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Friday, Sep. 30, 2016

March 7, 2012

Posted Friday, March 23, 2012, at 12:50 PM

Photo provided Malden School Board members visited the Capitol on Monday, February 20. The photo was taken shortly after being introduced as special guests during that day's session. Identified in the above photo are left to right: Jim Cornman, guest; Carolyn Cornman, Board Member; Kenneth Cook, Superintendent Malden R-1 School; Rep. Kent Hampton; and Ken Lentz, Board President.
Mother Nature swept across the Great Plains and through the Heartland this week with strong winds and menacing storms. In the storm's wake, a feeling of sadness and helplessness fell upon all within the Capitol as we witnessed scenes of damage and destruction that are so hard to grasp. Thoughts and prayers poured out to those souls in need as well as to all affected by the storms. Within the House Chamber, the House moved with a mission this week as we near the halfway point of this Legislative Session...

HIGHLIGHTS OF FLOOR ACTION: Tuesday, February 28, 2012

With a focus on our workforce here in Missouri, HB 1441, sponsored by Rep. Barney Fisher (R-125), will lay out more specific rules for business and those filing for workers' compensation benefits. The Division of Workers' Compensation within the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations will send certain required notifications regarding workers' compensation claims in a manner determined by the division electronically, by regular mail and everything in between. This bill also requires a written certification to be submitted within ten days of the end of each quarter to be sent in by the claimant. If they fail to do so, they will be ineligible to receive benefits until the certification has been received by the division.

On Wednesday, we continued to work through the perfection calendar on several pieces of legislation...

HIGHLIGHTS OF FLOOR ACTION: Thursday, March 1, 2012

Continuing our focus on the Blueprint for Missouri that was developed before session are two separate bills that will help provide appropriate funding for our Veterans by providing a targeted lottery ticket for Veterans' Homes and by changing the distribution of the gaming moneys that the state receives. HJR 45, sponsored by Rep. Sheila Solon (R-55), will provide Missouri Voters with the opportunity to change the current law dealing with lottery tickets. If voters approve the proposal, the state lottery commission shall develop and begin selling a "Veteran's Lottery Ticket." It is believed that by the end of 2013 the Veterans Commission will be forced to begin closing veteran homes due to lack of funds. A Veterans Lottery Ticket will help create funds, but will not be a complete solution for the problem. We will continue to search for a comprehensive solution. HCS HB 1731, sponsored by Rep. David Day (R-148), addresses the distribution of gaming moneys--at least 30.5% of the money received from the sale of lottery tickets must be appropriated to education with 27% to general education and 3.5% to early childhood development. It also increases the portion of any remaining net proceeds in the Gaming Commission Fund to be transferred to the Missouri National Guard and the Veterans' Commission Capital Improvement Trust Fund.

Working to protect our Missouri state employees who work within a maximum or medium security mental health facility, the House passed HB 1318, sponsored by Rep. Jeanie Riddle (R-20). This bill will make sure that no employee in a mental health facility with maximum or medium security can be required to work more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period unless it is under a state of emergency declared by the Governor.

With both the Kansas City and St. Louis Metro Area public school systems in full "unaccredited" status, something must be changed to speed up the process of making sure those unaccredited schools can more quickly get back on track. We cannot have more and more students every year graduating with unaccredited diplomas and going through systems that are not setting them up for success. HB 1174, sponsored by Rep. Mike Lair (R-07), will authorize the State Board of Education within the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to intervene and establish alternatives for a failing school district, no longer requiring them to wait two years before intervening.

With county government such a big part of Missouri, we need to make sure things are regulated across the board to be certain they operate smoothly. HCS HB 1106, sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-144), will require a county collector or collector-treasurer to reside in the county from which he or she was elected throughout his or her term of office. It also requires a candidate for the position to be at least 21 years of age, a resident of the country for at least one year prior to the date of filing, a registered voter and to have paid all state income, personal, and real property taxes.

In an effort to help encourage Missouri Taxpayers to be more responsible for paying their taxes, HB 1030 sponsored by Rep. Tom Flanigan (R-127), authorizes an amnesty from the assessment or payment of all penalties on unpaid taxes administered by the Department of Revenue. A taxpayer participating in the amnesty program cannot be issued or allowed to renew any Missouri driver's license or motor vehicle license plate until the entire balance due has been paid. This is an excellent piece of good government policy that was overwhelmingly supported in a bipartisan manner this week.

All of these bills have now passed out of the House of Representatives and are headed to the Senate.

As we all become busy in our private lives take time to focus on family and friends- very quickly, "today's" become yesterday's or tomorrow's.

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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