St. Louis Public Radio News
11:25 am
Wed February 19, 2003

IL Schools Head Says Schools Near Collapse

Springfield, Ill. – Illinois' schools chief told lawmakers Tuesday in Springfield the state's schools are near financial collapse.

Robert Schiller says 61% of the school districts in Illinois currently have budget deficits, and says that could rise to 80% if nothing is done. Schiller says the crisis has districts taking drastic steps.

Schiller says schools need $1.8 billion dollars, and wants lawmakers to cut property taxes while raising income and sales taxes. Governor Blagojevich has said he won't raise those taxes.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:17 am
Wed February 19, 2003

Mo. Lawmakers Propose Saving Amtrak Routes

(Reuters file Photo)

Jefferson City, MO. – A proposal in Jefferson City would keep Amtrak service running in Missouri be removing staff at the Kirkwood and Jefferson City train stations and raising ticket prices $5.

Lawmakers in the state House gave initial approval to the plan Tuesday. It also gives Amtrak $800,000 more to keep its twice daily trains running for the next four months.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:01 pm
Tue February 18, 2003

Patronage in IL Government

Springfield, Ill. –

Resumes are flooding the Illinois governor's office as thousands try to land state jobs. It's part of a tradition known as patronage, where "whom you know" can make all the difference.

Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford prepared this report.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:44 pm
Tue February 18, 2003

Gephardt Announces Presidential Candidacy

(Reuters File Photo)

St. Louis, MO – Dick Gephardt formally announced his plans to run for President Wednesday morning.

The 14-term democratic congressman from south St. Louis set up an exploratory presidential committee in January but officially kicked off his campaign Wednesday inside the grade school he attended.

University of Missouri St. Louis political scientist David Robertson says the pressure is on Gephardt to win the early Iowa caucuses.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:43 pm
Tue February 18, 2003

Bond to Seek More Money for Lead Abatement in St. Louis

Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo)
(KWMU Staff photo)

St. Louis, MO – US Senator Kit Bond of Missouri says the city of St. Louis will receive an additional $2 million in federal funds this year to prevent lead poisoning and he's vowing to secure another $15-million over the next three years.

The funding will be used to screen pregnant women, inspect homes and for lead abatement and cleaning kits for families.

St. Louis Lead Prevention Coalition executive director Judy Riehl says a major goal is to make lead abatement more affordable.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:43 pm
Tue February 18, 2003

Bond to Seek More Money for Lead Abatement in St. Louis

Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo)
(KWMU Staff photo)

St. Louis, MO – US Senator Kit Bond of Missouri says the city of St. Louis will receive an additional $2 million in federal funds this year to prevent lead poisoning and he's vowing to secure another $15-million over the next three years.

The funding will be used to screen pregnant women, inspect homes and for lead abatement and cleaning kits for families.

St. Louis Lead Prevention Coalition executive director Judy Riehl says a major goal is to make lead abatement more affordable.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:40 pm
Tue February 18, 2003

Budget Woes: More Talk of Cuts in Mo. & Ill.

Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich
(file photo)

Jefferson City, Mo & Springfield, Ill. – Cuts, cuts and more cuts. It's been a familiar theme so far this year in both Jefferson City, Mo. and Springfield, Ill.

MISSOURI

On Monday, the chair of a key Missouri budget committee told lawmakers he wants to find even more cuts than what the governor is proposing.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:20 pm
Tue February 18, 2003

Union Vote to be Tallied for Children's Hospital Nurses

St. Louis, MO – It's been about three weeks since nurses at Children's Hospital in St. Louis voted on whether to unionize, but the results of that vote are still not known.

Thursday the National Labor Relations Board will count most, but not all of those ballots.

The board's Ralph Remain says this is not the normal procedure for union votes.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:33 am
Tue February 18, 2003

House Committee Votes School Cuts

Jefferson City, MO – A Missouri House committee calls for more
than $100 million in cuts to public schools next fiscal year.

Today's vote is in line with a Republican effort to trim all aspects of government spending.

The cuts would eliminate the state's safe-schools program and stop rewarding districts that offer summer school.

Majority Republicans ok'd the cuts on party-line votes, leaving Democrats furious.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:57 am
Tue February 18, 2003

Injured Police Officer Regains Consciousness

St. Louis, Mo. – A St. Louis police officer who was hospitalized after a crash last week has regained consciousness and is talking to family members.

Jermaine Jackson was injured last Tuesday, along with fellow officer James Branson, when their police car hit a sport utility vehicle in a St. Louis intersection. Branson and two women in the SUV were treated a hospital and were released.

The cruiser was pursuing another car thought to contain three carjackers. Those suspects have not been found.

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