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Politics

Governor Signs Mental Health Bill

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/governorsi_1077.mp3

Missouri's governor signed a bill today that's designed to improve mental health care for children...But bill supporters say they're disappointed he signed the bill behind closed doors.

The bill sponsor, Senator Mike Gibbons says he knows of hundreds of parents who have given the state custody of their mentally ill child so that child can receive treatment.

He says these families have gone through their insurance, their own money and other health care options.

He syas this was a horrible situation.

Gibbons says he's delighted Democratic Governor Bob Holden signed the bill but says he's disappointed the governor didn't have a formal bill signing ceremony.

In fact, Gibbons and the other bill sponsors, including a democratic senator didn't find out the bill had been signed until hours after it happened.

But Mary Still, the governor's spokeswoman explains why the govenror didn't hold a bill signing ceremony.

The bill becomes law August 28th.

Date: 03/03/04 Gay Rights Activists Rally Against Proposed Ban on Gay Marriage

The issue of gay marriage came before the senate last week.

Lawmakers approved a constitutional ban on same sex marriage.

Because the issue has gotten so much attention lately, Edward Reggi, a business owner from St Louis decided to come to the capitol to lobby against the proposed ban.

Reggi and the other 200 or so people who came to lobby will encounter lawmakers like Republican Representative Kevin Engler.

He's sponsoring the proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage.

While opponents of the ban say it's discriminatory, Engler says that's not the point.

But that stance bothers Edward Reggi.

He says the proposed constitutional amendment makes him feel like a second class citizen.

He explains why he opposes the ban.

Missouri law already bans same sex marriage.

But in other states, most recently in Massachusetts, courts have ruled similar laws unconstitutional.

That's why Engler says it's important to put the ban in the constitution.

Any constitutional amendment requires voter approval.

Engler says he believes most Missourians would support changing the constitution.

Because the proposed constitutional ban gained senate approval last week, it now moves to the House for consideration.