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Politics

Only Two Days Left in Legislative Session

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/onlytwoday_939.mp3

Missouri lawmakers end their legislative session Friday. KSMU's Missy Shelton is in Jefferson City with the latest.

Working into the evening hours Wednesday, lawmakers sent the governor several pieces of legislation.

On its way to the governor is a requirement that children age 4 to 8 sit in a booster seat when riding in cars. The only exception would be for children in that age group who weigh more than 80 pounds or are taller than 4 feet, 9 inches.

Lawmakers also sent the governor legislation that will block Wal-Mart from going into the banking business in Missouri.

The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously.

An issue that has gained support in the House will make its way to the Senate in the closing days of the session...It's the idea of requiring a study of the proposed sale of MOHELA assets. MOHELA is the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, a quasi-governmental agency that underwrites student loans.

Democratic Representative Clint Zweifel offered an amendment to require a study of the sale's impact and its legality.

Since lawmakers failed to pass a bill appropriating MOHELA proceeds before the budget deadline, Republican Governor Matt Blunt says he's working with MOHELA.

In January, Blunt unveiled a plan that called for MOHELA to sell its assets to fund capitol projects at universities.

Now that it's clear there won't be a MOHELA spending plan moving through the legislature this session, Blunt has said he'll pursue the option of having MOHELA donate its proceeds from the sale directly to universities.

Democratic Representative Clint Zweifel says if lawmakers decide to require a study and the governor signs the requirement into law, the study would not slow the process.

In the final two days of the legislative session, one of the big issues that still needs approval is legislation that would require voters to present government-issued photo identification at the polls.

The bill has led to a stalemate in the senate and threats of a forced vote.