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February 29, 2012Posted Friday, March 23, 2012, at 12:39 PM
Photo provided On Wednesday, February 22, Campbell High School senior Morgan Bader visited the Capitol as a Legislative Shadow. She was presented a House Resolution for her outstanding accomplishments and leadership skills. We wish Morgan good luck in all her future endeavor's and know she will be an asset to the next generation of working adults.
FLOOR ACTION: Monday, February 20
HB 1192 & HB 1041, both with a focus on higher education, were third read and passed as we returned to work Monday afternoon. HB 1192, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Koenig (R-88), requires the board of the Missouri Higher Education Savings Program to study investment plans of other states' similar savings programs and provide benefit options similar to those other states' plans. This bill will propose more options for members that qualify for this type of plan. HB 1041, sponsored by Rep. Mike Thomson (R-04), will restore the ability for the board of governors of several state universities to transfer property without an authorizing act of the General Assembly. This bill contained an emergency clause which means that after it was voted on and passed, it will take effect upon signature by the Governor.
Agri-Business and farming remain the single largest industry in Missouri and this week we took steps to protect those who work hard providing our state with sustenance. HCS HJR 61, sponsored by Rep. Tom Loehner (R-112), is a proposed constitutional amendment that the voters of our State will have an opportunity to consider which, if passed, affirms the right of farmers to raise their livestock in a manner adhering to state and local laws. This measure would help protect our farmer and help them keep doing what they do best. The bill was perfected this week and awaits final consideration by the House.
FLOOR ACTION: Tuesday, February 21
This past summer expansive flooding swept across our state affecting thousands of acres of farm land in the bottom areas of both the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. HCR 8, sponsored by Rep. Casey Guernsey (R-03), will help property owners and farmers along the river bottoms that were affected by this summer's flooding by keeping rates the same, restraining Governor Nixon's State Tax Commission from raising taxes in these areas substantially after these agriculturalists have lost so much this past year. It is important to realize that taxes will not be cut; the rates will simply be maintained and not raised for the next two years. With ever increasing prices in fuel and materials and an economy that continues to teeter on the brink thanks to terrible economic policies coming out of Washington, it is important for us in Missouri to protect our statewide farming industry and not further punish those who have been subjected to so many challenges this past year.
The current law states that legislators can serve 8 years in the House of Representatives AND eight years in the Missouri Senate but cannot serve a combination of any amount of 16 years in either body. A fellow legislator from across the aisle, Rep. Jamilah Nasheed (D-60), is sponsoring HCS HJR 41, which will make a small but common sense change to the law that adjusts the rules on term limits but does not expand them. This bill, which was third read and passed to the Senate, will allow legislators to serve a total of 16 years between the House and Senate but does not force them to serve only 8 years in each body. They can serve all of the sixteen years in one Chamber or divide their service years half and half, depending on what the legislator and the voters decide.
FLOOR ACTION: Wednesday, February 22
In the news recently, there has been a lot of talk about President Obama's Affordable Care Act of 2010 forcing health insurers to cover "preventive services" for women. The preventive services include "all FDA-approved forms of contraception, sterilization procedures and patient education and counseling" defined by Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Seblius. It was stated that churches would be exempt from the rule, but not affiliated hospitals, colleges or charities; they would be required to comply. The House passed HCR 41, sponsored by Rep. Paul Curtman (R-105), which states that the Missouri General Assembly takes a "firm and unwavering stand against an unconstitutional infringement on the right of the State of Missouri and its citizens not to be forced to participate in any health care system which is contrary to the laws of the State of Missouri." This is a matter of religious freedom and liberty, nothing more, nothing less, and the federal government should spend more of its time on its enumerated powers and less on violating constitutional rights via unwarranted new mandates.
The following consent bills were passed out of the House on this day: HB 1059, sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-114), Recount of Votes; HB 1107, sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-144), Missouri Fox Trotting Highway; HB 1112, Sponsored by Rep. Don Gosen (R-84), Life Insurance Companies; HB 1128, sponsored by Rep. Scott Largent (R-120), National Guard Ribbons and Awards; HB 1188, sponsored by Rep. Sue Allen (R-092), Administration of Asthma Medication; HB 1347, sponsored by Rep. Ward Franz, Veterans Preference in Contracts. To view a summary or the full text of any of these bills, please visit the following website: www.house.mo.gov.
FLOOR ACTION: Thursday, February 23
As a country known for liberty and freedoms, immigration has been a huge part of our nation's heritage, and HB 1186, sponsored by Rep. Mark Parkinson (R-16), will help encourage immigrants to assimilate into our culture. This law requires Missouri driver's license examination to only be administered in English so that the applicant can demonstrate their ability to sufficiently understand highway traffic signs and safety warnings. This bill is a step to keeping our Missouri roads safe for everyone.
Under the current law, most statewide offices, except for the Office of Governor, may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment when there is a vacancy. HCS HB 1442, sponsored by Rep. Jason Smith (R-150), specifies that when there is a vacancy in the office of Secretary of State, State Auditor, Attorney General, Lieutenant, or the United State Senate, the Governor must immediately appoint an acting officer until a successor is elected at the next scheduled election for that office, or a special election under specified conditions. The person appointed by the Governor will not be eligible to be a candidate for the office to which they are appointed in the immediately following election for the office but may be a candidate for that particular office after one intervening election has been held. In case of an impeachment trial for these offices, the acting officer will supervise these offices until a final determination is made. This is a good government bill that places the People firmly in charge of choosing their elected officials.
Late Wednesday evening, the Bipartisan Missouri Senate Apportionment Commission finally determined the lines for the new Senate Districts. This is now the THIRD proposed map that has been submitted during this process that has taken over a year to complete. SCS SB 773, sponsored in the House by Rep. Jon Diehl (R-87), changes the filing period for the August 7th state primary election for all offices this year to try and accommodate the fact that we now have yet another new Senate map to consider. The current filing date is February 28th to March 27. Since the district lines were just finalized, this bill proposes to move the filing dates back, providing individuals enough time to decide if they choose to run for a Senate Seat and giving enough time for this process to become procedurally finalized. This bill will adjust the filing dates so they would run from March 19th through March 30, giving candidates time for filing under the new maps.
On Wednesday, February 22, Campbell High School senior Morgan Bader visited the Capitol as a Legislative Shadow. She was presented a House Resolution for her outstanding accomplishments and leadership skills. We wish Morgan good luck in all her future endeavor's and know she will be an asset to the next generation of working adults.
Congratulations to the Holcomb Hornets boys' basketball team for winning the conference tournament at Clarkton. The Regional tournaments are beginning and I wish the best to ALL teams in South East Missouri!
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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