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Governor Implements Cost Cutting

During his first full day in office, Governor Matt Blunt implemented some cost-cutting measures. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

FOR SEVERAL YEARS, MISSOURI HAS HAD AN OFFICE AND A LOBBYIST IN WASHINGTON, D.C. BUT GOVERNOR MATT BLUNT CLOSED THE OFFICE AND FIRED THE STAFF.

BUT SOME DEMOCRATS SAY THE CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION ISN'T ENOUGH.

ASSISTANT DEMOCRATIC FLOOR LEADER SENATOR CHUCK GRAHAM SAYS THE STATE NEEDS AN INDEPENDENT VOICE IN D.C.

BUT BLUNT SAYS CLOSING THE D.C OFFICE WILL PROVIDE MONEY FOR OTHER AREAS OF STATE GOVERNMENT.

IN ADDITION TO CLOSING THE D.C. OFFICE, GOVERNOR MATT BLUNT PUT A FREEZE ON THE PURCHASE OF NEW CELL PHONES, NON-EMERGENCY CARS AND OFFICE SPACE.

BUT SENATOR CHUCK GRAHAM SAYS THE GOVERNOR IS BEING TOO HASTY.

BESIDES THESE MEASURES, GOVERNOR MATT BLUNT TOOK AWAY COLLECTIVE BARGAINING POWER FROM THE STATE WORKERS WHO ARE UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE.

BLUNT ALSO REVOKED A RULE THAT AUTHORIZED UNIONS TO COLLECT SERVICE FEES FROM EMPLOYEES, WHETHER THOSE EMPLOYEES WANTED TO JOIN THE UNION OR NOT.

BLUNT ALSO SAYS PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ARE DIFFERENT THAN PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYEES.

BUT DEMOCRATIC SENATOR CHUCK GRAHAM DISAGREES.

GRAHAM SAYS STATE WORKERS SHOULD HAVE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING POWER.

AND HE SAYS ALL EMPLOYEES SHOULD HAVE TO PAY THE SERVICE FEES.

A SPOKESMAN FOR THE STATE EMPLOYEES UNION SAYS BLUNT'S ACTION COULD PROMPT A LEGAL CHALLENGE.