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Nixon mum on abortion, ethics bills

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Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
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Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon speaks to reporters at a bill signing ceremony today.

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has been signing dozens of bills into law since the regular legislative session ended in May. But two controversial bills remain unsigned as Wednesday's deadline approaches.

One of those bills deals with ethics. Provisions include restricting political committee-to-committee money transfers and allowing the Missouri Ethics Commission to launch investigations. But it does not include restoring limits on campaign contributions.

The other bill would expand the information women must be told 24 hours before getting an abortion.

Governor Nixon says he's been pretty busy lately.

"We had to do the budget and the restrictions, you have to do the complete bill review process, and we have a special session that we're trying to get done," Nixon told reporters at a bill signing ceremony today. "The amount of time that takes, I'm not complaining about that, it's just very, very busy."

The governor refused to say whether he would sign, veto, or allow the abortion language bill to become law without his signature.

"We're in the final process of review of that and a number of other bills," Nixon said. "Literally we'll go from here to try to finish those up and we'll get those done on time, but at this point I'd just like to defer those comments."

Current law already requires that pregnant women be told of the physical and psychological risks posed by the procedure. If signed into law, the bill would require consultations to be done in person and that women are given the option of viewing an ultrasound of their fetus or hearing a heartbeat.

Nixon also won't indicate which way he's leaning on the ethics bill. Any bill left unsigned by tomorrow's deadline will automatically become law.

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