told his colleagues last week its budget changes could affect the Legislature’s operations.

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‘Serve Jeff City’ and ‘Mission JC’ add beauty, help out community

A late morning rain may have cut a few projects off before they were done, but a number of people likely would say today that they spent several hours Saturday making Jefferson City a better place.

Charges filed in Jefferson City murder

Suspect held without bail for murder that occurred about 12:45 a.m. Saturday.

PSC leaning toward Noranda subsidy

Lawmakers complain Nixon backing compromise at expense of consumers

The five-member PSC tentatively voted last Wednesday to give Noranda Aluminum Co. another break in the rates it pays for the electricity to operate its aluminum smelter in the Missouri Bootheel, potentially leading to higher rates for other Ameren customers.

No state employees’ pay raise in new budget

Most Missouri state government employees got a pay raise on Jan. 1 , but they won’t be getting another in the new budget the Legislature sent Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday.

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Still footing the bill for Nixon

Audit: Governor still spending money from other departments

Gov. Jay Nixon’s office and Mansion operations continue to spend money lawmakers budgeted for other state offices and agencies, the state auditor’s office said Wednesday.

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Welch case focuses on definition of ‘violence’

Has Larry Gene Welch served enough time in prison that he should be released before the end of his original sentences?

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Schaaf proposes toll road option for I-70

Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, thinks making Interstate 70 into a toll road is a better transportation improvement option than raising Missouri’s fuel tax by 2 cents a gallon.

Chamber task force still looking for St. Mary’s options

It’s been six months since St. Mary’s Hospital moved to its new home on Mission Drive just east of Missouri 179.

Campaign finance supporters promise appeal

The St. Louis County group Returning Government to the People said Tuesday it is appealing last week’s Cole County circuit court ruling blocking its proposed campaign finance reform amendment.

AG will defend state Senate in 'Sunshine' suit

Attorney General Chris Koster and his staff will defend the Missouri Senate in the lawsuit Progress Missouri filed last week, accusing the Senate of violating Missouri’s “Sunshine” law.

How to handle children who kill?

In February 2012, Cole County Circuit Court Judge Pat Joyce sentenced Alyssa Bustamante to life in prison — with the possibility of parole — to be followed by a separate, 30-year sentence.

Moniteau County man charged after recent high-speed chase

Cole County prosecutors Friday charged Jacob C. Cardwell, 32, California, with resisting a lawful traffic stop — a Class D felony that, if there’s a conviction, could result in a sentence of up to four years in prison.