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April 11, 2012

Posted Thursday, May 10, 2012, at 3:24 PM

Brightening spring colors appeared inside the Capitol Halls this week on bright ties and colorful spring outfits as the blossoming of flowers, trees and foliage glorified the grounds surrounding the Capitol hill in Jefferson City. As we celebrate the holiest of weeks for Christians across the globe by honoring our Lord and Savior, by spending time with our family and friends. Here at the Capitol, we spent long hours on the House Floor, working steadily through the ever enlarging Floor Calendar.

Missouri's biggest industry is Agriculture, and in an attempt to help recognize that important factor in our state, HCR 11, designates October 3, 2012 as "Missouri Animal Agriculture Day."

The breaking of Birds Point levee in southeast Missouri resulted in the flooding of 130,000 acres of mostly agriculture land and resulted in an economic loss totaling $60.6 million. HCS HCR 30, sponsored by myself, strongly urges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to re-examine the flood control operations for the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and manage the rivers in such a way as to avoid the devastating flooding disasters that have occurred in 2011 and rebuild the damaged levees to at least their previous heights as expediently as possible.

Today school nurses are facing increased pressures from all directions. Overwhelming amounts of paperwork, strict administrative policies, demising school budgets and serious concerns regarding legal liabilities leave an insufficient amount of time and resources to provide students with the quality of care they deserve. HCR 11, will require that a copy of this resolution be sent to every district in Missouri to recognize the important health and educational services that professional school nurses provide and request that districts recognize the dedication and value of school nurses.

The following bills were given final approval by the House and sent to the Senate for further consideration:

Across many rural areas in Missouri access to high speed broad band services does not exsist. HB 1361, is a step in the right direction to help those rural areas receive the internet access that is needed. This bill will help expand broadband coverage to these rural areas in a cost-effective manner. It will allow telecommunications companies or rural electric cooperatives to attach, maintain and operate their equipment on another's pole in order to promote, encourage, and facilitate the deployment of electrical smart grid technologies and broadband communications.

There are many crimes which occur in the state of Missouri. HCS HB 1515, changes the laws regarding crimes and criminal procedure and attempts to crack down on Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting, Peace Officer Safety Alerts in concurrence with the Amber Alert System, Water Patrol Division Permits, DNA Profiling Analysis, Federal Seizure Proceeds, Crimes Against the Elderly, the House of Worship Act, False Identification, Making a False Report, Crime Scene Photographs and Videos, and Cyber Crime Law Enforcement Task Forces. This bill is a step in the right direction to help prosecute and increase penalties for people who commit crimes in these areas.

HCS HB 1608, repeals provisions and sections of law regarding unfunded and obsolete programs and establishes expiration dates for specified provisions. Programs and funds have been created that have never been funded, so we are moving to eliminate them. These programs can be re-instituted in the future if moneys become available. This is a good government efficiency bill to reduce the amount of laws and statutes on our books.

HCS HB 1789, changes the laws regarding travel hardships for public school students by removing the issue of educational harm from consideration when determining whether it is necessary to change the boundary line between seven-member school districts when one district votes for a boundary change and the other district votes against it and prohibiting a board of arbitration to contain a current or retired school administrator. Evidence suggests that boards of arbitration frequently favor keeping district boundaries the same. Having clearer standards for a travel hardship reassignment and making sure that parents know about travel hardships is one of the few alternatives to changing district boundaries. This is an excellent piece of substantive education reform that places parents/taxpayers in charge of their children's education versus bureaucrats.

Mary Lynn Wright- Jones , Dorothy Adams and Susan Hamrick with CASA of Dunklin County, visited the Capitol on Wednesday, April 4th.

And Finally, the Missouri Tiger's basketball team made their way to the Capitol this week for recognition and fellowship with both Legislator's and citizens of Missouri, under the leadership of coach Frank Haith, who was selected by the Associated Press as coach of the year.

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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