Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2006

Senators Approve 10 percent Ethanol Requirement

House measure requires ethanol blend for gasoline by 2008

Jefferson City — Senators this week approved legislation requiring most gasoline sold in Missouri to contain a fuel additive derived from agricultural products.

After lengthy debate, which pitted members of the same party against each other, senators this week approved a House measure implementing a 10 percent ethanol standard for unleaded gasoline. House Bill 1270 requires the ethanol standard to be in place by Jan. 1, 2008. Jet fuel and premium gasoline are exempt from the measure, and the mandate would be suspended if ethanol blends cost more than regular unleaded gasoline. Ethanol is a motor fuel derived from agricultural products, most often corn.

Supporters of the bill say it will create new markets for farmers, temper increases in the cost of gasoline, reduce Missouri’s dependence on foreign sources of fuel and protect the environment. Opponents say the market, not state government, should decide whether the fuel additive i…

Missouri Senate Approves 10 percent Ethanol Standard

Measure requires regular gasoline to contain corn-based fuel additive

JEFFERSON CITY — Senators on Tuesday, April 25, approved legislation requiring most gasoline sold in Missouri to contain a renewable fuel derived from agricultural products.

After considerable debate between members of the same party, senators this week approved a House measure implementing a 10 percent ethanol standard for unleaded gasoline sold in Missouri. House Bill 1270 requires the ethanol standard to be in place by Jan. 1, 2008.

Ethanol is a motor fuel derived from certain agricultural products, such as corn. All motor vehicles manufactured since the 1970s can run on a 10 percent ethanol blend. Jet fuel and premium gasoline are exempt under HB 1270, and the mandate would be temporarily halted if ethanol blends cost more than regular unleaded gasoline.

Supporters of the bill say it will create new markets for farmers, temper increases in the cost of gasoline, reduce Missouri’s dependence on foreign sources of fuel…

Senate Advances Budget for 2007 Fiscal Year

Thirteen budget bills make up $20.8 billion spending plan

Jefferson City — The Senate this week approved the state budget after receiving the budget bills from the Senate Appropriations Committee. The budget, made up of House Bills 1001-1013, represents Missouri’s expected appropriations and revenues for the 2007 fiscal year, which begins July 1 of this year.

Lawmakers dedicated much of the latter half of the week to passing the approximately $20.8 billion budget, which is marked by a 4 percent pay raise for state employees and the return of some state health-care services compromised last year. Services that had been subject to appropriations last year, such as funding for eyeglasses and wheelchair accessories for adult Medicaid recipients, are now guaranteed.

Under the budget plan approved by the Senate, the Department of Social Services receives the most funding with an approximately $6.2 billion appropriation. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is due to get $5 bill…

Senate Approves Medicaid, Development Reforms

Bills target Medicaid providers and limit use of TIF

Jefferson City — The Missouri Senate this week approved bills to reduce Medicaid fraud at the provider level and tighten tax breaks for developers.

Senate Bill 1210, which received final approval, enhances penalties against health-care providers who commit Medicaid fraud and offers financial incentives to whistleblowers. Under the legislation, penalties for first-time and repeat offenders are increased, those who defraud the system are prohibited from participating in the system and offenders must serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentence. The bill also implements felony penalties against those who willfully obstruct Medicaid-fraud investigations. Further, individuals who come forward to identify instances of Medicaid fraud are allowed to keep a portion of the money recovered from any subsequent investigations. The legislation is on its way to the House for similar consideration.

Senators this week gave initial approval to leg…

Senate Reforms Medical Malpractice, Expands No-Call List

Controversial cable bill is withdrawn by sponsor

Jefferson City — In a week marked by the withdrawal of one of this year’s most controversial bills, the Missouri Senate took to work on several bills that have not seen many headlines. The sponsor of Senate Bill 816 pulled the legislation, which would have affected how cable and telephone companies compete in cable markets, after lawmakers this week failed to come to a compromise on specific provisions. The Senate went on to pass bills modifying medical malpractice and telemarketing laws.

SB 905, which received final passage from the Senate this week, requires companies that provide medical malpractice insurance to receive state approval for rates. Under the bill, insurers must report rate information to the state insurance director so the Department of Insurance can publish a rate comparison. SB 905 states that rates are not allowed be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory. The legislation also strengthens penalties against co…

General Column - Week of March 27, 2006

Senate Committee Approves Medicaid-Reform Package
Week also marks deadline to file for state elections



Jefferson City — This week, the first after the General Assembly’s mid-session recess, was the deadline to file for state elections to be held this year. Of the 17 Senate seats up for a vote, 10 involve incumbents who are being challenged for their seat, three have incumbents running unopposed, three exclude incumbents altogether due to term limits, and one race has an incumbent not seeking reelection. One race is of particular interest. Candidates for the Senate’s Second District, which is vacant, will face off in an April special election before running against each other again in the November general election. The winner of the special election will serve in the Senate for no more than a couple of weeks before senators adjourn in May.

Much-anticipated legislation designed to crack down on Medicaid fraud was passed this week by the Senate Pensions, Veterans’ Affairs and General Laws C…