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Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016

February 8, 2012

Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012, at 1:52 PM

Spring showered sunshine and fair temperatures across mid Missouri and throughout the greater Midwest this week as we returned for another week in the Legislative Session. One year ago this week, Old Man Winter treated us to a dramatically different scene as we experienced a mighty storm that blanketed most of Missouri in a thick carpet of swirling snow, causing an entire stretch of I-70 to be completely shut down and following that with a dose of record cold. What a difference a year always makes...

Legislative Update

HB 1219 and HB 1104 were presented for "perfection" and debated on the House Floor this week. Both bills have been laid over as we anticipate resuming discussion on them next week.

HB 1219, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Elmer (R-141), is a protection for Missouri jobs and Missouri employers by returning Missouri law to a position that is consistent with the federal Law. The bill removes provisions which currently make a manager liable for the actions of an employee and establishes a graduated scale for punitive damages based on the number of employees which provides a level of uniformity in awarding damages. Court cases should be handled as quickly and efficiently as possible, so businesses can appropriately handle problematic, harmful employees to keep the workplace safe, and this bill reinstates the original summary judgment standards that have existed in our nation and state for many decades to help courts accomplish this objective.

HB 1104, sponsored by Rep. Shane Schoeller (R-139), specifies that a person seeking to vote in a public election must show a valid photo identification, driving or non-driving, to election officials before they can receive a ballot and have it counted. This is a simple, common sense requirement that all should embrace to protect one of our most sacred and fundamental rights and to seek to end the rampant voter registration fraud that continues to be discovered across our Nation. All costs incurred by an election authority to implement the photo identification requirement will be reimbursed by the state. If the voter does not have a valid identification, they are allowed to cast a provisional ballot. If the reason for not having a valid identification is because they cannot afford to receive a new birth certificate or other documentation, they can sign an affidavit to receive a ballot. If an individual does not have their identification with them, they are allowed to vote using a provisional ballot. It will only be counted if they return to the election authority and present the appropriate identification within three days after the election.

On Thursday, February 2, the house decided to hold another Technical Session. This means that although House Committees and other meetings will still be held and will still proceed, there will be no active Floor Activity. By holding a Technical Session, we have the opportunity to save taxpayer dollars and not hold a Session when no legislation will be considered.

We were pleased to have our Electric Co-Op's in town this past week. Present were Ozark Border General Manager Stanly Estes, along with board members: Mark Yarboro, Leon Martin, Speedy Ketcherside, Andy Clark, Denver Ligons, J.T. Moody, Jeff Holloway, Allen Below, Ed Crow, Charlie Bunting and Darrell Atchison. They were available to visit and speak about issues facing utilities. This entire group does a good job in keeping the lights on. It is always good to have folks from the Bootheel at the Capitol.

As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-3629. You can also email me at Kent.Hampton@house.mo.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.

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