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April 18, 2012

Posted Thursday, May 10, 2012, at 3:26 PM

As the week of April 16th begins, there are five weeks left in the Legislative Session. Some of the priorities have been accomplished, some are still making their way through the process, awaiting approval by the Senate before making their way to the Governor's desk for signature to become law. Sitting at the top of the list is the approval of a proposed 24 billion dollar budget which you state is constitutionally mandated to do.

HCR 7, states that the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution will read as follows: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." This resolution shall serve as a notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally-delegated powers.

House Bills Third Read and Passed to the Senate

In our ongoing effort to protect Missouri workers and help Missouri employers retain and create more jobs, HB 1403, changes the laws regarding workers' compensation and is an attempt to keep the Second Injury Fund solvent and corrects the serious crises currently existing in our workers' compensation system relating to the co-employee liability and occupational disease liability carve outs. This is the second time the House has passed a comprehensive bill relating to this important subject (the Governor vetoed the first one). To show how important this matter is to the State, in an unprecedented and historic move, the Governor accepted our Speaker's invitation to join House Leadership this week in a morning Leadership Meeting. This topic was discussed in depth along with many other important priorities as we enter the home stretch of what we anticipate will be a very productive Session.

HB 1272, is necessary in order to provide protection to counties, sheriffs and the state from unnecessary lawsuits arising from inmate suicides.

House Concurrent Resolutions Third Read and Passed

HCR 53, easily passed the House in an effort to provide new ballot language to submit to the people of Missouri as to the question of whether to amend the Missouri Constitution to create standards for enacting general laws that require the use of government-issued photo identification to exercise and protect one of our most sacred and fundamental rights, the right to vote. A Court recently "threw out" the ballot language previously approved by the General Assembly so the House has acted quickly to provide the people the opportunity to vote on this critical measure. If this resolution is passed by the Senate and approved by a circuit judge, it will appear on the ballot in November 2012 for a vote by the citizens of Missouri.

House Bills Third Read and Passed

In an attempt to make the budget more transparent and accountable, HCS HB 1383, requires every department and division of the state that receives any grant of federal funds of $1 million or more to document and make information easily available on the Missouri Accountability Portal.

In an effort to help protect animal owners from losing their investment, HCS HB 1444, changes the laws regarding the confiscation of animals due to allegations of abuse or neglect. It will protect animal owners from losing their investment if their animal is unlawfully seized.

To better protect citizens of Missouri and keep costs lower, HB 1458, changes the laws regarding public safety, fire protection services and emergency services. Fire protection districts will benefit from education and training that will be more readily available if the Fire Education Fund receives more funding.

House Joint Resolutions Third Read and Passed

Petitions across the state are frequently filed and pursued every election year. Most of the time areas that are more densely populated are targeted rather than rural areas. HCS HJR 47, requires an initiative petition proposing a constitutional amendment to be signed by 5.25% of the legal voters in each Congressional district, not just in some of the Congressional districts. An initiative petition affects our entire State, so our entire State should be involved in this process.

Many of our rights that are directly related to the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution are threatened every day. HJR 49, specifies that the right of every citizen to possess, purchase, reload, or manufacture ammunition and any other parts or articles essential to the proper functioning of arms must not be infringed upon nor the amounts limited in order to protect some of those rights associated with the right to bear arms. I am also happy and proud to support our Second Amendment rights and to advance these issues in the Missouri House.

In order to assist those who serve our country, HJR 71, provides an exemption for personal property owned by military personnel stationed outside of the United States from property tax when the soldier's property is not being used. A soldier's car will qualify as long as the vehicle is not being used. If a family member or friend drives the vehicle, it will not qualify. This is one small thing that the Legislature can do to help those who serve in our military while they are abroad.

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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